Man Pays $72 For Taco Bell Taco

A man who either loves Taco Bell or hates his GI tract paid $72 for a taco at an Ohio Taco Bell on Monday. When the employee tried to give him his change, he refused and said that it was a Christmas gift, according to the local Fox news station: “He said, ‘I don’t need it so I want to pass it along.’ …the man then said ‘Merry Christmas’ and walked away.” Presumably to a toilet. <--That wasn't very Christmas-y and I retract it.

“Man Pays $72 for Taco” [] (Thanks to Dawn!)


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  1. echovictorecho says:

    I’m kind of a food snob and you know what? There’s still something masochistically delicious about Taco Bell.

    When I read the headline I was envisioning some Godlike monster-taco and trying to figure out how many extras, toppings, etc. would add up to a $72 taco. Now I’m going to have to construct one and submit it to thisiswhyyourefat. Thanks, Consumerist.

    • diasdiem says:

      There’s lots of food like that. Like Jack N’ The Box tacos. They really only qualify as a taco in that they involve stuff crammed into a taco shell. A bit disgusting, and yet, sometimes, they’re just exactly what you’re hungry for.

      • Wombatish says:

        They’re such a trap though. The sign shows a real (3D) taco and you get there and they hand you that flat…. thing. It’s like “Well screw you too, I’m going to hand you something that looks kinda like a dollar”.

        Then again, they are just a dollar. But ugh! That sign pisses me off. It’s well beyond the “food always is posed to look better in pictures” thing.

      • Lucky225 says:

        x2, by definition Jack In the box “Tacos” are not Tacos.. they contain soy, not meat.

    • tbax929 says:

      I live in Tucson, which has some of the best Mexican food in America. And I still crave Taco Bell from time to time. When you want Taco Bell, nothing else will do.

      • echovictorecho says:

        I lived in Mexico for six months and had some utterly brilliant Mexican food – and you’re still right.

    • MrEvil says:

      At least Taco Bell is a guilty pleasure that doesn’t make you crap blood….. unlike a certain OTHER Mexican grill.

      Seriously though, I’ve had worse than Taco Bell, and I find myself innately drawn to the Cheesy Gordita Crunch every time Taco Bell brings them back.

      However, Taco Bueno is by far the best IMO when it comes to a taco. Their meat isn’t swimming in grease.

  2. phospholipid says:

    it’s the colorful commentary of this article that keeps the consumerist such an unbiased newsblog.

  3. cash_da_pibble says:

    wouldn’t it have just done a bit more good if he had donated the money?
    Animal Shelters are hurting right now, and $72 buys a lot of ol’ roy.

    • echovictorecho says:

      He did. Minimum wage is still $7.25 in NJ.

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        Oh, but chances are the employee won’t necessarily get to keep that money.
        It may need to be split with all the shift workers, or perhaps the manager will hold it “just in case they come back”.
        I just think that the gentleman giving the $72 should have thought it out a little bit.

        • Hoss says:

          Generous people spread the money around. He can give to the dawgs too He may have one himself

        • NarcolepticGirl says:

          im sure the people working at taco bell aren’t making a lot of money. even if they are told to split it, it probably still helps each person out.
          last month, i would’ve appreciated if someone gave me $5.00.

        • dantsea says:

          Perhaps he could donate it to the Campaign To Eliminate Internet Sanctimony.

    • dohtem says:

      How dare you tell someone how to spend their own money.

    • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

      I get where you’re coming from, but there are a lot of people hurting, and a million ways you could do this:

      – Starving people are hurting right now, and $72 buys a lot of food.
      – Less fortunate children are hurting right now, and $72 buys a lot of Christmas toys.
      – Our soldiers are hurting right now, and $72 buys a lot of phone cards to call home.

      Bottom line, if someone wants to do something nice, don’t tell them they didn’t do it right. If you want to donate to an animal shelter/food pantry/toys for tots, then do it.

      If you want to encourage them to donate to something you care about, fine, but don’t diminish their act of kindness because it’s not the way you would have done it.

    • Dafrety says:

      Would you rather he kept the money to himself or burned it? There wouldn’t be a discussion if the man hadn’t given the worker the extra money. Besides, we have no idea if he actually did donate any to charity or not.

    • Admiral Byrd says:

      Yeah, screw humanity, we really should be thinking of the animals first.

  4. Digitizer says:

    Why can’t people just accept that there are actual nice folks left in the world? A man leaves a surprising 72 dollar tip, and that is cause for calling the police? No, I don’t think he was drunk, just generous…

    • Moosenogger says:

      Was the cashier even allowed to accept the tip? Was it meant just for that single cashier? Did they have to split it between all the other employees?

      I know for a fact that in my store, employees can’t accept tips of any kind. If someone left $72 as a “tip”, it would have to go to the wildlife fund we have on the counter. Still a great place to put it, since it helps wildlife, though that still sucks that we employees can’t have some of it. :(

      • Awjvail says:

        I don’t think (although I’ve never been told so) that we’re allowed to accept tips either at my job.

