Why Some TikTokers Are Upset Over This Customer's Response To A 'Rude' Server

TikTok user @GameofTony seems really proud of himself for making sure the world knows he didn't want to tip a waitress during a recent night out at a restaurant. Captioning his August 25 post, "Wrong food, waiting forever, rude waitress, so sad!," the video shows the original poster with a receipt that has a pre-tip total of $32.49. Using his pen, he then writes in a negative tip of -$32.49, with a final total of $0, essentially implying the service was so bad, he shouldn't have to pay the bill.

People were quick to respond to his post, mostly outraged at this idea. As one person who called out his naivete and callousness said, "Tell me you've never worked in customer service without telling me you've never worked in customer service." 

Others pointed out that servers in many parts of the country are not required to receive the same hourly wage as non-tipped workers, so the loss of tips is already quite harsh and cuts down on their income. Said one person in the comment section, "I used to tip based off service until I started dating my bf and realizing that tips are their paychecks, they get like 10 dollar pay checks if that."

Federal minimum wage only requires compensation of $2.13 an hour for tipped employees, and it's expected that tips will bring this total up or above minimum wage (via the U.S. Department of Labor). The idea, in the case of this video, of asking the employee to pay the customer back is much akin to saying that a server might owe the customer for the experience of letting them dine out.

Then again, as one person commented in the thread, "I believe tips are EARNED, if the waitress is rude I'm not tipping."

The reasons why the video was made in the first place are unclear

The original poster of the TikTok video never went into the details of what he considered "rude" service, other than noting that his order was wrong and he had to wait for it. Though, he may have forgotten restaurants are currently dealing with the fallout of a massive labor shortage as many establishments are short-staffed after the pandemic and clamoring to hire workers (per Time). As the article states, as the pandemic has shuttered 1 in every 10 restaurants permanently, those that are still open don't have it easy. Slow service and lesser-experienced staff are very common right now, and patience goes a long way — as do good tips to help out over-worked waitstaff.

As one commenter asked, wondering if the poster considered all the underlying issues that might have been at play: "Did you say anything to the waitress about the wrong food? Did you give them a chance to fix it? Are they understaffed? Was the restaurant busy?" And another person said, "I guess y'all have never been a waitress at a busy time."

Then again, it's possible this video is just a joke too. As one person pointed out in the comment section — the receipt says it's the customer copy. For all we know, the poster tipped generously and simply wanted to grab some views.

We might not know the reason behind this video, or the result, but it's clear the effect has people riled up. If ever in doubt, we'd recommend erring on the side of a tip and understanding.