Waiter Didn't Charge for Coffee

I was having lunch in a neighborhood restaurant a week or two ago, and I noticed that the waiter hadn’t charged me for my coffee drink. I pointed it out to him, but it was noisy in there, and I couldn’t hear what he said. He didn’t change the bill - just left it like it was.

Today I had lunch there again, and the same waiter waited on me. Again, there was no charge on my bill for my coffee. I was not in a confrontational mood, so I just paid him and left.

Since I am a regular customer, they might be doing this on purpose, but maybe the waiter is just being lazy.

What are your thoughts on this, morally speaking?

I would consider myself duty-bound to say something about it again the second time, not remain silent.

If it happens again, I would suggest you inform the waiter of this fact again. If it still continues, I would just let the manager know that you are consistently NOT being charged for coffee, and you are tired of bringing it up to the waiter. And at that point, I wouldn’t bother letting them know anymore.

Are you sure there isn’t some offer where coffee is included with your meal?

Keep mentioning it to the waiter until he/she tells you why they are not billing you.

Also, it’s important to remember that at some diners and neighborhood restaurants waiters and/or bar tenders are sometimes granted some leeway regarding offering some select items on the house (at their judgment) to maintain customer loyalty.

If it’s a mistake then no fault no foul. If it’s intentional and you didn’t do it, it’s not your problem or sin. Next time …if it still bothers you when you see said waiter again, quietly ask him about it and ask that all future checks are accurate.

Meanwhile…I suggest that you speak to your priest about these scruples.

Call the restaurant manager and ask if there is charge for coffee. You may be getting some kind of special; if the waiter does not bill you for the coffee, then there is not much you can do about it. Over paying, to cover the cost, will only be considered a tip!

A lot of breakfast places include coffee with a meal. If you brought it up to the waiter and he didn’t change it, your “morality” is covered.

I am a regular at a local restaurant and every once in awhile the waiter or waitress will
tell me the coffee is on them today. When that happens I will normally leave a larger tip.
It is a family owned restaurant and I think the owner gives them leeway to do that.

There are also instances where the waiter believes service was slow or not at 100%, so the waiter will pay for a drink (drinks) or even dessert out of the goodness of their hearts OR as a calculated gamble in hopes that it will increase the tip % enough where they actually make more in tips.

For example, let’s say you would have tipped 15% on a bill of $10 because of the service level, so a $1.50 tip, totaling $11.50. The waiter pays for your $2 coffee, lowering your bill to $8. You are touched by the gester so you decide to still pay the $10 and increase your tip to 20%. Paying $12. Buy paying for your $2 cup of coffee, the waiter has increased his/her tip by $0.50 in this example. NOTE: this is all before sales tax, so the waiter is actually saving you money because your taxable portion is lower.

Bartenders sometimes do this too. Again, they are either doing it as a heart felt thank you, or they are hoping you know the “code” and will still pay for the drink by increasing your tip.

I think your putting too much thought into this. Happens to us often at our normal post church breakfast dining spot. Consider it a gift
ice thing the waiter has done and give them a bigger tip. :slight_smile:

Why would you even think there was some moral issue here? Perhaps you need to consider you may be being a bit to scrupulous.

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Leave a bigger tip. :compcoff:

(Here in the south, freebies are a regular thing)

I agree. :thumbsup:

Very possible the waiter knows you’re a regular and has permission to comp things like coffee to regulars in order to maintain customer loyalty. Or coffee is included with your meal. Or he’s flirting with you. Could be a lot of things. But if you asked and he said don’t worry about it, you’re in the clear, morally speaking.

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