Is this story of bigoted, no tipping restaurant patrons a hoax?

There are conflicting stories. The family has come forward to say that they did NOT stiff the waitress and have a receipt to prove it.

Family Says They Did Tip Gay Server, Didn’t Leave Note | NBC 10 Philadelphia.

Dayna Morales, a former Marine and a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, posted a photo on Facebook earlier this month, showing the bill with a line through the space for a tip. The photo of the receipt showed someone had written, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.”

Morales indicated in her Facebook post, and in subsequent media interviews — including with NBC 4 New York — that the customer wrote that line.

The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York a receipt that appeared to be printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total, except with an $18 tip.

They also provided a document they said was a Visa bill, which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55.

Morales told NBC 4 New York on Monday that she was certain she did not receive a tip, and insisted the handwriting on the receipt was not hers. When asked if there had been some sort of misunderstanding, she said, “I don’t know, all I know is what I’ve been saying.”

A manager and the restaurant owner insisted they had the original ticket for the $93.55 charge, but would not produce the receipt for NBC 4 New York and could not explain why the family’s credit card was charged for more.

SOMEBODY lied. Why would they come forward unless they were telling the truth and were angry about the deception – they were anonymous. Since the couple can produce the credit card charge, it seems like someone in the restaurant pulled a fast one.

It’s already up on the Museum of Hoaxes site that notes how remarkably similar it is to this event from September when a waitress said she was stiffed because she was black. But that is also a likely hoax.

Morales' copy of the receipt showing no tip. Screenshot from NBC Philadelphia

Morales’ supposed copy of the receipt showing no tip. Screenshot from NBC Philadelphia

The same receipt with a $18 tip. Screenshot from NBC Philadelphia

The alleged same receipt with a $18 tip. Screenshot from NBC Philadelphia

Both servers received gifts from strangers who felt sympathy for them. Is this a way to make easy cash or just a sick joke by someone?

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  14 comments for “Is this story of bigoted, no tipping restaurant patrons a hoax?

  1. November 26, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Watching the news intreview her She looked guilty as hell.. The family has 0 to gain. my money is she faked it for internet attention and it got out of her hands.

  2. November 26, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Typical of many conspiracy stories, cause flag wavers, etc.Yeah this sort of thing may have happened, & possibly will again, but obvious in this case with the card receipt it’s just someone trying to push a cause.Has merit on it’s own, & like many causes, suffers from the frauds & lies. Still getting spell checked in French, but thankfully sorted the sod trying to translate English to French. Good nite all.

  3. Chris Howard
    November 26, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    There is a bias at my restaurant, whereby the FOH people insist that Christians do not tip, or do not tip well.

    I don’t know if it’s true, or not?

    We do throw our leaflets, from time to time, with “moral” Bible passages on them that customers have left for us.

    Customers do leave snarky comments on their receipts, though. But I’ve never heard of anyone doing what has been suggested.

    All anecdotal, so grain of salt.

    • Blargh
      November 26, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      “There is a bias at my restaurant, whereby the FOH people insist that Christians do not tip, or do not tip well.

      I don’t know if it’s true, or not?”

      FOH?

      But there was an Epiphenom post on this a while ago: http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/2013/04/are-christians-bad-tippers.html

      “What they found was that, regardless of whether the service was good or bad, Christians really did report leaving lower tips that [sic] the non-religious (and Jews).”

      • Chris Howard
        November 26, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        Sorry. Front Of [the] House.

  4. Kristen
    November 26, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    I just want to say my favorite bit about this article is seeing that the Museum of Hoaxes is still out there! I got out of the habit of reading it when he went on hiatus years ago, and I’m delighted to see he is still up and running. Just another place for me to burn up my online time :)

  5. Amanda
    November 26, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    What doesn’t make sense that they failed to mention is that the bill left on the table for the server had a blank spot under tip, also next to the “total” there is a completely different amount. The one from the server is a picture of the receipt, however- the ones shown from the patrons are photo copies. There is a chance both/either could have been doctored somehow, but it is easier to change a photo copy than an original. Even if they did not write all of that stuff on the bill, there is still no amount in the tip line and the amount of the bill total is written on there. Now, I suppose the restaurant/ server could have somehow printed a duplicate bill and done away with the ACTUAL one that the patrons left, that is a possibility I suppose as well.

  6. Ryuthrowsstuff
    November 27, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    As some one in the service industry I’d like to point out that the photos of receipts being attached to these stories offer little in the way of proof. You might have noticed that most credit card machines produce 2 copies of the “credit slip”. This isn’t a receipt in the usual sense, its a signature form. The tip and total amounts are filled out by hand BY THE CUSTOMER, a “merchant copy” is submitted to the restaurant to establish their authorization to charge the credit card both the amount of the bill and the listed tip. The second “customer copy” is provided so the customer can fill out the same tip and total information and keep if for their records. The printed receipts are usually labeled “customer” and “merchant” respectively, but in practice it does not matter which the restaurant keeps so long as they have a signed copy listing a total amount to be charged. Without a copy of the form with a signature the establishment can not charge the card (technically/legally) and if the form they posses does not list a tip they can not (technically/legally) submit a credit authorization that contains a tip adjustment.

