Home Pop Culture Woman leaves ‘Single mom sorry’ tip on a $138 bill. Reddit post...

Woman leaves ‘Single mom sorry’ tip on a $138 bill. Reddit post leads to heated exchanges…

Single mom sorry' tip on a $138 bill
Single mom sorry' tip on a $138 bill
Single mom sorry' tip on a $138 bill
Single mom sorry' tip on a $138 bill

It is thought as a matter of good manners and decorum that if one has enjoyed their meal to offer their server here in the United States a tip. In fact one can even say even if they haven’t really enjoyed their food or the service tended to them that their server will still expect a decent tip (usually on the low end 15% but at many NYC restaurants even 30% has become the new norm).

That though was all put to the wind pursuant to one photo copy of a recent tip message one woman left her server (see picture above) which found its way on social media outlet redditwhere it has now gone viral and stirred up the usual controversy that so often comes up when the matter of gratuities becomes the focal point. Which is to say economics and good manners go hand in hand or maybe not…?

huffpoA photo of a receipt allegedly left by a single mother at a restaurant has gone viral after it was originally posted on Reddit. The bill shows a charge for a $138.35 meal with no additional tip. Instead, there’s a note that reads “single mom sorry” — implying that whoever signed the bill doesn’t have enough money because it is expensive to raise kids alone.

Redditor PhoenixSongFawkes posted the photo and wrote, “I’m sure $140 could have gotten you and your kids a week worth of groceries, but instead you spend it one one meal?! For shame!”

To be sure the posting has elicited quite a heated reactionas many have opined that to leave a server no tip is tantamount to heresy where as others have wondered out aloud whether it may in fact be the job of the restaurant itself to make up the shortfall (between the hourly wage and the state mandated minimum wage) to their employees most whom only pay their servers a paltry $2.50 and thus in effect pass on the burden of paying the server’s keep to that of the diner. Then again one wonders if the restaurant continually had to find themselves having to make the shortfall how long that server would last at their venue?

One is also inclined to wonder what would happen if wages approximated what other skilled trades in general paid their staff (but define skilled) and whether this in itself would mean the restaurant demanding higher meal prices (assuming they could make this stick) and waiters themselves making a more steady living albeit giving up the advantages of high tips that sometimes comes as a result of working for a very well sought venue. But then again try telling that to those waiters who at some establishments pull in over six figures each year…

Responded a variety of reddit readers:

To anyone who just arrived and are sifting through the comments: A bunch of people who have never worked in a restaurant in the U.S. are complaining about having to tip, and then people who have worked in U.S. restaurants are bitching at them because they don’t understand how U.S. waiters/waitresses/servers make money.

Then when it is explained that the servers only get paid enough of a wage to cover taxes and have to rely on tips to pay bills, everyone comments on how shitty of a system that is and how restaurant managers and owners must be the biggest d-bags ever to perpetuate this kind of system.

This happens every time this sort of thing is posted on reddit.


The sad fact is that, in most states, minimum wage is not enough to pay one’s bills. However, most servers make well above minimum wage, because, thankfully, most people who patronize restaurants know that their waiter/waitress depends on tips.


Minimum wage in south carolina will get you 15k/year, full time. If your monthly fees are 600 for rent, 80 for electric, 400 for food ($13 a day for food, good luck with your nutrition!), and 40 for internet you have already spent 13.5k of your budget. That doesnt even get into gas, car insurance, renters insurance, a car, a phone, games, any medical issues because min wage jobs don’t give you that, a night out every once in awhile, vices, etc. Maybe you could knock another $100 off the rent if you lived in a ghetto and bring your free cash from $1600 a year to $2800 a year.

So yes, if you live alone and you’ve managed to stretch a min wage job at 40 hours a week into something other than abject poverty you are a financial genius.


The point is, it doesn’t matter if she tipped or not. The point of this post was that her writing ‘sorry single mom’ was unnecessary.

