TikTok Is Divided Over This Server's Trick For Better Tips

Sometimes, TikTok is divided over rather banal debates, such as when you should add salt to pasta water. Other times, chatter on the platform is about something more serious, like tipping culture and theft from your employer. This was the case in one recent video by a former restaurant worker, who wrote in the text overlay, "When I was a server & used to add coupons to my cash tables after they paid so I could have a bigger tip." She added in the caption, "I was making money one way or another."

Some commenters were quick to notice that while she wasn't taking more of customers' money by doing this, she was swiping money from her restaurant. "Amazing how many people steal from their employer," one user said. Fellow restaurant employees were largely on the side of the server. "Remember: if you see a coworker doing this, no you didn't," one shared, while several food workers shared similar stories. Most customers seemed to enjoy the revelation, as well. "I mean, as the customer I'm still paying the same amount either way so, I'm all for this," shared one, while another said they would try to pay their servers in cash from now on.

Why some TikTokers are on the side of the server

Why do so many people seem to be OK with a video about a server cheating their employer out of money? It might be because of how common it is for employers to short-change their workers. Wage theft, as Eater defines it, "is the non-payment or underpayment of employees for hours worked, whether intentional or not." This includes having tipped minimum wage workers do non-tipped work (like cleaning), not paying overtime, and not giving workers their breaks. 

What's more is that any scrutiny into the restaurant industry is likely to find significant instances of wage theft. In 2021, a report by One Fair Wage and the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley found that 35% of tipped employees experienced wage theft that year. This may explain some TikTok viewers' lack of sympathy for the restaurant affected by the coupon incident.