Photo Purportedly Showing Banker's 1% Lunch Bill Tip 'Altered And Exaggerated' [UPDATED]
CORRECTION: On Monday evening, True Food Kitchen in Newport Beach released an official statement based on their investigation (described below in Update I) into the authenticity of the purported receipt showing a 1% tip. The restaurant's statement reveals that their hard receipt copies do not, in fact, match the photo (shown below) that was initially posted on futureexbanker.wordpress.com (since taken down). Scroll down for the complete statement from True Food Kitchen.
A banker reportedly left a 1% tip in defiance of 'the 99%' at a Newport Beach restaurant the other week, according to his dining companion and underling who snapped a photo of the receipt and posted it to his blog, Future Ex Banker. (Update: the blog is now offline.)
In posting the photo, the employee gave some background on his boss and the receipt:
Mention the “99%” in my boss’ presence and feel his wrath. So proudly does he wear his 1% badge of honor that he tips exactly 1% every time he feels the server doesn’t sufficiently bow down to his Holiness. Oh, and he always makes sure to include a “tip” of his own.
The "tip" of his own in this case was to tell the server to "get a real job." Pleasant.
The whistleblower's Future Ex-Banker blog (now offline) included additional background on his boss, and some insight into why he would out his gross behavior, likely resulting in an employment status of current ex-banker:
I work in the corporate office of a major bank for a boss who represents everything wrong with the financial industry: blatant disregard and outright contempt for everyone and everything he deems beneath him. On top of that, he’s a complete and utter tool. At the same time, I’m still cashing paychecks, an admittedly willing—albeit reluctant—cog in the wheel of this increasingly ugly industry, so I’ve created this blog as a confessional of sorts. It won’t entirely clear my conscience, but hopefully it’ll help. I’m sure I’ll get fired eventually. Until then, enjoy.
UPDATE I: In a conversation with the Huffington Post, Mike Wilcox, the vice president of operations for True Food Kitchen, gave some insight into how the company was treating the incident since the receipt began receiving attention online. Wilcox said that the restaurant was "absolutely" treating the receipt as real, but to confirm its authenticity for certain, they were in the process of tracking down both the physical receipt at the restaurant and the computer-generated copy in their credit card system.
"The first thing we're going to do is to make sure the server is taken care of," Wilcox said, "and make sure the server wasn't treated badly or insufficiently tipped." He explained that they would be asking Breanna, the server named on the receipt, if she recalled the table and how her service was. "If her service was up to the level" they assume their employees would deliver, Wilcox said, "they would do everything they can to make it up to her somehow." Referring to online comments posted about the receipt, Wilcox remarked, "people are asking us to ban the person from the restaurant -- if more information came through on who the person is I first would love to talk to him."
UPDATE II: As many have noted, a true 1% tip correctly rounded to the nearest penny would have been $1.34, leaving this tip just shy of that threshold, mathematically speaking.
On Monday evening, True Food Kitchen in Newport Beach released an official statement based on their investigation (described above) into the authenticity of the purported receipt showing a 1% tip. The restaurant's statement reveals that their hard receipt copies do not, in fact, match the photo (shown above) that was initially posted on futureexbanker.wordpress.com (since taken down).
The complete statement from True Food Kitchen:
We’re glad to respond to the news stories about a tipping incident at True Food Kitchen in Newport Beach.
Our first concern upon learning about this situation was our staff. We are very fortunate to have employees that are talented, bright, and undoubtedly, some of the best in the business.
However, we would like to report that there is misinformation circulating about this situation. The dining receipt that was originally posted on the blog, Future Ex Banker, and then republished by various websites, was, in fact, altered and exaggerated. We’d also like to assure people that the receipt was not posted and altered by anyone on behalf of True Food Kitchen. We respect our guests’ privacy and take it very seriously; we would never share personal information.
True Food Kitchen spokesperson Jami Ragan said that the restaurant's copies revealed the actual receipt to be for $33.54, not $133.54, with a tip of $7 (slightly more than 20%). The real receipt was also absent any "GET A REAL JOB" notation.
UPDATE III: The Smoking Gun has the original, non-doctored receipt here.