You may learn a lot about yourself here. Answer the questions at the end honestly. There is no right or wrong answer.

Celeste Bouchard, 27, and Trent Schmidt, 23, are both servers. Last Thursday they received a $1,000 bartender tip, which they decided to donate in full to Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital.

In their own words they wanted to “Pay it Forward”

“This man chose to do this and he was choosing to be so generous and I think it is important to pay it forward,”

“I think it is important to make the world better and be nice.” source


Here at Be A Better Bartender we believe in good karma,  we can’t see the bad in this, if you are in a position to help then help. This is not the way the internet responded. In it’s own unique fashion, it reacted badly.

Most accused the pair, and the bar, of exploiting the situation for their own gains. Citing attention seeking bartenders and good PR for the bar as the main triggers for the donation. Others have slammed the pair for taking the tip in the first place saying that the pair must of been taking advantage of a intoxicated patron.


Bouchard takes umbrage with both comments. “We didn’t want this at all,” she said, noting it was her general manager who made the donation publicly known.

“I started crying because I was so offended,” she said, of the first comment; and, “He knew what he was doing,” she added of the second. “That’s not fair to him to say that—so that hurts my heart.

“That is kind of just my sadness, that people took it the wrong way,” she said.

But Bouchard said the harsh words have not made her regret donating the money.

“You read about other people being awesome and you’re like, ‘Wait I can do that too.’ Because we have all the power in the world to be good.” Source


For us here a simple internet troll as brought our attention to some of the less talked about aspects of bartending. The almost taboo subject matter related to tips.

There are no standard rulings in place for tips and the sharing of tips. There is no right or wrong thing to do with them and, perhaps most importantly, how sober does a customer have to be to give a tip that can be accepted?

In most parts it’s the morale judgements of the bartender that are at play. Or at fault it seems in some cases.


So what does TIP’s mean at it’s very basic level

Quite literally it means To Insure Prompt Service. Nothing more nothing less, or at least that was how it was intended. It seems that even when the first instances of tipping or gratuity were happening, there was still an aspect of public backlash. Back then it was backlash towards the physical act of giving a gratuity, but it also touched upon the bartenders role in the proceedings. See below.

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After the Civil War, wealthy Americans began traveling to Europe in significant numbers, and they brought the tip home with them to demonstrate their worldliness. But the United States, unlike Europe, had no aristocratic tradition, and as tipping spread ” like “evil insects and weeds,” The New York Times claimed in 1897 ” many thought it was antithetical to American democratic ideals. “Tipping, and the aristocratic idea it exemplifies, is what we left Europe to escape,” William Scott wrote in his 1916 anti-tipping screed, “The Itching Palm.” One periodical of the same era deplored tipping for creating a class of workers who relied on “fawning for favors.”Opposition to tipping was not limited to the media. In 1904, the Anti-Tipping Society of America sprang up in Georgia, and its 100,000 members signed pledges not to tip anyone for a year. Leagues of traveling salesmen opposed the tip, as did most labor unions. In 1909, Washington became the first of six states to pass an anti-tipping law. But tipping persisted. The new laws rarely were enforced, and when they were, they did not hold up in court. By 1926, every anti-tipping law had been repealed.

Ultimately, even those who in principle opposed the practice found themselves unable to stiff their servers. Samuel Gompers, who was president of the American Federation of Labor and a leading figure of the anti-tipping movement, admitted that he “followed the usual custom of giving tips.” URL:Source

Well, tipping did survive. But, so did the public discontent attached to it.

The problem of drunk customers handing over money

Now we know that it is a strict rule that you cannot serve intoxicated people. This doesn’t stop people becoming merry enough to tip more. We have all had the “keep the change” guy, he doesn’t know if it is a $50 or a $10.

The morale bartenders makes sure it is for them.

The immoral bartenders take it.

Imagine if a customer leaves their phone or their wallet/purse on the table as they leave. They are sober enough to walk out laughing and joking.

Do you chase? or so you wait for them to come back once they have realised?

Which one are you?


Do you live by the rule that whatever is around at the end of the night still is finders keepers?

or do you start a Facebook viral post trying the track down the owners?



1. Would you have taken the $1000 tip? If so, what would you have done with it?

2. Which type of bartender are you? the kind that chases or the kind that waits?


NB: anyone who neither chases nor waits and so takes, is a thief in our eyes