Viewers are divided about how a server handled a couple who said upfront that they wouldn’t leave her a tip.
In the viral TikTok video, which has more than half a million views, Syd (@poorandhungry) clarified that this situation isn’t new to her. It’s happened multiple times across the different restaurants she’s worked at.
In the skit, Syd recreated this common dilemma. The couple sat down at her table and ordered a round of water. Then they dared to say the following:
“We wanna let you know up front we don’t tip. We’re not tipping. So you can just give us whatever service you need,” the customer said, seemingly implying that they understand if she gives them the bare minimum service.
Her reaction surprised the customers, and the people of TikTok are here for it.
She told them she’d accommodate their request. How? Giving them 15 minutes to return to the host sand and instead place a to-go order.
“Oh, so because we’re not tipping we’re now getting kicked out of the restaurant?” the customer replied, upset.
Syd explained that a tip is a service charge for sitting in the dining area and having service provided. Since they let her know upfront that they wouldn’t be paying the service fee it makes more sense for them to get takeout so they only have to cover the cost of their food and not of the service she’s providing as their server.
“So because I don’t believe that I should have to pay your salary I can’t even eat here?” the customer responded.
Syd, again, very logically explained that it’s OK if they don’t want to pay for table service, but there’s a line of people waiting for a table that are willing to pay for the service, so they need to place a to-go order if they’re hell-bent on not tipping.
“If you don’t want the great service, if you don’t want to pay the service charge for it, that’s totally fine. We can still feed you. We can’t deliver free services,” Syd said. Mic drop.
The video has thousands of comments, and while many people complimented how well Syd handled the situation, others said she was out of line.
“This is a brilliant response – tip is the service charge!” a top comment with more than 7,000 likes read.
“Especially when the server has to tip out, I have paid $7-$10 to serve table that didn’t tip,” a person said. Tipping out is a standard practice in restaurants. Servers typically pay out a percentage of their tip to noncustomer-facing workers, like the kitchen staff.
@poorandhungry Saved us both so much time but I am not sure what exactly they expected to come next #server #restaurant #serverlife #customerservice #tipping ♬ original sound – $yd
Others disagreed with her sending the customers to the takeout area.
“It’s not a service charge…it’s a tip for doing exceptional service and is 100% optional,” a commenter wrote.
“I don’t understand why is the customer problem that your boss is exploiting you. I always tip, but tip isn’t obligatory,” another chimed in.
Syd is no stranger to going viral with her server content. In previous videos, she’s called out customers who bring in outside food and drink, tourists who argue about prices, and diners who ask her to charge their phone while they eat.
The Daily Dot reached out to Syd for comment via email.