Dear Urban Diplomat: What do I do when my friends pay for dinner but stiff the server on the tip?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife and I went with another couple to Celestin, where we’re regular patrons. The service was attentive, as always, and the food was superb. When the bill came, my friend took care of it, but I noticed he left less than 10 per cent for the tip. Mortified, I waited for everyone to leave the table, then threw down an extra $20. Unfortunately, my friend turned around in time to see me and said it was a slap in the face. How should I have handled this situation?
—More Money, More Problems, DAVISVILLE
Topping up someone else’s tip on the sly is almost as tacky as being a cheapskate. Since you’re a regular, you easily could’ve spared the conflict and doubled your tip on the next visit. In the future, if your dinner companions are picking up the check, carry some cash and insist on getting the tip. You’ll make the gracious gesture of contributing to the meal, while ensuring the service doesn’t get stiffed.
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