clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

State Legislator Leaves Hooters Waitress an Apology Instead of a Tip

New, 43 comments

Sorrys don't pay the bills

Mike Mozart/Flickr

A state representative in Tennessee is being criticized after failing to leave her Hooters waitress a tip. State Rep. Mary Littleton, R-Dickson dined at a local Hooters on Monday and decided not to tip her server; instead, she scribbled "SORRY" on the tip line, as the Nashville Scene reports.

Littleton's waitress, Amanda Anderson, posted a photo of the receipt to Facebook, writing, "State representatives are supposed to exhibit class and integrity... this one acted like a child." (It appears Anderson has since removed her post.)

Littleton was dining along with another state representative, Tilman Goins, who also didn't leave a tip. Littleton issued the following statement about the situation to the Scene, saying she didn't tip because the service wasn't up to par:

It is unfortunate that my private note to the server regarding the quality of service in this instance was made public. Due to the overall experience that evening, I decided not to provide a tip. In hindsight, rather than writing a note on the receipt, I should have asked for the manager so that I could register my concerns with the quality and promptness of service. As the mother of someone who has been a server, I know that servers have difficult and demanding jobs and, as such, it is has always been especially important to me that I make sure to tip generously when I receive good service.

It's true that Tennessee state representatives only make about $20,000 a year in salary, but as the Scene points out, "Littleton gets a daily spending allowance of $204 courtesy of the taxpayers" — and 20 percent of Littleton's tab would've been a measly seven bucks. The base minimum wage for servers in Tennessee is $2.13 an hour; they must make at least an additional $5.12 an hour in tips, or employers have to kick in to ensure they earn a minimum $7.25.

Littleton's not the first person to use her tab's tip line as a message box: Last year customers at a New Jersey restaurant opted to write "LOL" instead of leaving a tip on a $112 bill. Situations such as these only add more fuel to the ongoing tipping debate, with many suggesting that the burden of paying servers shouldn't rest on the customer.

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day