Bar left with bad reviews after bartender’s £11,500 tip is split between staff

If you’ve ever worked in hospitality, you’ll know that for all the hard work you put in, the pay isn’t all that great. So, many bar staff, waiters and waitresses often find themselves relying on tips from customers to bulk up their pay packet.

How much customers should be expected to tip is a divisive subject, however, one diner decided to go above and beyond when they tipped a bartender an eyewatering £11,500 ($16,000) during a recent meal out, which had cost him just £27 ($38).

The generous diner had been eating at Stumble Inn Bar & Grill in Londonderry, New Hampshire, in the United States earlier this month, when he left staff stunned as he paid for his final bill.

“A gentlemen came in at the bar and ordered a beer and a couple of chili cheese dogs, and then he ordered pickle chips and a Patron (tequila) drink,” owner Michael Zarella told TODAY Food.

“At around 3:30, he asked the bartender for the cheque. She gave it to him and walked away, and then he said to her, ‘Don’t spend it all in one place.'”

The bartender, Michelle McCudden, initially refused the tip, but the diner insisted, and has since been back in the restaurant to eat several more times.

Michael later revealed that the tip would be split between the eight bartenders working that evening, as well as the kitchen staff – a move which most people would deem fair. However, several disgruntled members of the public disagreed with this decision and started leaving negative reviews on the establishment’s site.

“I think you should give the waiter or waitress THE FULL AMOUNT, her or she did what they needed to for that tip, I don’t believe it would be right to split the tip among twelve when only one person waited for that table,” one person wrote.

Another added: “I just want to know if she was forced to split that tip. $16,000 is a lot of money and I don’t see anyone who would split it twelve ways if they don’t have to. ESPECIALLY since servers are paid less than $7.50 an hour.”

It certainly is a generous move, especially after everything the industry has been through since the beginning of the pandemic – but how gutted would you be if you weren’t on shift that day?

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