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By September 1, 2015March 6th, 2021Culture, Random/Rants

You explicitly requested “No Tomato” when you ordered the restaurant’s specialty cheeseburger. So there’s not much more aggravating than when it arrives with a huge, juicy tomato in the middle.

Adding insult to injury, you call it to your server’s attention and he or she feigns confusion, wondering aloud “How could this happen, the cook must’ve missed my note.”

But wait, you think, isn’t it the server’s responsibility to take the order, give the order, check the order and deliver the correct order.

And yet, by the end of the meal, all is forgiven and you leave a generous 20 percent tip.

Sound frustratingly familiar? It is to me, which is why I’ve decided from now on to enforce the “No Tomato Rule.” Meaning, if the order is wrong, the food is not up to par, the service is bad or I’m simply dissatisfied, then no more obligatory gratuity.

To earn my tip, service providers – including restaurant wait staff, hotel personnel, taxi drivers, car wash attendants, haircutters, et cetera – must accomplish two things: 1) Provide quality service, and 2) to my satisfaction.

My defense for this curmudgeonly stance is this: Bad behavior or service, left unchecked, encourages more of the same.

Please, by all means, reward the best, but don’t enable the rest.

* Feel free to replace “tomato” with onions or cheese or pickles or dressing on the side or whatever you choose.


  • ed says:

    Yeah, but I get your tomato.

  • Tracy Huddleson says:

    This is my beef too — and it is specifically “no tomato.” I’d say three times out of five, I still get the tomato. You are right, I have never withheld gratuity for this. Interesting thought. I’d like to see your part two on the new, European-style practice of “gratuity already included.”

  • Gary says:

    I agree 100%. I am also tired of being billed for items I did not order. I almost feel guilty asking to have such items removed.

  • Dru says:

    I agree completely, yet I am made to feel guilty when I get slightly angry or put out when my order is incorrect. To top that made to feel equally as guilty when I suggest ‘NO’ tip should be left… stating that they are working for minimum wage (or less) and need this tip to survive. No more obligatory tips.. it’s just ‘NOT’ right… However, I will give extra for a server who is exceptional…

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