    So there’s a bit of a problem with this newly released image of a credit slip from the accused family. Because it was in their possession, not the restaurant’s it can have no bearing on what actions the restaurant takes and what tip the server receives. More over because these forms are filled out BY THE CUSTOMER, they aren’t formal fast records. Being an essentially blank form in the possession of the accused the slip might have been filled out at any time. And finally: based on the image of the slip published by the server, and the restaurants unwillingness to comment, the restaurant is presumably only in possession of a credit slip with a blank tip line. This means that regardless of what the family intended the restaurant can not, legally, submit a credit authorization for a total other than the base total of the bill. If the establishment has a blank slip with a signature the server can’t and won’t be tipped.

    Now the news org reporting this claims to have seen a credit card balance statement (or something similar, they’re vague) confirming the $111.55 charge through the credit company. But honestly without a statement from the restaurant, the credit card company, or the family taking the (stupid) step of publishing the actual record/statement in a confirm-able fashion its pretty difficult to establish if this is actually true. Its also possible, and not unheard of, for a stiffed waiter to run a credit authorization for a tip they don’t have the records for. Its scum baggy, frowned upon, and technically illegal but it happens.

    Given the actual firm information available I’m going to conclude that the $18 tip was fabricated by the accused after the fact. It doesn’t wash for me that their proof is a form they themselves filled out and have possessed since the incident, rather than something firmer in the records of the restaurant or credit company. IF the $111.55 through the credit company did in fact take place and can be confirmed, its entirely possible the charge was submitted fraudulently by the server (no records) and the family is using that after the fact to dodge the issue. Honestly I’d like to see what the restaurant has in its files, if they’ve got a signed form with a tip and a $111.55 total fine. Otherwise the server wasn’t tipped whatever their intention.

    Its just as possible that the bigoted note was written by the server at the time. When this first cropped up I didn’t think the hand writing on the note matched up well to the numbers (though oddly it seems to better match the new slip). The whole thing is sketchy/odd from front to back. But this new rejoinder seems sketchier still. So I’ll still come down loosely with the original claim. However, whatever happens in this case this sort of thing happens all the time. Friends of mine have received those “I can’t tip because Obamacare will make me less rich” cards. I received chick tracks in lieu of tips. I had a guy who more than one showed up, picked a seat next to the only black guy in the room, ran up a huge tab, then stood up on the bar and shouted “I can’t believe you sat me next to a nigger!” in an attempt to scam a free meal. I even have a current set of regulars who complain about everything, swear at everyone, and say horribly racist shit about our Chinese American chef. But they always leave exactly $20 on sub $100 checks and give everyone a warm goodbye. They show up every week, twice a week, at the exact same time. However layered in bullshit this incident is, it happens. A lot. And far, far stranger and more insulting things are common place in the food bev industry.

    • Chris Howard
      November 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      So true.

      It’s why I’m a chef.

      People change as soon as they walk through the door.

      My mantra half the time is “Must not kill with butter knife!” ;-)

  7. November 27, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Excellent analysis by RYU, though it’s rather dense in some legalities. Despite the fact that there’s no “camel in the race” for anyone other than simply wanting to know, I’d love to see if there’s a definitive outcome.

    As RYU points out — and which seems to be missed by the news organization — a customer’s copy of the receipt really doesn’t prove anything. And how many customers really fill in their copy of a receipt? (Maybe the same folks who balance their checkbooks each month).

    The problem here is that there are truly conflicting stories on both sides. I tend to trust the restaurant receipt more than the customer receipt. But I also trust the credit card statement (which was shown in the video) more than the restaurant receipt itself. It does seem possible that the server or server’s colleague could have filled in a higher amount themselves, and even signed it, thus creating a higher amount on the statement. And if the customers noticed the higher, unauthorized amount, they might have been just miffed enough to press the issue (even knowing, if that’s the case) that they were the original villains for not tipping and making an awful remark.

  8. November 27, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    This waitress appears to have a bad reputation when it comes to telling the truth:

    “A North Rockland High School alumna accused of making up a story about being denied a tip at a New Jersey restaurant due to her sexual orientation has a reputation for lying, former colleagues and friends said.”

    http://www.lohud.com/proart/20131126/news/311260034/waitress-tip-tale-former-stony-point-resident-lies-about-everything-former-co-workers-friends-say?pagerestricted=1

  9. November 27, 2013 at 8:43 PM
  10. spookyparadigm
    November 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”

    I think this quote applies more broadly to any sort of ideology where one can get emotionally invested (pretty much all of them). We see a pattern time and again of hucksters, would-be’s and has-been’s, and at times outright sociopaths, able to substitute themselves in personally as the avatars of whatever ideology people already have invested in.

  11. LREKing
    December 2, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Late to the party, I know, but what is the significance of the $93.55 amount at the bottom of the receipt, next to the time and date? If that was the amount actually charged against the account, then there was no $18 tip paid, and the customer cannot have a billing statement to that effect.

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