Server says table of 7 had her ‘running back and forth’ for 1.5 hours. It gets worse

@therealnatalinahughbanks/TikTok ESB Professional/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘That’s not acceptable I’m sorry’: Server says table of 7 had her ‘running back and forth’ for 1.5 hours. The tip just made it worse

'If you can't afford to tip, you shouldn't be going out to eat.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jan 27, 2024   Updated on Jan 27, 2024, 7:19 am CST

Servers on TikTok have long begged for better treatment from customers. While most servers will say that the average customer is usually just fine, there are a few customers who make them question the amount of time and effort they put into their jobs.

For example, one server recently went viral after sharing her meltdown following a workday that involved serving 24 tables at once, all by herself. Another recounted everything she had to do to serve a table with difficult children—and only received a $1 tip as a thanks. A further server said she was made to stay a half hour beyond closing because customers wouldn’t leave, and when she tried to clean up around them, they asked her to stop.

Now, another server’s story has sparked discussion on TikTok. In a clip with over 418,000 views as of Saturday, TikTok user Natalina (@therealnatalinahughbanks) tells a workplace story that she says is indicative of a problem in the industry.

First, she notes that the standard tipped wage in the United States is low.

“All servers only make $2.13 per hour,” she says. “We are working off of your tips.”

While this can vary by state, the federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13, as Natalina states. Natalina goes on to note that she pays for her own expenses, such as rent, car payments, and her education.

From here, she explains how one party of seven people made her workday difficult.

“They were having me run back and forth, heat up food—I’m getting them extra, switching out drinks, which is fine,” she recalls. “I’m gonna do it, and I’m gonna do it with a smile on my face.”

By the end of the meal, their total was $120. They opted to leave a $2 tip, she says.

“I’m not saying I’m the best server out there, not by any means at all…Walking over to the table and seeing $2 in your plate of food? That’s not acceptable,” she says. “I’m sorry, that’s just—respectfully—that’s a ‘f*ck you.’”

“You need to learn how to tip your servers. Even if they are the worst server out there, I still tip them 10%, because I know that they only make $2.13 an hour, and some people need that to survive,” the TikToker adds.

Later in the video, Natalina offers her view that, if one can’t afford to tip, they should not go out to eat.

“I don’t like the argument, ‘Oh, some people aren’t able to tip as much as other people,’” she states. “If you can’t afford to tip, you shouldn’t be going out to eat. There are no more excuses, because…I work too d*mn long to only get $2 in an hour and a half.”

@therealnatalinahughbanks also coming in during snow storms, missing meals with family, staying longer to take care of you, etc.… it is 2024. it is time to learn how to tip. #server #waitress #foodindustry #tipyourserver #rant ♬ original sound – natalina

In the comments section, users voiced their agreement with Natalina’s assessment.

“Every restaurant should have automatic gratuity for parties 6 or over!!!” exclaimed a commenter. “My job does that and it makes the parties actually worth the work.”

“I truly believe everyone should have to work in the service industry at least once,” offered another. “$2 is INSANE.”

“One time had a table run up a 130$ check. They only left me a business card for their church….A BUSINESS CARD TO THEIR CHURCH,” recalled a third.

That said, some noted their own issues with the tipping system in general.

“I get it but at the same time it’s crazy how the industry has made it so their employees scold customers for not providing pay instead of the employer,” shared a TikToker.

“The fact that some restaurants are still paying that little is INSANE,” stated a second.

The Daily Dot reached out to Natalina via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Jan 27, 2024, 8:00 am CST