        I work at a grocery store salad bar so people don’t usually give tips but I’ve had people try to give me money before for great service (usually around the holidays, last time around Canadian Thanksgiving), and I say “no I can’t accept that” and they end up stuffing it in the pocket of my apron and walking away.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        true. at disney, except in traditionally tipped positions [server, bellman, etc] you can’t accept a tip, gift or gratuity unless the person offers three times, you decline it the first two, it’s less than $75 value and you had better have witnesses to saying no twice.
        even then, it’s a bad idea because coworker witnesses are notoriously unreliable if they don’t like you and it’s grounds for termination.
        if it’s more than $75 the company takes the gratuity and donates it to give kids the world.

    • ShadowFalls says:

      Because that is actually something someone would do trying to pass off a counterfeit bill. You surprise them with your generosity, and get away before they do too much looking. It is kind of sad, but it is the way of the world that people can’t really be that trusted.

  5. Hoss says:

    Geez, that news reporter wasn’t very charitable, was she? Sure some kid might think that you need to be drunk to give such a huge tip, but it is the holiday season. Calling the police was a bit over the top. But interviewing the police? And making a story over $72? (Ok, i once gave a street performer $80 because he played a great song around midnight when I was with a date. No one called the police.)

  6. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    I do loves me some Taco Bell. And i’m perfectly well educated that it isn’t actually Mexican food – which I also loves me some of. TB is tasty.

  7. Colonel Jack O'neill says:

    Why the hell call the police.
    If that was me, I would have pocketed that and wouldn’t have told anyone about it.

  8. Myotheralt says:

    I was thinking that it was someone with IBS eating Taco Bell, then having to go to a doctor. Or a bank-error-not-in-your-favor.

  9. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    when i worked there, in 1994-5, we were really bored one day and did the math on what it would cost to get one of everything on the menu, sides, extras, everything the register had a charge for…. total was still [15 years ago] only about $82.

  10. subtlefrog says:

    When I worked at the coffee shop, big tips this time of year from regular customers were common. Some actually brought us gifts. This time of year, I worked as many shifts as I could get, though, the regulars threw in $20’s routinely, and some would toss in $50 or more when the mood struck.

    …but we had a tipjar. I hope the TB employees were actually allowed to keep it – some places have actual regulations against tips.

    • Chris Walters says:

      How do tipjars at Starbucks work? Anyone? The one two blocks from my apartment is my go to destination when I need to work away from home. Since I pay with a Starbucks Card in order to ensure free Wifi, I never pay with cash, and never tip. But I’d hate to offer a generous “Christmas tip” and only have it go to those on shift right then.

      • H3ion says:

        I got into an argument over tipping at a restaurant. The waiter was just great, his recommendations were perfect and we had a nice chat. He was a young man who hoped to become a chef. So I left him a very nice tip. As we were leaving, I saw him go and hand the tip to the maitre d’ and I walked over and asked what was going on. Apparently the restaurant policy was that all tips went to the maitre d’ who took his cut and divvied up the balance at the end of the week. I was ticked (as only a 27 year old American can be), pulled out a 20 pound note and handed it to the waiter and made sure the maitre d’ understood that this was for the waiter, not to be divided. I don’t know what happened after we left but I felt good for around five minutes.

        • MrEvil says:

          I know in the US restaurants always take servers’ tips as a means of reporting income to the IRS, another reason is so the restaurants can pay a reduced minimum wage (they do have to cover for any shortfalls in tips). Don’t know what its like elsewhere in the world. Also, if the server doesn’t have to bus their own tables (some places do some don’t) then bus-boys get a cut of the tips. A friend of mine worked at Joe’s crab shack through High School and most of college as a bus-boy. He got tip share every week.

          They don’t do that for pizza drivers though. I had another friend do pizza delivery for a short while (just to get him between jobs) and he was paid minimum wage and tips were to compensate him for use of his vehicle.

      • AuntieMaim says:

        When I worked for Starbucks — years ago, so I have no idea if it works the same way now — we pooled all the tips for the week and divided them out proportionately by number of hours worked. This is how we did tips for the bakery I worked at last year, too, so I think it’s pretty common, but I had a number of customers ask how the tips work, specifying that they want a tip to go to the person who did extra work decorating their kid’s cake, for example. We didn’t do that, but explained to the customer we’d make sure everyone knew tips were good that week because so-and-so was awesome. So it’s OK to ask, or to give an extra tip and let the counter person know, “I want to be sure the whole staff knows how much I appreciate your service this year.” Or something like that.

        Once we had our tip jar stolen at Starbucks — it didn’t have a lid and the thief just dumped the contents into his backpack and put the empty box back — and the next guy in line (a regular) pulled out a $50 and put it in, saying, “This will get you started again.” So cool of him. A bunch of other people behind followed suit, although obviously not as generously, tipping bills when they usually just tipped coins, etc. At Christmas time we did tend to get extra tips, too.

