Tipping at restaurants is a topic that frequently sparks debate on TikTok—no one can agree on whether tipping should still be a thing, how much a customer should tip, and when it is appropriate not to tip.
Even with all this disagreement and confusion, it is still widely accepted that decent service should receive an 18-20% tip. In a viral TikTok video, a restaurant server says that on a $500 order, she received just under 7% as a tip from a table.
“The bill was $500, it was split three ways,” user Malia (@maliaelaine) says in the clip. “I’ve got $15, $15 and $3. So on a $500 check, I got $33.”
“If I’m going somewhere for my birthday, and I’m bringing 15 people, I’m going to take them to a restaurant that I like or have heard great things about,” she elaborates, insinuating that the customers were unhappy with the restaurant. “I’m not going to go somewhere I don’t know anything on the menu and I get upset when I look at the menu.”
@maliaelaine Might have been my last straw #servertok #waitressproblems #tipcount ♬ original sound – Malia
She then goes through her other tickets and tips, thanking customers who tipped differently. Once she calculates what tips she will go home with after tipping out her co-workers, she leaves with about $91.
“Yes, my shift was only four hours and that’s good money for that time spent, but can we just treat humans like humans?” she says at the end of the video. “It would make coming to work so much better. Please be kind to your servers. Thank you.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Malia via email regarding the video.
Some viewers pointed out that the money she made in four hours is more than they make during their day jobs.
“Please… you made more in a 4 HOUR shift than some people make in an 8 HOUR shift,” one commenter wrote.
“You made more in 4 hours than I make as a preschool teacher in 8…..” another argued.
“You made more than what I make in 4 hours at my hospital job,” a third shared.
However, for a party of 15 to have tipped so little, many viewers felt they should have done more.
“I hate when servers compare tips to totals because $500 could be 5 $100 drinks or something but if it was 15 people they should’ve tipped more!!!” one user commented.
“That wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for that one table, like you got $500 to drop on dinner but can’t leave a decent tip,” another wrote.
“So people really don’t tip 20%?” a third added. “Not cool.”