One restaurant flat-out denied having a sink in the kitchen because they wanted a customer to have bottled water instead of tap water to drink.
Several restaurants and eateries have gained notoriety with automated payment systems, which make the customers pay gratuities without asking. It has become a topic of online debate in recent years where many speak against the tipping culture in the West but others defend it because the little extra cash can help a service worker run their households smoothly. Many believe that tipping should be stopped and that businesses should pay their employees fair wages. u/ilikesnark on Reddit shared an incident with the community where they had to face an awkward situation involving tips.
The header of the Reddit post pretty much explained how the messy situation arose. The header read: "Waitress refused to give me water so I removed the 15% auto gratuity." The individual was out dining by themself and decided to settle at a restaurant where they noticed a particular note on the menu. The menu mentioned that a 15% auto gratuity would be added to every bill. "I ordered an appetizer and a meal and requested water to drink. She brought me a bottle of water and I told her I’d prefer a glass of tap water. I kid you not but she said they don't have tap water," the person wrote on their post.
"I asked if there was a sink and she said no. I argued with her about surely there’s a sink she can fill a glass from and she flat out refused saying they only have bottled water. This place offered many drinks requiring water and there were no water issues that would prevent tap water from being consumed. I was annoyed but let it go," the post continued. But when it was time for payment, the person requested that their 15% gratuity needs to be removed. Another worker at the restaurant showed up to apologize on behalf of the waitress who previously served the person and explained that the owner doesn't allow them to give free water.
"He was nice and removed the tip and offered me a to-go cup of water (which I politely declined since I had my reusable water bottle in the car). I’ve never been forced to leave a gratuity as a party of one and sure as hell never been refused a glass of tap water. The food was great but it was by far the strangest interaction I’ve ever had at a restaurant," the post concluded. This sparked a conversation amongst fellow Reddit users who felt that the restaurant was in the wrong for refusing to serve their customers who demanded tap water instead of bottled water.
u/Due-Lab1450 wrote: "She messed up. She had the opportunity to throw the owner under the bus and say, 'Sorry, they don’t allow us to give free water. We can only sell by the bottle.' Loss of the tip might make her reconsider the response." u/KittyandPuppyMama commented: "I'm not sure about the law, but even if they only sell bottled, they should still pour you a cup of tap water if you request it. They have glasses, they have a sink that dispenses water they're already using to cook food. This is assuming it's a place with clean tap water." u/TenOfZero joked: "I would have left and made sure a manager knew that I thought it was completely disgusting that they don't have a sink in the kitchen to wash things."