  11. H3ion says:

    There’s a hamburger made with gold flakes or something like that which costs a small fortune. I thought someone had put gold flakes in a taco. Way to keep it classy, Chris.

  12. GadgetsAlwaysFit says:

    I do this at Christmas also but not that much money. I go through some drive thru’s and when I pay for the order, and if they aren’t horribly rude I give them extra and say ‘I would like to buy your dinner today. Merry Christmas.’ They have a tough job. Working for BK at the drive thru was one of my first jobs. It doesn’t pay much and people are really rude to you a lot of the time. Maybe it helps lift their spirits a bit.

    • cluberti says:

      Seconded. Such a crap job, the money’s poor, and the customers are usually rude. Maybe having a “be nice to your fast-food worker day” is a bit over the top, but a tip isn’t. This story is crazy – the fact that it was even a story (nevermind the calling of the police….).

  13. Coles_Law says:

    I thought this was going to be another overdraft story at first. Color me pleasantly surprised.

  14. rwalford79 says:

    Sad thing is, the company probably told the cashier he couldnt keep it, and had to turn it into the company, who then kept it for themselves.

    I say, if you make any tips off a customer, even against company policy, you should get to keep it, and keep your job. Its not your problem a customer TIPPED you out. It would be different if the tip was a “gift” and there was a corporate account that Taco Bell was holding with the man who left it.

    • Coles_Law says:

      Even if there’s no policy against it, I doubt the cashier kept it. All the cameras would see is the cashier shoving money into his pocket-it might get sorted out, but it would cause a lot of grief. Whenever this came up at McD’s, I’d toss the change in the charity jar.

    • Coles_Law says:

      My kingdom for an edit button. I meant “whenever a person told me to keep the change, I’d just toss it in the charity jar”. I was never graced with a $72 tip.

    • producerist says:

      If you waited until his shift ended and gave it to the guy working, and not the guy working representing the company, I’m sure they would keep it.

  15. heldc says:

    I was at a Cheesecake Factory once, and our server was a trainee, working under an actual server we saw only for the length of time it took him to mumble ‘this is so and so he’ll help you’ and walk away. The trainee was absolutely awesome, one of the best servers anyone in our group had ever seen. At the end of the meal, I asked ‘Are you splitting your tips with your trainer?’ and got told ‘no, he gets all of them.’ This prompted leaving a 10% tip on the bill via credit card, and a 20% tip in cash in the trainee’s hand via handshake. Since then, if I’m tipping for actual good service instead of just out of social custom, I always make a point of inquiring about the tipping policy/division, and if need be, tipping subtly.

    • cluberti says:

      Actually, I’m almost ashamed I’ve never thought to ask – this is actually an awesome idea. So noted.

    • IssaGoodDay says:

      This can sometimes backfire though as an employee could get in some serious trouble if they’re caught – depending on the chain of course.

  16. Dante says:

    I actually used to work at taco bell, and one time I had someone pay for the car behind them (like, $11 worth of food.) I asked them if they knew the car behind them, they didn’t. They just wanted to be nice.

    I was like “awww.”

  17. sonneillon says:
  18. IssaGoodDay says:

    This isn’t that unusual this time of year, is it? I worked in a coffee shop for a few years, and we had a regular who paid for his $2.50 cappuchino with a $100 bill and said “Keep the change” around Christmas time – I’ve also heard from several friends who still work in food service of this type of thing happening.

  19. Chuck Norris' wig says:

    I tipped my waitress the other day at least $30 on a $100 bill. The skinflints I went to dinner with tried to get away with just $10 so I had to collect the $12 that one of them owed me and directed him to put it on the table. I also threw in all I had on me, which was probably around $20. I then took the pile of cash that these chislers didn’t want to part with and made one of them hand it all to the waitress in person.

    Fucking ham and eggers………At least I don’t WAAAAY over tip like Fez Whatley.

  20. longcat says:

    We had a young fellow that was as drunk as a skunk, and perhaps high, come into our store tonight. He bought just over $100 worth of groceries and donated them all to the food drive container. In fact, he had to come back a second time to actually finish the purchase because he forgot his wallet on the first trip. He made some choice statements, including asking my coworker if he wanted to take a toke behind the store.

    It was rather amusing.

  21. AngryK9 says:

    Must be nice to “not need” the money.

  22. lannister80 says:

    Wow Chris, thanks for ripping the crap out of one of my favorite fast food franchises for no reason.

    Bias much?

  23. Android8675 says:

    Dude, that is one of the best stories I’ve read on here in a long time. Talk about a thankless job, though considering the average weight of Americans these days you’d think we’d treat our fast food purveyors like gods.

    I hope the TB manager played santa and passed around the good tidings.

  24. webweazel says:

    If it was me, I’d probably pass the cheer on. For the next 72 customers, I would give each of them $1 off their order. That would make some customers happy, and some fatcat manager couldn’t just say ‘no, employee, you can’t keep it, it’s against the rules’ so he can stick it in his own pocket.