While the revelation that Hillary Clinton failed to leave a tip during her stop at a Chipotle earlier this week fell flat — few customers tip at the fast-casual Mexican restaurant — a deeper look at the former First Lady’s tipping habits shows she does have a history of stiffing people who depend on tips to make ends meet.
From her days as First Lady to her Senate candidacy to her first run for president, Clinton made news for failing to compensate a Florida hair stylist and two waitresses.
Clinton’s tipping habits were put front-and-center on Wednesday when Bloomberg News reported that Clinton and her aide, Huma Abedin, did not leave money in a tip jar after ordering at a Chipotle in Maumee, Ohio. Clinton, who officially announced her presidential candidacy on Sunday, was traveling to Iowa in a van as part of a forced effort to soften her image as an out-of-touch multimillionaire.
Bloomberg’s report was generally met with ridicule on social media, largely because tipping is far less common at Chipotle than it is at traditional restaurants.
But flashback to Feb. 8, 2000, when Clinton, then a candidate for the U.S. Senate, dined at the Village House Restaurant in Albion, N.Y.
Clinton ate two servings of scrambled eggs, home fries, and rye toast, according to a New York Post article at the time. That hearty breakfast all came at no cost to Clinton as the restaurant’s owner, Alex Mitrousis, covered her $6 tab.
But Clinton forgot one thing: a tip for her server, Tricia Trupo, a 31-year-old single mother with no health insurance.
After the non-tip became public, an embarrassed Clinton contacted Trupo to apologize.
“She said she was sorry for not giving me a tip,” the waitress told the Post.
“I wasn’t mad at her, but she should have tipped me because that’s the normal thing to do. I work real hard for my money and I count on the tips to get by,” added Trupo, who earned $2.90 per hour before tips.
“It would have been really appreciated. She said it was just an oversight and that it wasn’t intentional, but she didn’t offer me any money to make up for it,” Trupo continued.
According to Trupo, when Clinton first contacted her, she did not offer to send a tip to make up for the oversight. But after the media raked Clinton over the coals she reportedly sent Trupo a $100 savings bond.
Clinton found herself at the center of another tip flap on the campaign trail in Oct. 2007.
The then-senator and her campaign team dined at Maid-Rite restaurant in Toledo, Iowa on Oct. 8. But one of their waitresses, a single mother of two named Anita Esterday, said that the campaign stiffed her and several of her co-workers.
Clinton’s campaign claimed that a $100 cash tip was left on the table. But Esterday said that neither she nor her coworkers received the generous gratuity.
After NPR covered the story, Esterday said that a Clinton staffer went back to the restaurant and gave her a $20 tip.
In an interview with The Huffington Post at the time, Esterday criticized Clinton for using her in campaign stump speeches to talk about women who earn minimum wage.
“To all the politicians, if you talk to somebody and maybe their life interests you, don’t just go down the road then and use them as part of your speech to get votes,” Esterday said in the interview.
Clinton’s miserly tipping habits were also highlighted in Dec. 1994. Then the First Lady, Clinton and Tipper Gore, the wife of then-Vice President Al Gore, visited Gessner & Camp, a Coral Gables, Fla. salon ahead of the Summit of the Americas which were held in Miami.
The Miami Herald reported at the time that the owners of the salon comped both VIPs’ stylings. While Gore left her stylist, co-owner Detlev Gessner, a $90 tip, Clinton left nothing for hers, Paco Camp.
“I was very surprised,” Camp told the Herald.