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‘I wish the guests knew what all we truly had to go through’: Server gets $5 tip on a $254 check —after going above and beyond for customers

'I wouldn't accept it.'


Phil West


Posted on May 24, 2023   Updated on May 25, 2023, 4:14 pm CDT

If you can imagine what it’d be like to be a server to a table that rings up a $254 bill, only to get a $5 tip at the end – there’s a worker in Los Angeles who can commiserate.

Creator @imjustrobb had more than 355,000 views on TikTok for a video that shows the server’s reaction to receiving a particularly low tip on a rather hefty bill.

The on-screen caption tells most of the story. It reads, “POV: me graciously accepting $5 on a $254 check after I argued with the chef for messing your food up, telling the bartenders their [sic] moving too slow and falling off the ladder opening a new jar of jalapeños for you.”

@imjustrobb Are you sure? Now the managers want to talk to me about my attitude… whole time I was just making sure my table was straight. 😭#serverlife #bartendersoftiktok #serverproblems #bartending #DTLA #restaurantproblems #bartender ♬ original sound – Imjustrobb

In the video, the server takes a $5 bill off the table and makes a face that captures the disbelief and repressed rage — through a forced smile — that you might experience in that situation.

This isn’t the first time a server has been stiffed on their tip for a large bill and it sadly won’t be the last. Undertipping is a widespread phenomenon but although customers complain about tipping, many argue that tips are the only way to cover a server’s income.

Of course, the comments section was a fertile ground for users to discuss tipping culture. Many also extended their sympathy to the server.

“I wish the guests knew what all we truly had to go through to ensure they have a great experience,” one said with a crying emoji. “They just have no clue.”

Another, arguing that pride is more important than getting a nominal tip said that the server should have left the $5 bill on the table. They said, “$5 on $254? I wouldn’t accept it. “Oh no! It’s ok. Please Keep it!” All with a smile.”

One user, who seems to have never worked in the food service industry, chimed in with, “If your service is amazing, I will tip well but it’s not gonna be based off how much my bill is. It’s going to be based off what I feel you deserve.”

This led someone else to rightly respond, “Tips work by percentage of the bill tho.”

A person also explained to customers that “What people don’t understand is that we have to tip out a % of our sales to the kitchen every night, so if we don’t get tipped, that is coming out of our pockets, and we basically have to now pay for serving you!”

One commenter who thought they had tipping figured out suggested that a server shouldn’t receive tips no matter the bill total.

“Collectively I think we should all stop tipping. This will force companies to pay a living wage and give servers health care.”

The creator, however, was not buying it. They responded, “This actually would NOT work. At all. It would actually completely change the experience while dining out at a restaurant.”

Someone else predicted, “And this is where A.I is going to come in…cause a robot can bring our food,” noting, “a robot used to bring my dad his meds in the VA hospital.”

The Daily Dot had reached out to the creator via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: May 24, 2023, 2:43 pm CDT