server speaking in front of teal wall with caption 'walk up to whoever paid' (l) server speaking in front of teal wall with caption 'Hey Sir/Ma'am, I see you didn't leave a tip, is there anything I could improve on with the servoce, that you feel like you could share with me? SAFE TO REFER TO in front of everyone' (c) server speaking in front of teal wall with caption 'confront them' (r)

@jessrowland100/TikTok

‘Walk up to whoever paid, in front of everyone’: Server says she confronts customers who don’t tip her (updated)

‘Doing any of these things would get me fired.’

 

Melody Heald

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Servers are disagreeing on whether or not it’s OK to confront patrons who don’t leave tips.

TikTok user Jess (@jessrowland100) uploaded a video on March 10. As of March 21, the video garnered over 32,000 views. In the video, Jess duets a TikToker named Kat (@smarthotties), who says she has been in the service industry for four years and has advice for when customers don’t leave a tip.

Kat says when this happens, she approaches the customer who paid “in front of everyone” and asks why they didn’t tip and if they have any suggestions for how she can improve her service.

According to her, “nine times out of 10, they’re going to make some excuse, … and they’re going to give you some kind of tip, a couple of bucks.” She says the “worst-case scenario” is that they may give her a verbal tip on how to improve her service. Or, she suggests, if the “tab was really high,” one could get their manager to comp items on the bill.

Throughout the entire video, Jess kept screaming out, “No,” disagreeing with Kat’s tactic.

“They’re embarrassed, and you get fired,” he warns servers who may be watching, urging them to “have a manager” go up to the customer on their behalf.

@jessrowland100 Duet @smarthotties #notip #careerserver #servertok #serverlife #restaurantlife #coachjess #fyp #aceofservice #servicetips #zerodollartip #stiffed #servertips ♬ original sound – Jess R

The Daily Dot reached out to both Jess and Kat via TikTok comment regarding the video.

In the comments section, many viewers agreed that servers should not confront non-tippers.

“I’ve only had a few tables in all my years not tip- I would NEVER ask them why! NEVER!! That’s insane,” one server criticized.

“Oh absolutely NOT. Don’t ask them that shit just take the loss and make it up on the next round. No no no,” a second condemned.

“That video is so cringe, as a server I don’t let one shitty tip ruin the rest of my night, the other custies make up for it if you do your job,” a third said.

However, some viewers agreed with Kat’s tactic, saying they are even encouraged to confront non-tippers.

“I often confront them in a polite way. I’d never comp anything for a tip but I’d call people out for not tipping on big bills,” one user wrote.

“Our restaurant wants us to ask because [if] someone doesn’t tip it usually means something is wrong and I can change it before they leave possibly,” a second stated.

“My boss encourages us to do this. He would never fire us. Also we don’t allow people to come back if they are repeated offenders,” a third agreed.

Hopefully, only a few servers are ever forced to navigate how to handle not receiving a tip. According to gofoodservice, most Americans tip, with only 7% of the adult population claiming they do not.

Update 5:59pm CT March 22: In an email interview with the Daily Dot, Kat provided additional details about how her method has worked for her.

“I have done it less than five times in my serving career and I’ve always received a tip after and never put my job in jeopardy in anyway,” she wrote.

Kat said that she found out the method works for her by just trying it out as a way to advocate for herself. She explained that many patrons don’t know that servers have to “tip out” bussers and bartenders a percentage of each sale, meaning she can sometimes lose money on orders if she does not get tipped. She also said that sometimes she has customers from foreign countries who are unaware of the tipping culture in the U.S.

“Just educating people gives them the opportunity to look at the situation from a different perspective,” she wrote. “I simply asked them why they don’t tip- I never forced them to do anything.”

Though the method has worked for her each time she’s used it, Kat said confronting non-tippers may not be the best idea for every server, particularly those new to a restaurant or working in a “corporate restaurant.” Instead, she recommends that servers focus on “making more money instead of money you missed out on” and “providing 5 star service.”

“Thankfully my regulars always tip me generously so I no longer have to focus on people that don’t tip! Also not tipping is okay- it happens,” she added.

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