It was to show that someone was ridiculous enough to come into a place, and use the fact that their a single mom to not tip. Then to say everything was great… There are many times we only get a few tables at night. We depend on those big tickets to make money.


I wouldn’t be so bold as to call the patron a bad person, but I really have to question the wisdom of going out and paying this much money for a meal if you don’t even have three or four dollars to spare to ensure that your server is paid fairly for the effort he put in to ensuring that you had a pleasant dining experience.


I have to think people incensed by OP’s selfishness simply don’t understand that American servers depend on tips, rather than on hourly wage, to pay for their own food. If a person had that knowledge, and still claimed to feel that way about OP’s complaint, I’d just have to assume that they were completely unreasonable, or intentionally misrepresenting their perspective for purposes beyond my primitive reckoning.


What constitutes service that needs a tip? Waiters, hair dressers, bell hops? Why? Why not the IT guy that just fixed your computer? Why not the McDonalds worker that just brought your meal out to the table because it was slow? Why not Home Depot, where the worker just explained how to caulk a bathtub to you? I don’t understand why tipping is still around, or why we don’t tip for EVERYTHING.


“It’s completely possible that someone wanted to be an asshole and blame it on single moms. Honestly, the more I think about how anyone would do this to a waitress, the more I think it’s likely that this was just a very awful prank to make single moms look bad,” 


And? I’m tired of this sense of entitlement. So she spent money at an expensive restaurant. Big deal. She didn’t tip you? GET OVER IT ! can’t live off $2 an hour? Get a better job. Yes, it’s that easy. Plenty of places hiring.


Maybe the woman went out for the first time in years and wanted to treat herself as best she could, but was only left with enough money to perfectly pay her bills. The waiter gets paid, the restaurant makes money, and of course the entitlement driven waiter moans, and gets on reddit (aka where every ignorant loser on the internet spends most of his time). I always hated coworkers like that. God, I wish America was like so many other countries where tips are not expected and even considered inappropriate in some instances. How hard is it to just pay someone minimum wage or a little more? Leave the woman alone. She paid her bill. If you work at a restaurant that lets someone rack up $138 just for their self, you will obviously get good tips from others.


i fully agree, when i hear, “OH I ONLY MADE $100 IN TIPS TODAY” and then come to find they worked 5 hours.That angers me. That’s $20/hr, and here i am in retail, dealing with equally shitty people making $7.50/hr. That’s coming for me though.


And in other words, the worst you can end up is the same as the retail person, with a substantial possibility of doing better.

Not saying it’s not tough being a server, but it’s probably one of the best paying low-education jobs out there that doesn’t have much of a chance of killing you.


I’m a single Mom, and this is bullshit. What exactly are you teaching your kids? That it’s all about you – what you need, what you want, and screw everyone else. It’s YOU first.

Dear Parents of all kinds – your kids are watching you and learning. Treat others with respect please!

Douchebags come in all shapes and sizes, even single Mom types.Sighhhhhh.


If you complain about your service to someone who needs to earn a tip, they will probably try to do the best they can rectify the problem in hopes of still getting a good tip. If you complain to someone who is just doing the job to get by on a set salary, you are asking for all kinds of nice things in your food and drink. Now that is why the tip system works.


I live in a country where you tip when the food and service was better then expected. You don’t tip a standard ammount. Waiters and waitresses get paid a better salary when compared to America too. I personally don’t tip people doing the job they are paid to do. If they made my stay at their restaurant better then expected or more special, yes, then I tip.

America has a weird system… But it has pros too I guess…


for business owners, yes lots of pros


Tipping is one of the most fucked up concepts ever… everyone loses out except for the management.

Fuck capitalism.


For those of you who think tipping is just encouraging employers to pay low wages, you’re incorrect. Yes, the minimum wage for servers is around $2.00 in most states, but those laws were put in place BECAUSE of tips, not the other way around. There are a few (VERY few) states, like Washington State, who actually guarantee that servers make minimum wage by offering them an offset if their tips don’t make up the difference, but that is the exception, not the norm. 

