When it comes to food service tipping dilemmas, TikTok usually comes down on the side of paying up. In this case, however, not so much.
After a customer was called out by restaurant workers for failing to tip on a carry-out meal, TikTokers wondered: Is it really necessary to tip if the waitstaff aren’t actually involved in your order?
Posted by TikToker @blacartistrybyknicole, this viral TikTok shows a receipt with a tip guide circled by someone working at Outback Steakhouse. “This was circled on my receipt,” reads the caption. “Am I wrong for not tipping for carryout? I mean I had to get it.”
The total bill ran to about $96, with the customer ignoring the suggestion to tip an extra $17-21 service charge.
@blacartistrybyknicole Outback Steakhouse passive aggressive staff… #outbacksteakhouse ♬ Oh No – Kreepa
The crucial detail here is what (and who) you think the tip is “for.” When you order carry-out, you’re barely receiving any face-to-face service. The kitchen makes your food and then you take it home yourself, with no involvement from the waitstaff or delivery drivers. So by that logic, it may seem a little ridiculous to demand a 20% tip.
This TikTok’s audience mostly agreed that a carry-out orders shouldn’t require a tip, prompting comments like, “I only tip when i sit at a restaurant and get service” and “Wow! Their audacity. This tipping expectation is getting out of control.”
“That’s like tipping the Walmart workers watching me at self-checkout,” another commenter wrote. “I’m not tipping for carryout.” A couple of people said they did tip on carry-out orders, but for the most part, commenters thought this Outback Steakhouse receipt was unnecessarily demanding.
The reason behind the stringent tipping culture around waitstaff is partly down to the minimum wage. In a lot of states, jobs classified as “tipped workers” have a much lower minimum wage, essentially relying on tips to stay afloat. That’s why waitstaff expect tips while cooks don’t.
In this case there’s an argument for tipping automatically out of class solidarity, but since no waitstaff or delivery workers were actually involved, you can see why most commenters argued they didn’t warrant a tip.
The Daily Dot has reached out to @blacartistrybyknicole via TikTok comment.