Man Leaves Restaurant Without Tipping Server – Days Later, They Receive a Surprising Letter
“If you realize you’ve made an error, it’s never too late to make it right.”
*Featured image contains photo by Michael Burrows
Many servers in the food industry rely on tips to make a liveable wage. And even with a decent haul at the end of the shift, it can still be difficult to make ends meet, particularly in our current economic climate.
So, when one customer realized that he inadvertently missed tipping his waitress, rather than just letting it go, he decided to make sure she got her just desserts. And in doing so, Ted just became our new internet hero.
How One Customer Decided to Make It Right
According to a now-viral Facebook post by Side Street Pour House & Grill in Lenoir, North Carolina, a man named Ted accidentally took the wrong copy of his credit card receipt after stopping in for lunch with his wife.
Instead of taking the customer copy, Ted took the merchant copy on which he had written down the tip and signed off on it.
Unfortunately, this meant the restaurant didn’t know about the tip, and their server, Hope, was left empty-handed.
Ted realized his mistake a few days later when he was going over his bank statements. He immediately decided to rectify the error.
Being that Ted doesn’t actually live in Lenoir (he and his wife had just been visiting), he decided to kick it back old school (and this makes us love him even more!) — he sent the restaurant an apology letter with a $20 bill inside for Hope, reimbursement for the tip she never received.
The restaurant was so impressed by Ted’s gesture that it shared the heartwarming letter on social media. Turns out, the good folks at Side Street Pour House and Grill weren’t the only ones moved by Ted’s actions. So were a couple hundred thousand other people.
The post has taken off, garnering over 143,000 likes, hundreds of comments, and nearly 7,000 shares.
The Heartfelt Apology Letter
In the letter, Ted explained that he “inadvertently retained the signed merchant’s copy” of his Visa when he left the restaurant.
“As a result, while the food was fully paid, the tip which I had intended to leave for our server, Hope C, was not relayed back to VISA,” he wrote.
“I can only trust that Hope will forgive my blunder,” he continued. “Please find enclosed her tip in cash. That was no way for either of us to end 2023. Here’s to a fresh start.”
He signed it “with humble apologies to you and to Hope, I remain, sincerely yours, Ted.”
The restaurant responded to Ted’s letter in their Facebook caption, writing,
“Our servers work hard to give our customers excellent dining experiences and earn their tips, but sometimes either accidentally (like this example) or intentionally (which is really not cool) they find themselves left without.”
“That’s why we are loving this letter so much — it’s a beautiful example of how to do the right thing!!”
The pub also added a reminder to “Please tip your servers.”
How One Viral Letter Is Warming the Hearts of Everyone
Reaction to the social media post has been swift. People are praising Ted — “Ted is a good man” — and thanking him for his goodwill gesture.
“Perfect example of an absolute class act. I wish the world was full of this. We’d all be so much better off. Thank you, Ted,” wrote one commenter.
Another wrote, “Ted is winning at life. “
“I hope all of Ted’s 2024 dreams come true,” wrote a third.
Commenter after commenter had something positive to say about Ted (which, if anyone has spent even a second or two in the comment section on any social media post is nothing short of a miracle).
And the reason is simple: Ted not only owned up to his mistake and rectified it, but he did so with grace and a genuine side order of humility.
It could have been so easy for Ted to just let it go and chalk it up to a teachable moment. A reminder to take the right receipt in the future. In fact, it’s probably what most of us would have done if we found ourselves in a similar situation.
Instead, Ted took responsibility for his actions and made amends. And in doing so, proved a valuable lesson to all of us; it’s never too late to make it right.
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