server speaking (l) server holding empty tip jar (c) server speaking (r)

Peter Titmuss/Shutterstock @alyssr/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘We pay to server you if you do not tip us’: Server says table apologized to her face that they weren’t tipping her

'They just wanted something to blame it on.'


Parks Kugle


Posted on Jun 13, 2023

There’s a simple rule that many people in the restaurant industry live by, and they wish to share it with the rest of the world: compliments don’t pay the bills.

TikTok creator Alyssa (@alyssr) recently posted a video that highlighted how not tipping can affect a server’s livelihood in more than one way. The video has gained over 19,000 views as of Tuesday.

@alyssr PSA to all my non industry people!! #serverlife #servertiktok #serverproblems #fyp #canada ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral – WZ Beat

In the video, Alyssa stares candidly into the camera and speaks through a voice filter.

“Last night I was serving this group of people and they came in, ordered beers, appetizers, drinks, you know, the whole nine yards. All separate bills. No problem,” Alyssa said.

“A girl had asked me to put all alcoholic drinks on one tab, all the food separate, no problem. As I’m billing them out I noticed no one’s tipping me,” she explained. “I had to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’ll leave cash. Maybe the girl who took all the drinks will cover the tip. No one tipped me.”

Alyssa went on to say how one of the customers even complimented her on her customer service but was adamant about not tipping. The Daily Dot reached out to Alyssa via TikTok comments.

“The last guy goes to pay and says, ‘Thank you so much. Your service was amazing. We had a great time. I feel so bad we can’t tip you,’” she says.

Alyssa pauses before continuing, “I don’t think people understand that in the industry we pay to serve you if you do not tip us. I am tipping out on all of your food, all of your drinks, to the kitchen and the bar…Your verbal tip does not pay for my bills, and I don’t think people realize that.”

Servers can make as little as $2.13 an hour in some states and rely on tips to make up the difference, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Although tip creep is a real phenomenon, waiters still require customers to tip to make a livable wage. The video has sparked a debate on the merits of tipping. Though some users remarked that servers should find other career paths, most commenters took Alyssa’s side and argued that tipping is an inherent cost of dining out.

One server posted her desire for customers to at least tip a bare minimum, so she could break even.

“I would appreciate even a 5% tip honestly— just anything to cover the tip percentage we give to the kitchen and bar,” they said.

Another user advised people to rethink going out if they can’t afford to tip. “If you can’t tip don’t go out!!”

A third user added that there are other options people can take rather than receiving table service.

“Then GET CARRY OUT,” they said. “What is wrong with people?!”

A fourth user agreed and said, “These comments are crazy, you’re providing them with service you should be tipped for that. If you don’t want to pay for the service then make it yourself.”

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*First Published: Jun 13, 2023, 11:56 pm CDT