A man on TikTok went viral after arguing that we should end tipping culture by having restaurants pay a 20% commission to their waiters. Mike (@bigbangmike) has sparked controversy in the comments section of his video, particularly because he’s never worked as a restaurant server.
Viewers were divided on how to fix the issues with tipping for both customers and employees. Mike has reached over 311,000 views on his TikTok as of Wednesday afternoon.
Ive never been a waiter. Is the possibility of a tip higher than 20% outweigh the consistency of getting 20% on whatever you sell? From a business perspective, this shouldnt change what an employer has to offer an employee right?♬ original sound – BigBangMike
At the beginning of his video, Mike asks, “Instead of tipping, why don’t restaurants just pay a 20% commission to their waiters?”
He says that by raising prices by 20%, restaurants can “W9 your employees, they work as independent contractors and you get rid of tipping culture.”
This way, Mike suggests, “the customer’s experience is better and the waiters never get stiffed on the bill.”
In the caption of his video, Mike mentioned that he has never been a waiter before.
After backlash from viewers criticizing Mike, he told the Daily Dot that he wanted to make it clear he is “not advocating for ‘not tipping,’… as some people take it. Just as an alternative idea that makes tipping obsolete.”
The TikToker also shared a follow-up video in response to one commenter’s question. “What would be the incentive for the waiter to give good service then?” they asked.
“So that they continue to be employed,” Mike bluntly responds.
He says that’s pretty much how it works at every other job. “Why am I, as a martial arts teacher, not continuously rude to kids and adults that enter my space? Because I want to stay employed,” he adds.
Still, several viewers in the comments were strongly against the idea.
“As a server, a bartender and as a restaurant owner. No. Just no. Never. No,” one user wrote.
Another argued, “Restaurants would raise costs 25% and give waiters 15% commission.”
Most viewers think rising prices are the problem anyway—not tipping culture.
One commenter said, “Restaurants have tried that, this whole thing isn’t actually about tipping, people are mad that things cost more and punching down is easy.”
“Not to mention they keep raising prices anyway so how about they just pay their workers already instead of making it everyone else’s problem,” another viewer wrote.
The Daily Dot reached out to Mike via TikTok direct message.