Restaurant To Sue Customer After He Leaves $3,000 Tip On $13 Meal

A restaurant in America wants to sue a customer for a $3,000 tip a waitress received.
Credit: WNEP

A restaurant in America wants to sue a customer for a $3,000 tip a waitress received.

Tipping culture is a big part of how employers earn their income in the States.

Despite it not being mandatory to tip, it is widely expected that customers do voluntarily give someone some cash for their service, reports Travel Insider.

Usually, diners are expected to tip between 15 and 20 per cent of the total cost – however, there is no fixed rate that a customer is expected to pay.

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Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe in Scranton, Pennsylvania, is a familiar name to any fans of The Office (US) as the folks at Dunder Mifflin name-drop it countless times.

While viewers not from Scranton may have thought it was a made-up restaurant just for the show, it actually does exist and has become very famous due to the critically acclaimed comedy.

However, Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe – not to be confused with Pizza By Alfredo – is in the headlines for different reasons, as the eatery wants to sue one customer for leaving a generous tip.

Mariana Lambert, a waitress at the eatery, was ecstatic when a man identified as Eric Smith left her a $3,000 tip.

She said, via NewsFul: “It really meant a lot to me because everyone’s going through stuff.

“It really touched my heart. I still can’t believe it. I’m still in shock.”

The customer had ordered a stromboli which cost only $13.25.

Mariana Lambert
Mariana Lambert was left a huge $3,000 tip. Credit: WNEP

The diner paid for the meal on his credit card and added an eye-watering $3,000 tip – before writing: “Tips For Jesus.”

But a few weeks later things took a turn for the worse.

Smith reportedly claimed that the gesture was simply part of a social media movement called Tips for Jesus and he disputed the tip with his credit card company.

They reached out to Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe and informed them about the dispute – claiming that the tip was a misunderstanding and that he would like the money back.

In response, the restaurant informed him that the tip had already been handed over to Lambert.

The manager at Alfredo’s, Zachary Jacobson, told WNEP, via NewsFul: “We thought somebody was actually trying to do a good thing. And then now we are, what, three months later? Not even, and there’s nothing. There’s nothing to show for it at this point.”

The restaurant and Smith did manage to speak to one another and try and resolve the issue, but according to Jacobson, the customer stopped responding to messages.

Due to this, they decided to sue him and take him to court.

Tips for Jesus receipt.
The generous tipper claimed that the gesture was part of a social media movement called Tips for Jesus. Credit: WNEP

The manager continued: “Unfortunately, we had to file charges through the magistrate’s office because now we’re just out of this money at this point.

“And he told us to sue him. so that’s what we’re going to end up doing, I guess.

“I hope that he owns up to his actions and comes forth and does pay this because you shouldn’t have done this if this was the end result.”

He added that what should have been a happy moment for a hard-working employee has now been tarnished.

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Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe was first mentioned in The Office during the season four episode ‘Launch Party’.

In one scene, everyone questions Michael Scott after he confuses the office’s favourite pizza place, Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe, with a terrible pizza place called Pizza by Alfredo.

While Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe is a real place, Pizza by Alfredo is not and was made up just for the show.

At the time of writing, there does not appear to have been any update on this story.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.