It absolutely ASTOUNDS me that people keep telling servers/waitstaff to “get another job.” Don’t you think that if a better paying job with flexible hours (for those people who are in school or have to have flexible hours to take care of their kids) were available, they would take it? “Getting another job” isn’t as easy as people make it seem, particularly not in this economic climate. The majority of people don’t serve because it’s a lifelong dream, but because it is the only thing allowing them to pay rent at the time. 

Overall, I’m completely appalled at this woman’s audacity to pay $140 dollars for a meal and not tip. Even if she’d left $5.00 with the same apologetic note, it would have showed empathy and a desire to do the right thing. In my opinion, this woman is a TOOL. 


Either way, tipping really isn’t relevant to this picture. The point is the customer is apparently complaining about being a single mom who doesn’t have money, but she just spent $140 to go out.



  1. That’s true. Kroger/Fry’s/Mrs. Smith chain is THE most expensive grocery chain in the US. Safeway is equally expensive, or nearly so. ‘Loyalty cards’ make up for that by a small percentage. Walmart is consistently the lowest price for groceries almost everywhere in America. What I can buy for one hundred dollars at Walmart, no coupons, no loyalty card, no discounts, would cost me about one hundred-fify dollars at Frys/Kroger or Safeway. A savvy consumer would do the math and stay clear of the national grocery chains other than Walmart. When I was in Philly, ACME also had very high prices and seemed to saturate the low income neighborhoods.

  2. If there are any restaurants in this economy where unskilled servers “easily” pull in $25-40/hr, I guarantee there are no openings. The norm here in NJ is $10-20/hr., and we hustle for it. We are running while trying to appear cool and collected, balancing customers food, timing our tables, possibly dealing with hostile cooks and co-workers, working holidays, trying to appease management, and make the customer feel welcomed and satisfied.
    All for $2.12/hr, no paid overtime, and no benefits for 8-12 hours straight. Yes, I get fed, but most days i don’t get a break so I end up shoving it in my mouth like a ravenous animal in the back of the kitchen in between tables. I don’t technically “pay” for it, $5/day for food is posted into my paycheck for me to pay taxes on and the owners to write off (often I don’t even have time to eat). Bus boys get 15% of our tips, if there’s a bar, another 5% to them. (Some servers tip out up to 40%.)
    Luckily 95% of patrons have been or known a server, and do the right thing.
    Those who DON’T TIP accordingly are either IGNORANT or LACK INTEGRITY.

    PS – Please tip us at least 10% on To-Go orders. Half the time it is even more work to wrap everything up than serve you at a table 🙂 Thanx!

  3. Matt sucks dicks like a Hoover vacuum set on high, and the dude is insatiable. Right when the cum hits his chin he’s ready to suck another dick, and another and another, and he just doesn’t stop for anything. That kind of dedication to sucking dicks is worth paying for. He’s earned every cent.

  4. I’m pretty sure that restaurants don’t charge $40 for a plate of warmed-over bullshit for no reason. No, I’m pretty sure that they factor the cost of doing business into every plate sold, and then some. If they can’t find some wiggle-room in there to pay their employees a fair living wage without raising prices then they’re doing something wrong.

    But yeah, as things stand now, I agree that we should tip.

  5. What some people don’t understand is that this server has just lost money from this table. On that $138.35 in sales for the server, we have to tip out a percentage to some other staff like the busser, bartender, host and sometimes the kitchen or house. No tip is worse than a slap in the face, it is taking the money out of the pocket of the person trying to make your dining experience a great one.

  6. see if a robot gets your SPECIAL ORDER right,we are not over paid , out of our wages we also pay taxes, insurance social security, and what if it is slow? or no business, my advice to you is if you don’t want to tip don’t eat out

  7. i was a single mom and i’m a server, she should remember that comment won’t buy groceries ,pay rent ,electric put gas is the car or anything else for the server, and now in this economy, people believe they can abuse ,run to death to refill drinks , and complain about the service just so they don’t have to leave a tip , it would be nice to get paid a living wage,but then the dinner prices would be to high to eat out.

