If You Don’t Tip in Exchange for Free Food on Your Birthday, Then You’re a Jerk.

I’m far from criticizing those who get away with something they shouldn’t do for meager gain – like pretending to be your birthday to win a free cupcake or whatever at a restaurant. It’s even a little funny when your friends play you, but only if it is rarely done; Not only is a birthday song annoying, it doesn’t take long to go from “harmless fun” to “eating out”.

And then there is a child who made it his life’s work to receive free food every day of the year , pretending to be his birthday. As I told Lifehacker the other day, I hope he needs to hear this godforsaken song – and many clap versions of it – every time. At least he should be hurt so badly.

He should tip too. The Buzzfeed article doesn’t say whether it does it or not, so I won’t make assumptions, but I will say that generally, you still have to tip for the free food or drinks you get in restaurants, bars. , or wherever you like. This is non-negotiable.

Someone had to prepare food, someone had to deliver food to your table, and someone had to sing you a stupid song. The least you can do – you really have to do – is tip the amount you would tip if you bought the food yourself. (Twenty percent is a good default.)

This is how it will look in practice:

  • You tell the server that today is your birthday (or your friends solve this problem when you place an order).
  • You are enjoying your usual meal.
  • You are waiting.
  • You get your annoying song and something for free.
  • You eat it.
  • You will receive an invoice.

At this stage, you find yourself in a quandary. How much was your free item worth? You don’t have to be Sherlock to figure out what the initial cost would have been – if you had a dessert as small as someone at your table, but yours was ready, it should be easy to recognize. If you were the only one at the table eating dessert (or whatever), you can either ask for the menu (s) or see the restaurant menu on your phone (hooray).

If you get something completely unique — a small cupcake with “HBIRTH” written in icing when the restaurant doesn’t offer it on the menu — then try to appreciate the value of the dish. Spoiler alert: Never worth $ 0.00. In fact, it should probably be at least $ 5, which means you should invest at least $ 2 or so to tip the beer (if you were feeling particularly generous).

Regardless of which figure you end up with, know that it will be a minimum burden for you to add a few extra dollars to what you are already paying, and that will mean something big to your server if everyone does it in any time. they get free food. It’s a complex effect, and it’s even more obvious when a few people in your company are celebrating something – a birthday, an engagement, a baby, a dog, or whatever – and they all get free food. It is “free” as in “you don’t have to buy the item”, but not “free” as in “you don’t have to tip”.

Do I wish all restaurant employees receive an amazing salary that will make them forget about the need to tip? Certainly. Until that happens, however, you still have to tip if you sit down, take a seat and get food – free or otherwise.


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