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Server Reveals Customer Asked Her To 'Spot' Him $50 For His Restaurant Bill

Photo: @sassyserver0529 / TikTok
Stephanie Carlisle

It's no secret that servers sometimes find themselves in a plethora of different human interactions, some of them being pleasant while others are downright perplexing. A server named Stephanie Carlisle shared an experience that fell under the latter, revealing in a TikTok video an interaction with a customer that proved restaurant employees are often thrust into situations that truly test their social capabilities.

She said a customer once asked her to 'spot' him $50 to cover the tab.

Carlisle, who often makes videos on her TikTok platform about the many different restaurant scenarios that happen to her, acted out a recent incident that happened between her and an older couple that had come in.

Greeting them at the door, Carlisle welcomed them back and asked if it was just going to be the two of them. The husband confirmed with Carlisle that they were actually meeting another couple at the restaurant, but as she was leading them to the table, the husband, who she dubbed "Mr. Williams," tried to sneak in a rather absurd question.



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"Before you take us back, we're meeting another couple here and I fully intend on them paying the tab tonight," Mr. Williams told Carlisle. "But should they not, can you spot me $50?"

At the question, Carlisle recalled laughing immediately, believing his question to just be a bit of banter.

She continued leading them to their table, but Mr. Williams wasn't done, confirming that he was being serious.

"Money has been really, really tight, and can you spot me the $50 just in case?" he asked. This time, Carlisle laughed uneasily, not even bothering to entertain the question and simply showing the couple where to sit and telling them to enjoy their dinner.

An hour later, Carlisle went to check on the couple but was asked the same question by the husband.

Carlisle ended up going back to the table after some time to take their dessert order, but as she approached the table, Mr. Williams continued with his attempt to get her to loan him money for the bill.

"I know we're getting to dessert time, and I don't know if they're gonna pay or not. Can I get that $50 from you?" he asked her once again. This time, instead of brushing him off, Carlisle tried to politely inform him that she was unable to give him any money.

"Mr. Williams, I'm so incredibly sorry to tell you this, but I do not have $50 to spot you," she informed him. "If money has been tight then please don't dine out."

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Frustrated, Mr. Williams admitted that he would just have to hope the other couple took care of the bill, or else he would just ask another server to do it. Again, Carlisle reiterated that none of the restaurant employees would comp his meal just because he asked. 

"Luckily the other couple paid the entire tab because he was seriously hustling us for $50," she concluded.

Beyond the immediate awkwardness and discomfort, most restaurant servers and other service industry employees are on a very modest income, and asking them to cover a bill, especially as someone who chose to eat out despite not having the money, simply puts even more of a financial burden on a person already trying to navigate having a tight budget.

The customer's request is also just not how the restaurant industry operates. It's a reciprocal relationship between customers and servers. Customers pay for the service provided, which includes not just the food but also the overall experience, ambiance, and attention from the staff. It can be a bit of a slap-in-the-face for servers to not be compensated by customers despite putting in all their effort to provide this experience for them.

If anything, Carlisle's recount is a reminder that servers should be treated with more empathy and understanding, especially since they work tirelessly to provide enjoyable experiences for anyone who steps into their restaurants.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.