  8. I was a waitress and a bartender for over a decade when younger. I had a great deal of friends who were jealous because waitpersons and bartenders did not claim their cash tips on their taxes. We justified it due to our low wage. In most states I worked in, I got at least minimum wage. In one state in 1979 I got .65 cents an hour, but had health insurance, free food every day, and an excellent clientele. I actually got a MINUS $27.00 paycheck one week because my tips from credit cards were higher than my salary (you did have to claim your credit card tips). I kept the check for years! I understand how physically and mentally demanding this type of work is. I know it can be emotionally difficult when you are met with irate customers. But I also realize that I was extremely fortunate to have gotten a job with a high school diploma where I made upwards to $100.00 a night for a 6 hour shift, having a free meal, and usually a free drink or two on top of it. I was making more than my friends with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees who were paying off student loans on top of it and having to work 8 to 10 hours a day. I paid my way through graduate school as a bartender and a hairstylist (another profession who relies greatly on tips). I am licensed with 15 years experience as a psychotherapist, and I make less now than some of my friends who are bartenders and waitpersons, and I work longer hours, and have a great deal more responsibility to my clients well-being. If someone does not show up for an appointment, I don’t get paid.
    Everyone deserves a night out once in a while – whether they can tip or not. If you choose to go into the wait help profession, you should be aware that there are no guarantees. That being said, I honestly believe that wait help deserve a higher wage and it should be the responsibility of the establishment to provide this so we as consumers are not saddled with increasing their wage at the same time that we decrease our own. We all make choices in the professions we decide upon. We all need to be aware of the pros and cons going in.

  9. In the uk where I am, everybody gets at least the minimum wage. But, the wait staff still get 10% over here, which is compulsory over parties of 6. If you have terrible service you can give less. The point is, in the uk, the kitchen “helps” do not get tipped. beauticians get tipped but the reception staff, who earn much less don’t. Street sweepers also dont get tipped etc. It is double standards across the board.
    I didnt know about the pocket money US wait staff get, that is a cheat by their employers and the government allowing it to happen. But then again, if you dont want to be a wait staff and expect a “non tip” to happen occasionally(suppose you are lousy at your job/rude to someone), then get a doing the dishes job instead!

    PS I am in the service industry, I am a cleaner in a care home and domestic. I never see a tip, Cleaners dont get tipped. In the UK only doormen, wait staff and beauticians/hairdressers get tipped, go figure!

  10. Actually, with the minimum wage of most wait staff being about $2.15 per hour, the guy washing the dishes makes
    more per hour at $10 an hour! AND the wait staff are expected to share their tips with the bus staff who clean the tables off. CLEARLY you have never been in a “service industry” type of job where the employees rarely make the amount of money per hour they should and work physically hard for someone who doesn’t appreciate it!

  11. If you didn’t know the dish washer or vegetable chopper make higher wages per hour than the waitress. They make less money per hour to account for the tips… just saying.

  12. Those who say we shouldn’t tip, presumably you feel the waiters should make, what, minimum wage? Are you ok with the price of the food going up? The money’s going to come from somewhere, and it’s not whatever profit the restaurant is currently making.

    Also, Matt, that paltry up to $15 an hour cooks get is double the minimum wage many people think servers should get.

  13. nobody should have a compulsory tip for just doing their job, in fact, the vast majority don’t. I bet the dish washer-upper or vegetable chopper, slaving away in the kitchens for the same wage as the waitress, never sees a tip in their lives.

  14. Servers are overpaid. Tipping more than 15 percent is idiotic. Servers in a decent restaurant are making 25 an hour on the low end, where i work its more like 40. The people that actually make the food are making 9 to 15 an hour. But that’s ok because they are mostly mexican so who cares? I am sick of the popular concept of servers being working class heroes. So ignorant. Its a cushy gig for uneducated people that can manage to be obsequious and not screw up orders constantly. The real heroes are in the kitchens. Someday we will replace servers with robots.

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