A Buffalo Wild Wings customer and former server explained why she doesn’t feel bad about not tipping her waitress during a recent visit to the chain.
Elizabeth Schulte (@elizabethmaraa) captioned her video with a statement that reads, “Tip your servers tho.” However, it seems that in her case, a gratuity wasn’t justified. This sparked a debate in the comments section over the ethics of whether or not leaving zero tips whatsoever is ever justified.
Some folks said that they, too, were in the same boat as Schulte: they were former servers who just can’t get over whenever their waiter or waitress isn’t being attentive enough. Others clapped back, however, stating that Schulte should also consider how busy a restaurant is and not just jump to conclusions about whether or not an employee is working hard enough for their liking.
“I did not tip my server last night — here’s why,” she begins. “I’m a firm believer if you can afford to go out to eat, you can afford to tip. However, if the service sucks you shouldn’t be required to tip.”
She explains how she used to tip servers regardless of how they treated her, but now with her experience as a server her “standards” are higher.
“But now that I can barely afford to go out to eat I’m not gonna pay extra for service that sucks,” Schulte says.
She continues how, as a former server, she knew when she was dropping the ball during busy periods and never held it against customers if they didn’t give her fat tips.
“I know servers rely on tips for…their money because I know they get paid half as much as everybody else does,” she says. “But it’s also your customer’s money. If you don’t treat them with respect, if you don’t treat them like they’re a top priority they shouldn’t have to pay you extra.”
@elizabethmaraa tip your servers tho #serverproblems ♬ original sound – Elizabeth Schulte
Unfortunately, her trip to Buffalo Wild Wings wasn’t one of those instances. In her clip, she explains that during her most recent visit, her server’s skills were subpar. She says she wasn’t planning to go because of “horrible service” last time but that this time she had gift cards.
“We ended up spending $20 and I had a $10 bill that I was ready to give up and ready to tip her with,” Schulte says. “I find myself lately going into sit-down restaurants and just being absolutely disappointed. These servers get away with just treating us like sh*t and I’m not gonna be rewarding them by giving them money that I barely have myself.”
Schulte says the server’s pleasant demeanor wasn’t matched by her actions as an employee of the restaurant—according to the TikToker, the server wasn’t pre-emptively filling up waters or bringing silverware to the table until after the food arrived. She also claims she only saw her server like one within 30 minutes.
She finishes off her video by saying, “Like I literally go in my car convincing myself that what I did was OK, but it’s like if you’re a good server you’ll get good money.”
“I genuinely think even if you do like the bare minimum as a server, just fill their drinks, give them their food, be, with them, you get tipped,” she concludes. “But if you only see your server once at the beginning and once at the end, why, you know? I wanted to tip the guy who brought out our food because he did more than what our server did.”
Schulte isn’t the first TikToker who’s slammed Buffalo Wild Wings for being on the receiving end of some lackluster service. Another social media user said when they visited the chain they had the “worst” experience ever at a restaurant, highlighting many of the same problems that Schulte relayed in her clip. Except she waited a very long time for her food after ordering beers, which prompted her to leave a $2 tip on a $75 ticket.
Viewers said they, too, have had pretty bad times dining at BWW themselves.
“Very classic buffalo wild wings experience,” one person wrote.
Another echoed, “Why is it always bdubs that I’ve had horrible service?”
Another replied that not tipping well for receiving mediocre service isn’t something consumers should feel bad about.
“The point of tipping is bc you’ve received good service,” they wrote. “Will never feel bad for not tipping for mediocre service.”
However, a debate roared about the intricacies of tipping and when leaving a partial gratuity versus none at all was warranted.
One person questioned what Schulte’s behavior was like at the restaurant, intimating that she may have been expecting too much from her server.
“I only understand not tipping AT ALL if they were actually rude,” they said. “Did you wave her over at all? Or just sit there.”
Someone else asked if she was simply not tipping because she felt as if she should’ve gotten preferential treatment over others.
“Idk there’s a diff between not tipping bc they were rude and not tipping bc they didn’t treat you like you’re the only patron there, which is what I gather you expect from the ‘treat me like top priority’ remark,” one argued. “Everyone is just doing their job. Not everyone is going to be perfect. And you never know how someone is doing internally…Not being greeted within 30 seconds and not having a fork is not being treated like garbage.”
While someone else said depending on how busy a restaurant is, the definition of “terrible” service becomes relative.
“Define ‘terrible service’ tho bc if it’s insanely busy, & the service is bc being short staffed or just the chaos in general, I AM tipping bc they are usually trying their best,” they said.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Buffalo Wild Wings and Schulte via email for further comment.