• Keeping Friends

Our friends don’t even leave a tip

Published: March 21, 2015 | By | 14 Replies Continue Reading
A woman hosts her friends but complains that they don’t even leave a tip.



I have known a couple for 40 years. I am a very generous person and host them at the casino where I have been comped—and give them dinner and a room but they don’t so much as leave a tip.

Signed, Joan


Hi Joan,

It’s hard to guess what the problem may be but if you’ve been friends with this couple for 40 years, I imagine you still want to remain friends.

If your friends literally don’t leave a tip, that has to be embarrassing (since they are your guests) and it’s unfair to the service personnel they’ve stiffed. In this case, you may need to remind them it’s appropriate to leave a tip even though they haven’t paid for their room or dinner. Situations like this happen more often than you might imagine. For example, sometimes people don’t realize they should leave a full tip for wait staff when they’re using a coupon or enjoying a two for one special during restaurant week.

If your comment about your friends not even leaving a tip is metaphorical, meaning they are tight-fisted and show no appreciation for your generosity, it may be that they think they aren’t obligated to you because you’re getting it free anyway. Even though you aren’t paying, it would be gracious for them to repay you in some way, at least with a sincere thank you.

Do your friends simply have bad manners? Are they moochers? You know your friends and their character pretty well by now. If you feel as if they always take advantage of your generosity, you may want to pull back and take someone else next time you go. On the other hand, this may just be one character trait you don’t like that is outweighed by many more positives.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

Previously on The Friendship Blog:

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Comments (14)

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  1. Maddie says:

    I cannot abide cheapness and disrespect to service staff. I myself would politely say that I’m happy to provide the room and dinner but that the couple is expected to leave a customary tip.

  2. Carol says:

    Many years ago I went on a cruise with many wonderful friends who have all died now. I have such wonderful memories of all of them. One of the things I learned is that those who are service people are from many different countries. The only source of income they get is from what the travelers give to them in tips. They often provide for their families who live in various countries around the world. The young man that waited on the 12 of us was so wonderful and gave us all his undivied attention with a great smile and excellent service. If this is still how many people make a living, and if they provide good service, then they need to be rewarded with tips, the only way we can thank them apropriately.


  3. Lauren says:

    My husband and I went on a transatlantic cruise, and when we were disembarking, one passenger whom we did know know, turned around and said to us that he didn’t tip anyone one the cruise ship. He was very proud of that fact. My husband told him that we had tipped all very generously at the end of the cruise and also half way through the cruise. This unknown traveller told us that we were “stupid”. What can you say to someone like that? We just reacted in silence.

    • LaTrice says:

      What the traveler said to the two of you was extremely disrespectful-not to mention rude. That comment wasn’t necessary. When the wait staff provides excellent service at the call of duty, they deserve a decent tip.

      I believe in good Karma. When someone takes good care of you, take good care of them.

    • Maddie says:

      That’s terrible Lauren! He was proud of mistreating people.

  4. Laura says:

    If you’re all eating together, they probably figure you’re taking care of everything. A cheap attitude for being treated. Most people would offer to leave the tip for the whole party when being treated. The other possibility is they don’t think you need to leave a tip if it’s complimentary. A lot of people don’t understand that service people live off tips and you should always leave the full price tip regardless of what you pay (or don’t pay) for the food.

    I tend to be straightforward and would speak with them directly about this. Let them know that you’re comping them, but that you expect they to tip. If they are not versed in etiquette, let them know that a standard tip is at least 20% of the regular prices with tax.

  5. Carol says:

    If this situation is going to keep you upset with your friends and changes the quality of your friendship, then what do you have to lose in having an honest talk with them about it. Maybe they just assume they don’t have to spend any money when they are being “treated.” What are you afraid of by telling them your expectation that they take care of the tip? I don’t like to remain friends with someone I feel resentment about as it changes the quality of the friendship. Seems like you are being very generous with these particular friends, why? Do you take care of all your friends in this way? What’s the payoff for you? Have a sit-down with yourself and find out. Good luck. Carol

    • Marilyn says:

      As the host or hostess, you invited your guests. Unless discussed in advance, who would think as a guest, that there would be some dividing of the bill, as many times the bill goes to the host or hostess, including, the gratuities. I would never invite a guest and insult them for not pulling out the calculator. If funds were an issue, it would have been nice to say “I’ll take care of the room’s can you get the care ?” how else would one know there were conditions on your invitation.

  6. Dionne says:

    Being given comped dinners and rooms is something a lot of us don’t have much experience with, so I’d find it completely believable that they just mistakenly think the tips are included with the freebie. Especially if you’re giving them these things knowing they probably don’t even have the money to be able to afford the tips, that might be another reason they assume tips are included.

    Do they show poor manners otherwise, and if so, do you think it’s because they’re just selfish people or because they don’t know any better? Regardless, I guess your three options are: (1) Stop giving them comped dinners and rooms. (2) Pay the tips yourself. (3) Stay out of it. Or (4) Explain to them that while you’d love to comp their dinner and room, they need to leave the (whatever percent) tip, and perhaps that it looks bad on you if they don’t. And none of the choices look very pleasant so good luck with it!

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