A tip calculator (L) and a Chili's sign (R).

Tonelson Productions/Shutterstock @traplordjgraham/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Something isn’t adding up Chili’s’: Customer shows how Chili’s tablet allegedly calculates tips differently in viral TikTok (updated)

'Chilis has some explaining to do.'


Gisselle Hernandez

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 23, 2022   Updated on Feb 25, 2022, 8:13 am CST

A TikTok video involving Chili’s went viral after a customer showed the pre-calculated tips are seemingly higher at the pay-at-the-table touchscreens. 

The TikTok shows user @traplordjgraham calculating a 20% tip of a $26.46 total on his phone, resulting in what should be a $5.26 tip. However, when the 20% tip is selected on the Chili’s touchscreen tablet, it comes out to $7.61 despite having the same total. 

“Something isn’t adding up Chili’s,” the overlay text in the video reads.

“Chilis has some explaining to do,” the caption adds.

The TikTok gained more than 67,000 views since being posted on Jan. 29. The majority of viewers pointed out it wasn’t that Chili’s system was inaccurate but that it was calculating tips based on the grand total. 

“Chili’s commented on another post. The tip page is including tax and overall total,” one user wrote. 

“The 26.46 was before taxes,” another said. 

This isn’t the first time a TikTok has gone viral based on Chili’s credit card tipping system. Last month, user Richard Bell (@motorich33) also shared the restaurant’s tip calculations for the exact reason. His video gained over 450,000 views and sparked similar debate.

“The suggested tip is calculated based on the total after taxes and before any adjustments to the check such as comped items, redeemed coupons/rewards, or other discounts,” a spokesperson for Brinker International, the company that owns Chili’s, told the Daily Dot in regards to Bell’s video. “So, the suggested amounts/percentages are inclusive of any comps and discounts our Guests received.” 

“If a Guest is a My Chili’s Rewards Member and redeems a reward/gets a menu item comped, the suggested gratuity is based on or includes the total check amount before the comp. Fortunately, the tip is adjustable so our Guests can customize or choose the amount they prefer using the ‘Custom Tip’ option,” they added.

The spokesperson added that the tip is customizable and that customers can change it when paying through a tablet.

When reached for comment for this story, a spokesperson for Brinker International pointed the Daily Dot to the same statement.

Update 8:13am CT Feb 25: When reached for comment, the TikToker, Justin Graham V, told the Daily Dot that he has worked as “a busser, food runner, server, dishwasher and bartender in multiple restaurants for the last 6 years since I was 15.”

“I have no problem tipping I normally tip around 30%, however what I do have a problem with is dishonest business practices,” he said. “[This] has affected the way I view chilis and corporate restaurants.”

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*First Published: Feb 23, 2022, 12:48 pm CST