After A Waiter Served A Group Of 13-Year-Olds Who Only Tipped $3.28, They Returned Days Later With An Apology

The teenage girls were quick to make things right.

Last updated on May 17, 2024

group of teen girls ordering at a restaurant Ollyy / Shutterstock

While tipping is customary for American adults who go out to eat at restaurants or other dining locations, sometimes, people who are younger and dining out for their first time don't quite get the bill right.

That's exactly what happened when a group of teenagers went out to a restaurant by themselves for the first time and weren't knowledgeable on how to calculate a good enough tip for their waiter. 


But their low tip was eventually rectified in an extremely sweet way.

A waiter was angered after only being tipped $3.28 by four 13-year-old girls.

The waiter, who works in Los Angeles, was serving at a restaurant and had been assigned four 13-year-olds in his section. The group of teenage girls was having their first dining experience without adults present and were very excited about it.

However, the waiter was left displeased after he discovered that upon leaving, the four girls had only left him a $3.28 tip, despite having thanked him for his great service during their meal. The waiter decided to express his frustrations online, posting about it on Imgur, an online media-sharing platform.


RELATED: Server Complained She Only Got A $10 Tip From A Table Of 21 — But She Wound Up Making Thousands More

"[There's] nothing more frustrating than when I get little to nothing for a tip and the customer is smiling and thanking me profusely as they exit," the server, who went by the username Seminole, wrote on the platform.

The tip the group of teen girls left him amounted to about 4% of the bill, which would certainly frustrate any food industry worker who relies on tips. But though he was initially annoyed by the situation, thinking he would never see the teens again, things would soon turn around.


Because little did he know that the four teenage girls would soon come back to the restaurant to make it right. A week and a half later, to be more specific. 

The teenage girls returned to the restaurant with an apologetic note to make things right with the waiter.

The 13-year-old girls must have relayed their first dining experience to their parents, including the amount they had tipped, and were told that the money they left wasn't nearly enough. The teenage diners returned with a handwritten letter and some more money to give to their waiter.

@broke.llama The generation that cleans the tables for servers is the same that refuses to tip. There’s more to the story than “Gen Z hates waiters” we can no longer afford to tip like generations have in the past and we feel like it shoukdn’ be necessary. #nomoretipping #youngandbroke #personalfinance #debt #money #genz #moneyproblems #debtfree #greenscreen ♬ original sound - brokellama

"About a week and a half ago, on October 7 [2018], my 3 friends and I came to eat at this restaurant as our own homecoming celebration," the letter stated, adding that they had all gone out to eat to celebrate their school homecoming. "It was an exciting experience for us to be here alone, and it was all new to us."


The group of girls praised the waiter for being extremely accommodating to their needs while they had dined and acknowledged that he had made their "grown-up" experience extremely fun. 

They expressed that because they had never eaten out on their own before, when it came time to leave the tip, they just emptied their pockets and gave him whatever money they all collectively had after paying their bill.

RELATED: Man Refused To Tip On A $100 Bill Since He Was Trying To Save Money — The Next Day, He Returned To The Restaurant

"Not aware of how small this really was, we left, clueless of what we had left you for all your hard work," the girls explained in their letter. "Later, we realized our mistake and felt HORRIBLE. We knew we had to make it right. So in this envelope, you will find the correct 18% tip + extra for simply being amazing. We appreciate your help and patience and thank you for making our night fun. Thank you!"


The waiter, blown away by these young girls' apologetic letter and determination to make it right, wrote in his since-deleted post on Imgur that in the years he's been working as a waiter, he's never had a patron return back to make things right.

"I've been serving a long time, and nothing like this has ever happened to me, or anyone," the waiter said. "I don't know how you learned or educated yourself on tipping, but I really appreciate the effort and kindness. I hope your homecoming was fantastic!"

These teen girls showed extreme maturity at the way they made amends.

Whether it was because their parents' explained that they tipped too little, or the girls realized they had made a mistake, the way they handled the situation showed incredible maturity and determination to right a wrong.

A few of the signs of emotional maturity include the ability to take responsibility for your actions, having empathy, and resolving conflicts properly. And though these girls have yet to reach full maturity, as adolescents don't mature until about age 25 when their prefrontal cortex is fully developed, it's clear they have good heads on their shoulders.


For parents who are sending their teens or adolescents into the adult world, especially letting them dine out at restaurants, it's essential to prepare them for how tipping should look. Just like parents prep their teens for driving on the road or getting ready for college, teaching them to tip is a skill they will need.

Parents can educate their teens about the proper amount to tip and when to do so with a quick sit-down conversation. And if the parents are lucky, their teens will be sure to right their wrongs should they leave a low amount.

RELATED: Server Calls Out Customers Who Don't Leave A Good Tip Because They Didn't Like Their Food — 'Servers Aren't Cooking Their Meals'

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