Woman talking(l+r), Bartender pouring shot(c)

LightField Studios/Shutterstock @kelsnaught/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I usually tip a dollar per shot’: Bartender calls out customers who tip per drink

'Is pouring a $25 shot more difficult than pouring a $5 well shot?'


Phil West


Posted on Feb 27, 2024   Updated on Feb 27, 2024, 10:56 am CST

A bartender who “just wanted to ruffle some feathers” put forth a question about tipping on shots that merits contemplation.

The question, in TikTok form, came from Los Angeles-based creator Kels (@kelsnaught), who drew more than 151,000 views in a single day since putting up her video on Monday.

Tipping is already a topic she visits in her bartender-centric content. One pinned video has her “showing off” a $6 tip on a $114 bill—a miserly gratuity of around five percent.

In this video, she posits the scenario, “OK, so you go to a bar, and you order two shots, and those two shots cost you $50.”

She then asks, “Are you tipping the bartender a percentage of that $50 bill, or are you tipping the bartender the fact that they just poured you two shots, no matter how much the bill was?”

@kelsnaught just wanted to ruffle some feathers 🤭 #bartender #tipping #fyp ♬ original sound – kels🥂

A Yahoo! Finance article titled “The Most Annoying Tipping Habits Waiters, Baristas and Bartenders Deal With” highlights where that disparity might come from. The article counsels, “Bartenders should be tipped $1-$2 per drink or 15%-20% of your total tab. While there’s no obligation to leave money in a tip jar, the Emily Post Institute recommends tipping occasionally if your server or barista provides something extra or if you’re a regular customer. If you’re not currently following these rules, it’s time to step up your tipping game.”

But on two shots that come to $50, tipping even $2 per pour amounts to an 8% tip.

Commenters shared opinions.

“$1 per drink,” opined one, adding, “Is pouring a $25 shot more difficult than pouring a $5 well shot?”

Another countered, “If you can afford a $25 shot, you can afford to tip 20%.”

Someone with an industry background noted, “I used to work as a bartender and that’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard when it comes to tipping. If we got $1 a shot in tips we all left with $2 gs.”

But yet another jumped in, asserting, “This is idiotic. Tips are based on effort. Not price.”

Predictably, someone else brought up tipping culture: “Maybe they can afford to tip 20% but they shouldn’t encourage this tip culture getting even worse,” they wrote. “Bartenders were never tipped 20%. It’s per drink.”

One suggested, “Depends how long we waited for those 2 shots,” which Kels granted was a good point.

“I wouldn’t pay 50 dollars for two shots ever lol,” one asserted.

That led Kels to reply, “Pretend I said 4 or 5 shots then, I was just giving an example of tipping per drink vs tipping by %.”

But one latched on to the price, proposing, “I’m staying home and pouring my own shots and tipping myself 50$.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Kels via TikTok direct message for comment.

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2024, 3:00 pm CST