restaurant stupid question tax

Restaurant Charges Customers Extra For Asking A “Stupid Question”

If you’ve ever worked in literally any industry that deals with customers, you’ve undoubtedly handled too many people who wound up asking questions that you never knew humans could possibly be stupid enough to ask. And, because the customer is always right, you probably had to smile and nod and answer as if them wanting to know whether the chicken fajitas are vegan is a totally legitimate question.

One restaurant in Colorado is combatting the idiotic in the best way—by charging them for asking stupid questions.

A receipt from Tom’s Diner in Denver went viral after Reddit user @humblemangoes posted a pic to the r/me_irl subreddit. The bill shows an order of “chick tenders basket,” “side mashed potatotes,” plus a charge for one “stupid question” at a whopping $0.38.

me_irl from me_irl

While it’s unclear what the stupid question was in this particular scenario, it’s not remotely the first time Tom’s has charged someone for asking something ridiculous.

In fact, the charge is so common, it’s listed on the menu, right between cottage cheese and mashed potatoes, just so customers can maybe think twice before opening their mouths and wasting everybody’s time.

Tom's Diner, North Capitol Hill Menu

While the receipt caught the attention of the internet only last month, the charge has reportedly been on the menu for around 20 years, according to current manager Hunter Landry, Tom’s nephew.

“It was 48 cents at one point, but we didn’t want to gauge people,” he told Today.

He added that “the majority of people really get where we’re coming from and understand it’s meant to be playful. Over the years, maybe a few people have been perturbed but the response is generally positive.”

It’s not the only non-food item on the menu, either.

Tom’s also suggests trying out “skip your next meal” and “walk home” under the “Healthy Options” portion of their menu.

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But the charge for stupid questions remains one of their most popular items. One user on Reddit even chimed in that they used to work at Tom’s, and “tickets for the stupid questions go through to the kitchen as well.”

For now, this Denver establishment is the only place we know of that tacks on a charge for wasting its workers’ time, but if more places jumped on board, the service industry would probably quickly become a much more bearable place to work. Or the owners would just start getting a whole lot of extra income.