In June of this year, The New York Times published an article revealing that workers in predominantly tipped jobs—including restaurant servers and bartenders—are twice as likely as other workers to live below the poverty line. A growing number of diners, servers, and bartenders are arguing that getting rid of gratuity, and instead paying servers a livable wage, is the way to go. The fact is, most of the world is already doing it this way. No matter what side of the argument you’re on, no one can deny that this year, the practice of tipping was debated more hotly than ever.
This was also the year to make a statement by leaving gratuity in the most insane way. From a woman who tipped a Whataburger employee with a mink fur coat, to someone who tip-toed their way out of giving gratuity with an Internet joke, we take a look at the most memorable tips of 2014.
Woman Tips Whataburger Employee with Mink Coat
Cheryl Semien, a Whataburger employee in Liberty, TX, said a customer handed her a Mink coat after she paid the woman a compliment. Semien told the woman, “Ma’am, I like that jacket you’ve got on,” which prompted the customer to hand Semien the coat while Semien was working the drive-thru shift. The generous woman told ABC 13, “The lady said that’s a beautiful coat and she was so sweet. So I took it off and handed it to her through the drive-thru window.”
Riff Raff’s tiptoewing in my jordanzz tip
Riff Raff’s hit, “Tip Toe Wing In My Jawwdinz,” prompted one diner to be a complete asshole. The person went out to eat and realized that rather than leaving gratuity, he could stiff the server and make an Internet joke instead. Someone else did the same at Applebee’s, though his execution was a little less slick. So basically, Riff Raff is the opposite of Tips for Jesus.
Tips for Jesus Makes it Rain Across U.S.
Value: Hundreds of thousands of dollars
The mysterious benefactor of humanity TipsForJesus left a trail of dolla dolla bills all across the country this year and last. Using just the handle @tipsforjesus to identify them, the phantom of excessive gratuity left a $7,000 tip at The NoMad and $1,000 at Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room last December. As of February, TFJ had left nearly $130,000 in ultra-outsize tips. Way to go above and beyond the New Rules for Tipping, whoever you are.
Chad Johnson’s Life-Saving Tip
Value: $300 + a life
Chad Johnson took to Twitter earlier this month to say that he left a $300 tip for a waitress at a restaurant. The tip—which he wrote on a $351 bill—also came with a heartwarming message. According to Johnson, that message helped save a different woman’s life. The day after, a woman DMed Johnson to say that she was considering committing suicide before she saw the photo of the tip that he had shared. She claimed that she was ready to end her life until she saw Johnson’s words and “realized that there are always unforeseen blessings coming.” Now that’s a Christmas miracle.
Couple Leaves Waitress $100 Tip for Bad Service
Value: $100 + compassion
Makenzie and Steven Schultz celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary at Kazoku sushi restaurant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in September. The couple left their waiter a $100 tip, even after receiving poor service, and their Facebook post explaining why proceeded to go viral.
Makenzie explained that the problem was not the waiter. She told US Magazine, “It was very obvious that the issue was being short staffed, not the server. He was running around like crazy and never acted annoyed with any table. At one point we counted he had 12 tables plus the bar. More than any one person could handle! As I sat there and watched him run back & forth and apologize for the wait, I said to Steven… ‘Wow, this used to be us.’ Waiting tables. I don’t miss it at all and I never loved that job. I did it for the tips.”
Group leaves single mom $1,200 tip on a $128 tab
Just yesterday, a table of 10 people at a restaurant in Herndon, VA left their waitress a $1,200 tip on a $128 tab (that’s a 937% tip). After thumbing through the wad of bills, the single mom of two said she planned to spend the money on her kids.