Different restaurants engage in different tipping practices: some stipulate all tips a server gets are the server’s alone. Some have to give a percentage of their tips to the bar staff—an amount that varies, again, depending on the policies implemented by the restaurant.
Then some establishments institute sharing money via a tip pool that has all servers sharing the entirety of their tips among all servers, bussers, and tipped staff. Some argue this can be a bummer for some servers as they see the amount of money they would’ve otherwise kept if they were allowed to.
This is what TikToker and server Brianna Haskell (@breehaskell) says she experienced during a shift in a viral clip that’s garnered over 406,000 views as of Saturday.
It seems her clip struck a nerve with other users on the platform who also work in the food service industry at places that engage in mass tipping pool practices.
Haskell lip-syncs audio from another user on the platform titled “Laura” who seems to joke about someone taking their own life.
“I really think I’m gonna end it soon and not for any reason it was a good run, you know, but I think I’m gonna end it soon,” she says.
The server’s text overlay in the clip explains why she is contemplating such a drastic move: “Server problems: When you put $600 in the tip pool to only make $250.”
Had Haskell’s place of work not abided by this policy, and barring any payouts she may have had to hand over to the bar (which is usually around 5% of beverage sales), she would’ve walked away with around $350 more than she did as a result of the tip pool.
Several folks replied to her video stating that they, too, have been let down by their own workplace’s tipping pools.
“One time i made 5k & someone made $200 & we had to split ….. i wish i was lying,” one user wrote.
@breehaskell Truly wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy #serverproblems #restaurantlife ♬ original sound – laura
Another person said that their gripes with pooling practices is that some employees work harder than other; they don’t think it’s fair folks.
“No bc why am I sharing my tips with people who hide from their tables,” they wrote. “Like no I’m not pooling.”
One viewer conceded that while it was a rare occurrence, pooled tips worked when everyone at the restaurant was pulling their own weight.
“Tip pooling only works in tiny restaurants where everyone truly works together,” they said. “I had this at ONE resto in my 20 years in the industry.”
Toast penned an in-depth blog post about tip-pooling practices and echoed the aforementioned sentiment. The article stated that the practice often works best when all employees and staff members are actively engaged in a “culture of teamwork and collaboration.”
The piece wrote that smaller operations and quick service restaurants, like cafes, pizzerias, fast food joints, and bakeries would probably benefit most from pooling worker’s tips: “when the tips are small to begin with (because of low average ticket size) and when several people are working together behind the counter to get the guest’s order done. When the cashier and barista pool their tips, they are both fairly compensated for their work instead of all the tips being reserved for the person in the customer-facing role.”
It seems like Haskell won’t have to worry about losing out on any potential tips moving forward at her current job, however, as she wrote in the comments section in a reply to one user.
“I’m never doing it again lol was a cuteeee little idea from mgmt at my restaurant,” she wrote.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Haskell via TikTok comment for further information.