server shows the effort workers will put in if they make livable wage

@imjustrobb/TikTok Drazen/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘They don’t realize the unnecessary bending over we do for the tip!’: Viewers divided after server shows the effort workers will put in if they make livable wage

'The only thing stopping my anger issues is the tip'


Nina Hernandez


Posted on Apr 19, 2024   Updated on Apr 19, 2024, 2:57 pm CDT

Viewers are divided after a server posts a video showing the effort she thinks restaurant workers will put in if they make a livable wage.

TikTok user Robin (@imjustrobb) is a bartender, server, and actor who often posts skits about the restaurant industry. On Monday, she posted a video titled, “If servers were paid a ‘Livable Wage’ vs. Tipped,” which has since amassed more than 544,000 views.

In the first scenario, Robin plays a server earning a “livable wage,” greeting a guest celebrating a birthday. Robin’s character seems completely uninterested. “Do y’all do anything for birthdays?” the guest asks. “No,” Robin responds. “We don’t. The tipped employee, however, brings out a cake with a candle while singing and doing a birthday dance. She even blows out the candle for the guest.

In the second scenario, the guest asks for a substitution on a side order. “Livable wage” Robin flatly declines. “But I’m allergic to corn, though,” the guest pleads. Robin says, “Do you have your EpiPen with you tonight?” On the other hand, “Tipped” worker Robin goes the extra mile to charm the kitchen staff into accommodating the request.

In the third scenario, the guest requests a “strong” margarita. “Livable wage” Robin informs her that it doesn’t quite work that way. “You can pay for a double if you’d like more,” she says. But the “Tipped” Robin instead instructs the bartender to pour a bit extra. “I’m trying to hook her up,” “Tipped” Robin says.

In the fourth scenario, the guest requests almonds on her salad. “Livable wage” Robin tells her straight up that those are in storage and aren’t readily accessible. “Tipped” Robin goes ahead and pulls out the step ladder to ensure the customer’s satisfaction.

In the caption, Robin writes, “If servers were paid a ‘livable wage,’ the dining out experience would not be the same. What are your thoughts?” In the comments section, viewers offered conflicting viewpoints.

@imjustrobb If servers were paid a “liveable wage,” the dining out experience would not be the same. What are your thoughts? #DTLA #servertiktok #restaurantproblems #bartendersoftiktok #serverlife #tippingculture #diningout ♬ Pouring Liquid into Glass (Version 1) [Sound Effect] – Finnolia Sound Effects

One viewer wrote, “This is what I try to tell people but I don’t think they get it.” Robin replied, “If humans know they’re going to be paid regardless, they are not going to go above and beyond.”

A second viewer agreed, “If this ain’t the realest video I’ve seen. They don’t realize the unnecessary bending over we do for the tip!”

A third viewer wrote, “They always say ‘in Europe they don’t tip’ yeah and they only have 1 maybe two servers for the whole restaurant so you wait forever and refills aren’t a thing . They would lose their mind in reality.”

However, not everyone agreed. One viewer wrote, “this is an insane take…”

Another viewer agreed, “So with a livable wage you still won’t do your job well ? I’m confused?”

This isn’t the first time Robin has offered this opinion. Last year, she said not only does she prefer being tipped over being paid a livable wage, but she also pointed out that European servers, for instance, have the benefit of robust social safety nets compared to United States service workers. She also expressed concerns that higher wages would increase menu prices.

Forbes points out that countries like France use service fees to ensure employees take home enough pay. However, the article also notes that U.S. consumers don’t particularly like that approach. That might be because U.S. consumers find it feels more fair if you are voluntarily tipping vs. paying a mandatory charge.

The Daily Dot reached out to Robin via email for comment.

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*First Published: Apr 19, 2024, 9:00 pm CDT