A common video topic on TikTok is servers sharing how much they earn in tips.
Workers at restaurants like Texas Roadhouse, Cheesecake Factory, Waffle House, and more have all gone viral and sparked discussion after revealing their daily earnings, inspiring a trend that has dominated the platform in recent months.
Now, another user on TikTok has some advice for servers: stop focusing on how much you earn in tips.
In a recent video with over 47,000 views, actor, TikToker, and server Jess Rowland (@aceofservice) says that he’s stopped counting tips and has focused on providing better service, which has made him happier while earning more money.
“For my first 5 years of serving, I was literally the king of counting tips,” he says. “I was very results-based, and I needed that instant gratification to justify me working a sh*tty job.”
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Over time, however, he says he became dissatisfied with his tips while counting them, no matter how high they were. Part of this, he claims, was due to the fact that he found himself comparing his tip performance with previous days, leading him to cast blame on others for underperformance.
“There wasn’t a number at the end of the night that made me happy anymore, because I always deserved more,” he says.
Once he stopped counting his tips and fixating on the total dollar amount, he says he became more focused on “what I was doing and how I was performing rather than ‘are they good tippers’ or ‘are they a good table.’”
He identifies this approach as “process-based, not results-based.” This has led him to receive more money in tips, he claims.
That said, he’s quick to note that it’s “totally fine and normal” for servers to be in the business solely for the money, though he says that being a server “may just become a harder job for you over time” with this approach.
In the comments section, many users agreed with Rowland’s statement.
“Agree 100%. I’ve been serving for 10 years since I was 18 and I do count what I make at the end of shift but you can’t count table by table or constantly keep track of what you are making,” one user wrote. “It will make you go insane and I’ve found more often times than not, it always works out if you perform.”
“I used to count my tips but honestly I just stopped cause I would overthink about my service and now I just focus on my guests having a good time,” echoed another.
“Makes sense! I never count my tips anymore,” stated a third. “Of course I go through all my slips to make sure they’re entered other than that i don’t know exact #s.”
Other users offered their own approach.
“I start off with a goal,” said a user. “anything after that is a bonus.”
“I get where you’re coming from but the money is why we’re there,” explained a second.
In response, Rowland reiterated that placing an emphasis on money was completely valid.
“Ofcourse!!!! Nothing wrong with counting!!!!” he exclaimed. “I did it for years and years!!!”
The Daily Dot reached out to Rowland via Instagram direct message.