Papa John’s customer claims workers don’t get share of tips—they go to managers.

@marthare48/TikTok Nolichuckyjake/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘You didn’t hear this from me’: Papa John’s customer claims workers don’t get share of tips—they go to managers. Is that true?

‘When I worked at dominos we didn’t get any of the tips either.’


Beau Paul


Posted on Jul 4, 2023

Tipping isn’t just for your waiter and bartender anymore. Tipping counter staff is fast becoming the new norm in the food industry and seeing a suggested tip screen appear at the end of your transaction is common if not standard. But who exactly gets those tips?

TikTok user @Marthare48 has raised some concerns about who exactly benefits from the tip jars at Papa John’s in a video posted to the platform early last month. While she doesn’t speak in the video, the screen text in the video states, “At Papa John’s they don’t give the tips to the minimum wage employees. Instead, all of the tips go to the manager.”

Her TikTok has more than 329,000 views.

@Marthare48 did not identify herself as an employee of the company nor did she state anywhere in the video how she became aware of the information. She also neglects to say whether or not she is referring to tips given to the delivery drivers or those taken at the till. The Daily Dot has reached out to her for comment.

@marthare48 #pizzalover #pizzarecipes #tipsandtricks #employment ♬ nhạc nền – ✨Manifestmagic333✨

In any case, people claiming to be Papa John’s employees have complained elsewhere online about managers pocketing tips. In a post made two years ago, Reddit user KitKatzun complained about the same practice, stating that even though he was making only $8.70 an hour he received none of the tips taken at the store.

KitKatzun went on to state that they had overheard two managers saying that “they made $500 in tips that week while the other complained they only got $300.” They asked if this was normal and received a variety of responses from other users with some stating that this was definitely not standard practice.

However, a commenter using the handle Ashkeravon wrote, “If it is instore tips, like at the register, and they are franchise, then they can do that if they want” but that at a non-franchisee corporate location the tips would go to the employees working the counter.

This seems to indicate that franchisees can set the policy regarding tips but that the standard practice at non-franchized locations is that tips go to the employees. Papa John’s website does not state any set policy regarding tipping. The Daily Dot has reached out to the company for comment.

“All the tips go to the manager” is the sort of inflammatory, anecdotal statement that could affect consumer behavior given its virality. But it is possible for managers to take tip payouts, hence the corroborating accounts across TikTok and Reddit.

And that’d be potentially illegal, according to attorney Sachi Clements, writing on “The fundamental rule of tips is that they belong to employees, not to the company. Under federal law, employers may not take any portion of an employee’s tips for themselves, nor may they allow managers or supervisors to take part in a tip pool. However, the law does not define managers or supervisors clearly. Someone who has the authority to hire and fire employees, discipline employees, set wages and hours, and make other important decisions on behalf of the company are clearly not allowed to share in tips pools. But plenty of employers refer to low-level employees as “assistant managers” or “shift supervisors,” without giving the employees the authority that would ordinarily go along with such a title.”

And about that consumer behavior possibly being altered. As one customer jokingly put it in the TikTok comments: “Thats why i dont tip, i actually walk out without paying the bill.”

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*First Published: Jul 4, 2023, 5:29 pm CDT