Mom Writes Note To Server After Leaving No Tip Because 'Christmas Is Coming' & Her 3 Kids Need Gifts

Is there ever an excuse for not tipping your servers?

woman writing a note and shocked server looking at money BearFotos and Nicoleta Ionescu via Shutterstock / Elena Nazarova and Simple Project via Canva

Servers largely rely on tips to make a living, though they don't always receive them. While most non-tippers don't explain their reasoning for not leaving a tip, one mother attempted to justify her lack of tip with a note to her server.

A customer wrote her server a note explaining why she didn't leave a tip.

The Facebook page Baby Talk shared a note that a customer left a server after her meal.

“Sorry no tip. Christmas is coming with 3 kids,” the note on the back of the receipt read. “But you’re great. P.S. don’t have kids you’ll save money.”


RELATED: Server Explains Why She's Done Tipping Other Servers 20%

People in the comments were furious with the mother who decided to skip out on giving a tip.

“How do people sleep at night?? I tip even when I’m doing curbside [pickup],” one concerned user wrote.


Some people skipped straight to insults and disdain for people who don’t tip, calling them “disgusting” or labeling them as “entitled,” while several servers in the comments also shared their thoughts and opinions, confirming what most people already know about how working as a server is a job that relies mostly on tips.

“What makes them think the waiter doesn’t also have kids?” another questioned.

It seemed as though, even for the people who disagreed with tipping as a forced, societal pressure, the main problem was that the woman claimed she couldn’t tip to save money for her kids.

“If you can’t tip you can’t afford to go out to eat. Simple,” some people echoed.


Reliance on tips in the restaurant industry does both customers and service workers a disservice.

While tipping is strictly optional, servers rely on tips to make a livable wage because in most states, they're paid far below minimum wage. Though meant to encourage servers to provide good service to customers, the restaurant industry has leveraged tipping culture to keep costs low.

RELATED: Woman Lost Her Job Over Her Reaction To Not Receiving A Tip On A $735 Takeout Order

“The lower hourly rate is justified by the opportunity for the waitstaff to earn generous tips, which should — theoretically — bring their wages to or above the state’s minimum wage,” Dr. Jaime Peters, assistant dean and assistant professor of finance at Maryville University, told CNBC Select.


Unfortunately for customers, as prices continue to rise, so does the amount needed to provide the recommended 15-20% tip. With an estimated 78% of people living paycheck to paycheck and the cost of raising one child — let alone three — averaging over $15,000 per year, leaving a tip is not always as simple as "if you can't tip you can't afford to go out to eat."

While it's always recommended to tip your servers for good service, experts remind customers that it's not mandatory.

Servers relying on tips as their primary source of income is a structural failure, and the blame shouldn’t be placed on the people ordering food.The government should protect the wages of essential workers like waitstaff and servers by ensuring they’re paid livable wages whilst having the extra income of tips on the side.

Unfortunately, until pay structures in the service industry change, tips will continue to be expected despite not being mandatory. However, experts suggest not feeling guilty when you can't tip. 


“You can always decide to tip a little more or less based on your financial situation and your appreciation for the service provided,” Vincent Birardi, a CFP and wealth advisor, suggested to CNBC Select. “The thought still counts the most.”

RELATED: Customer Claims He Doesn't Tip Based On The Cost Of The Meal — 'I Don't Care How Much The Bill Is, You're Getting Tipped Off Of Your Service'

Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.