One of the biggest niches of TikTok content is “come with me to work” style videos of folks who often work “everyday” jobs. While some of these jobs aren’t necessarily the ‘ambitious’ type, these employees elevate their earning potential through content creation.
Just ask Dylan Lemay, who worked at Cold Stone Creamery and secured 11.1 million followers on TikTok. He purportedly secured himself a $1 million net worth vlogging his ice cream creations through a handy ‘POV’ camera set-up. He eventually partnered with the company to turn his retail frozen dessert job into a valuable marketing position.
Now, a TikToker named Kai (@kaisbubbletea) said that while she may not earn that much at her McDonald’s shift, vlogging about her job working for the fast-food joint has helped her rake in considerable amounts of money.
Draft 😤 lol i filmed this after one of my shifts so i couldn’t talk v well♬ original sound – Kai
She records herself as she performs her “nighttime skincare routine” and discusses the payouts she receives from vlogging versus working for Mickey D’s. Kai says that she recently joined TikTok’s Beta Creativity Program, which the app says in a press release is “designed to help creators foster their creativity, generate higher revenue potential and unlock more exciting, real-world opportunities.”
Kai explains that at first, she wasn’t paying attention to how much she was earning with the Beta program because she’s made 21 TikTok accounts previously and couldn’t cash out the money she earned. She then shows how much she earned in “two months” in a screenshot on the @kaisbubbletea account for a total of $3,595.09. She adds that content creators only make money off of videos that are longer than a minute —previously she was only earning about $1.30 to $1.50 per 1,000 views off the videos on her other accounts.
“That has changed, obviously,” she says of the new Beta program, indicating she’s earning significantly more money after joining it.
Kai references a post that did particularly well where a customer flirtatiously asked her where McDonald’s purple character, Grimace, was during her work break which helped pop off her improved earnings.
The TikToker says the video helped her earn that $3,000-plus amount in a day and despite being happy about the money, she says she doesn’t expect the trend “to continue.”
She then divulges how much she earns working for the fast food chain—$13.50 an hour. This means that before taxes, she would have to work approximately 223 hours to earn $3,000—and even more to hit the amount she displayed in the screenshot of her video.
“That’s an entire summer’s worth of me working at McDonald’s,” Kai says. “And I made that in a day.”
From the sound of it, the fact that she earned so much money off of a single video has contributed to her not caring as much about her job at the burger joint.
She says she’s continuing to be vigilant about her earnings because, again, it’s her “21st f*cking account” adding that TikTok likes to “play” her.
Towards the end of her clip, Kai appears to question the fairness of earning as much money as influencers do, especially when folks who work “normal” jobs put in more hours and work harder for significantly less cash.
“These influencers are out here making so much money and they’re not putting in nearly as much effort as like your day-to-day normal f*cking person,” Kai says.
This is a sentiment that has been called out by other Influencers on the platform as well. They have delineated that there is a difference between work that is time-consuming and work that is difficult.
Commenters who saw her clip stated that they appreciate the fact that she was being “transparent” about her social media income, like one user who said they were gracious to receive her breakdown.
“Thanks for acc showing how this works I feel like no one does,” they wrote.
Someone else said they were shocked to hear how little she earns at McDonald’s, adding that they earned $2.50 more per hour than she was.
“Hold up wait you only make 13.50??!! I’m making $16 an hour,” they said.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Kai via TikTok comment and to McDonald’s via email.