By now, many of us have heard about Ryan Bensen and Erica Manley leaving their server at the Twisted Fish Steakhouse in Seaside, Oregon an unusual tip. However, this is not the first time we have heard or even witnessed someone who is short on cash paying with an alternate form of payment. Sometimes an IOU is given and other times special favors are exchanged. When it comes to dealing with a server at a restaurant, you need to choose your alternate payment method carefully.
Some methods of payment are more accepted than others. Then there are those that are just plain illegal to give and receive. As much as a server could use the tip, I am sure he or she does not want to face jail time for a $10 tip. Before arranging to lay down that alternative form of tip, check with the server to make sure it is appropriate to give it.
TRY: A loaded store gift card!
Who does not enjoy a Walmart, Target or other major store gift card? As long as it actually has the full tip amount, or more loaded, your server probably will not mind.
TRY: Winning lottery and scratch off lottery tickets!
We are not talking about giving the server you megabucks winning ticket – though I’m sure a server would greatly accept that. However, those smaller, $3, $5, and $10 winnings are easy to redeem at any store that sells lottery tickets.
TRY: Casino ticket voucher!
Say you forgot to cash out a $5 winnings voucher before leaving Delaware Park earlier that day. If you are short on cash for the tip had that baby over to your server. The server can stop by Delaware Park on the way home, insert that ticket into a terminal and get their cash.
DO NOT ATTEMPT: Tipping with a SNAP EBT
Your EBT card is for you and your family to purchase food from the market with for you to prepare meals with. It is illegal to use it for any other purpose, including selling those "stamps" or using them as payment for something else.
DO NOT ATTEMPT: Leaving a note or snarky remark on your Receipt.
I can understand wanting to explain that you cannot afford a tip. However, that explanation is best done face-to-face. Absolutely, do not leave a sarcastic or downright mean note on the bill stating the many reasons you feel a tip is not due. Besides being in poor taste, your message will end up on the internet. We all know what can happen when the Interwebs go after you.
DO NOT ATTEMPT: Paying with drugs.
Please do not take a page from Bensen and Manley and pay your tip with crystal meth, pot, cocaine, crack, or any other illegal drug. Do you really want to end up in jail for tip worth only $5 to $10.