You Can Learn a Lot From Watching Your Date’s Tip Habits in Restaurants

You Can Learn a Lot From Watching Your Date’s Tip Habits in Restaurants

Oprah almost called it quits after Stedman's first date...

By Marianne Garvey

Kaley Cuoco’s ultimate turn-off? A bad tipper. Understandably so.

The Big Bang Theory star found out she was on a date with a cheapo when the dinner bill came and he grabbed it — only to leave the waiter with an eight percent tip. Eight percent.

The “hot actor” who she thought was “magical” (pre-tip) had offered to take her on a really romantic date to a Los Angeles restaurant, where he insisted she paid nothing towards the bill when she offered. After she peeped him calculating the tiny tip on his phone, she realized her worst fear was real, “Oh my God, he’s cheap. He is cheap. He is a bad tipper.”

After realizing she could never introduce this guy to her dad, the short-lived relationship ended right when he sent the bill back with the waiter.

Oprah Winfrey recently told Jimmy Kimmel a story on her podcast about her very first date with her longtime beau, Stedman Graham. He had revealed he didn’t tip the waiter after paying for their dinner date because he “forgot.” Well, forgetting doesn't fly with Oprah. Of course she made him turn the car around, go back in, and leave a generous tip for the staff. She told Jimmy she was thinking in the moment, “what’s wrong with this guy,” but in the end blamed it on Stedman’s nerves and not stinginess.

While you and your partner are guaranteed to not agree on every financial decision, and not everyone would turn around and go back like Stedman, let’s all agree that tipping is necessary, and the more generous or (at least fair) you are, it speaks volumes to who you are. While proper etiquette says to tip 15 percent for most service, most leave 20 percent anyway, and even more when service is fantastic.

Bad tippers get such a bad rap, deservedly so, that some have even been outed on bad tipping websites, such as one pub in Ohio whose owner nailed patrons for bad tips after they raved about the great service and delicious food. “We have had a lot of customers lately who have told management how great everything was including the service, and then proceed to leave a tip less than 10 percent. That includes people who have left notes on credit card slips that said things such as ‘terrific service’ underneath an eight percent tip. FYI folks ….. nice words will not pay the server's bills. So, in an effort to make sure that our staff remains happy and able to support themselves, we have a very simple request. If you are not prepared to give a 15 to 20 percent tip for good service then please go somewhere else.”

Right on.

Here are a few tips for what to do if and when you learn about your date’s horrible tipping habits, besides dumping then at the table. 

Leave your own cash

Your date can embarrass themselves, but don't let anyone embarrass you. If you happen to catch a glance (or peek on purpose) at the bill and find the tip sucks, insist you’d like to leave some extra cash ... or wait for your date to walk away, go to the bathroom, come out, then leave some extra cash with the bill. Whether you tell your date or not, you did the right thing. And you learned they’re secretive and cheap and won’t go for that after dinner drink with them? Right? Right?

Tell your date their tip sucked

In a case like Oprah’s, she never would have known that wasn’t really Stedman’s style until she brought it up and he confessed to being out of sorts, because he was on a date with Oprah. Maybe your date was nervous. Or perhaps they really didn’t like the service for some reason and didn’t want to complain to you and ruin the night or their chances. Just ask then straight if you want to, otherwise you’ll never know for the rest of your life what happened. And on your death bed, you'll wonder ... why? Why did he leave such a horrible tip?

It usually has nothing to do with income

Those who worked in the service industry never forget working in the service industry. It’s not hard to pull up the memory of a good tip night meaning you made rent on time that month, or a bad tipper’s face returning to the restaurant. Hello, bad tipper. I'll take my time getting your drinks, you're welcome. Paying your dues as a waiter means you just know how to tip well. Those who tip cheap may have had everything handed to them.

A good tipper is a class act

There's really no better feeling on a first date than peeking at the bill and realizing that no matter what happens, the person is a generous tipper. They care about others, they aren't too tight with their money, they know if they're eating or drinking out, it's gonna cost money. That money includes a tip. 

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