Man in bar

Chris F/Pexels @robbalston/TikTok

‘It’s too expensive to do anything and everything asks for tips’: Bartender of 10 years says it’s one of the worst summers he’s ever worked

‘We wanna go out but it’s too freaking hot and so expensive.’


Beau Paul


If this summer seems a little off to you, you aren’t alone. The summer of ’23, with its rising rents, rising prices, and most of all, rising temperatures might come to be remembered as a summer of discontent—especially for those in the service industry. One seasoned bartender has taken to TikTok to proclaim this the Worst. Summer. Ever.

@robbalston #stitch with @gucsii #bartok #bartender #philly #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Rob Alston

TikToker and longtime bartender Rob Alston (@robbalston) has had it with this summer. In a TikTok posted one day ago that has already picked up over 214,000 views, Rob proclaims that 2023 has been “one of the worst summers I’ve worked as a bartender in the 10-plus years I’ve been a bartender. 

“This has been, my God, the worst summer,” Rob goes on to say. “Even if I do have a great day or a great night, it’s just sh*t tipping, and it’s sh*tty people, and it’s just UGH!” 

Rob isn’t imagining things. According to Reuters, July 2023 was one of the hottest months ever recorded, and the brutal temps aren’t exactly pushing patrons out of the AC and onto bar patios. 

“I’ve barely gone out this summer. It’s so hot,” one TikTok user wrote in the video comments. “It’s too hot to leave the house,” another viewer commented. 

Another user announced that it was “THE WORST SUMMER EVER OH MY GOD I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST MY AREA.”

However, some viewers suggest that there may be another culprit beside the raging heat wave: tipping fatigue.

“It’s too expensive to do anything and everything asks for tips now, I think it’s made people pull way back,” wrote someone else on the platform. “Tip fatigue…. and everything is so expensive,” wrote another.

“The extra fees [plus] auto-20 [percent] gratuity has turned me off,” added another viewer. Someone else added, “Tip fatigue, man. Every time I get anything, they turn that iPad around and ask for a tip.”

Another group of viewers explained that it’s not just the fact of tipping—it’s more about high prices. Between record rents and inflation, it’s hard to hang on to any fun money to have a cool summer.

“We wanna go out but it’s too freaking hot and so expensive. We’re all broke,” one person wrote.

“Going out [half] as much because everything is [two times as] expensive,” another viewer commented. “The vibes are also off,” someone else wrote.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Rob for further comment.

The Daily Dot