server opening receipt book (l) server speaking reading bill (c) server speaking holding tips in cash counting bills (r)


‘Why didn’t u add gratuity?’: Server calls it her ‘last straw’ after getting $33 tip on a $500 bill that was split 3 ways

'Babe u can’t expect big tips all the time.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Mar 17, 2023

A server counted her nightly earnings after working a four-hour shift on TikTok and called out a table that only gave her $33 in gratuity after they spent $505 in food and drinks.

Malia Elaine (@maliaelaine) said that the “ridiculous” experience convinced her to quit her job, yet viewers who saw her clip seemed divided as she earned around $23 per hour during her shift.

Malia stands in what appears to be a restaurant kitchen/pantry area as she speaks into the camera lens: “Let’s do a Tuesday night tip count and I’ll explain why I’m about to put in my two weeks because it’s absolutely ridiculous. The bill was $505, five-hundred dollars, it was split three ways, I got $15, $15, and $3. So on a $500 check, I got $33.”

@maliaelaine Might have been my last straw #servertok #waitressproblems #tipcount ♬ original sound – Malia

She then appears to comment on the behavior of the table and how customers were being unpleasant in their interactions with her. Malia insinuates that the patrons weren’t impressed with the item offerings at the restaurant and took their ire out on her: “If I’m going somewhere for my birthday and I’m bringing 15 people, I’m gonna take them to a restaurant that I like or have heard great things about I’m not gonna go somewhere where I don’t know anything on the menu and I get upset when…that ‘This is all y’all got’ when you look at the menu. Yeah, that’s what we have, that’s what we have, yeah.”

Malia then proceeded to count her earnings for her shift: “Um, $16 on $84, with a cute little thank you. You’re welcome. Love you. $9 on $45, $9 on $47, $30 on $148 my regulars, love them, $16 on $62, and $15 on $80. Let’s count.”

She then takes out some bills, collates them, but it ‘s clear that she was still upset about the way a table treated her during service, “And looking at me like I cooked the food and I’m the problem,” she grimaces toward the camera and gives an implosive scream. The camera then quickly cuts to her counting the cash in hand, “Let’s count this cash,” which ends up being $212 dollars. “$212 cash I owe the restaurant $121 because people paid in cash so…” then she rifles through the money and takes away what she needs to pay back to the establishment. “I tipped out $38, and I’m walking home with—like yes my shift was only four hours and that’s like good money in that time span but like can we just treat humans like humans 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 for further comment.

Other TikTokers seemed split down the middle as to whether or not Malia was justified in complaining about her shift. “Please… you made more in a 4 HOUR shift than some people make in an 8 HOUR shift,” one commenter wrote. Another penned, “Damn near 23 a hour that sounds good to me,” while someone else wrote, “Babe u can’t expect big tips all the time, u still get ur hourly wage.”

Malia responded to the aforementioned comment, saying that her gripes with customers had more to do with the way that she was being treated and less to do with what she was being paid: “True but I should be able to expect customers treating me with RESPECT”

It seemed, however, that there were other servers, or rather soon-to-be ex-servers, who agreed with Malia: They, too, weren’t satisfied with their current roles. “Girl I put in my 2 weeks yesterday. Sometimes it’s just time to go.” Another TikToker wrote, “I honestly feel it’s not so much how much money they tipped [horrible] it that they were super disrespectful. That just drains your energy.”

But there were others who believe that “tipping culture” has gotten out of hand and Malia was wrong for blaming customers for not being more magnanimous with their gratuities and should instead guide her dissatisfaction towards restaurant management: “tipping culture is such a entitled thing now. if you feel ‘underpayed’ take it up with the EMPLOYER. Customers ARENT REQUIRED TO GIVE YOU EXTRA”

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 17, 2023, 8:15 am CDT