Has tipping culture gone too far?
After years of entrenching in the minds of Americans to tip their servers, many people are beginning to question the ethics behind servers who rely on tips to support themselves.
In a viral video, TikTok user Justice Russell (@realistic.recovery) claimed tipping culture had “gone too far” after an employee asked her how much she’d like to tip at a local drive-thru.
Russell said she felt “uncomfortable” with the encounter and didn’t want to feel pressured to tip a service worker who had done very little service in a short time.
With over 31,100 comments at the time of posting, it’s clear that this video has resonated with many more and sparked a flurry of discussion about how much of a stretch it is when it comes to tipping.
TikTok users have shared their own experiences of being shocked when asked for a tip, including when asked at self-checkouts or clothing stores.
Although tipping in a restaurant, bar or lounge has been the norm for decades, this practice has caught on in environments where customers do not receive a significant amount of service in addition to the purchased product.
While most Americans agree that it’s courteous to tip a service employee, many find themselves in a sticky situation when asked to do so, especially when they didn’t intend to. at the beginning.
As a service worker myself, I know that 50-80% of my total income comes from tips, but asking a customer for a tip is sticky and creates an uncomfortable atmosphere for me and the customer.
Interestingly, America is one of the few countries that has standardized tipping in the service industry, which leaves many wondering why it is abnormal or even frowned upon in other countries.
Countries like Japan, India, and Italy have almost no tipping culture, but instead have higher prices and wages for employees.
In Wisconsin, tipped employees can legally only be paid $2.33 an hour if, combined with tips, their hourly wage amounts to a minimum of $7.25.
Even then, the income of these employees is highly unpredictable. Additionally, the idea of always tipping shifts the responsibility for paying an employee from the employer to the customer.
Customers should be able to enjoy their purchased product with adequate service without having to choose an additional amount on their bill so that their server can support themselves.
Similarly, customers should not have to suffer the effects of servers changing their quality of service based on the financial class a customer appears to belong to.
By relying less on tipping, servers would also be relieved of the constant pressure they feel to allow demeaning and disrespectful behavior from customers who take advantage of the tipping system.
I have experienced first hand the embarrassing and dehumanizing position of enduring sexist, inappropriate and downright rude comments from customers who know I will not retaliate for fear of ruining the establishment’s image and losing a game of my income.
For many servers, far too many of these experiences turned into dangerous situations, some of which could have been avoided had the servers not felt the pressure of relying on their guidance for a living.
Instead, waiters should be expected to do their jobs well while employers are legally bound to pay their employees a living wage.
However, this is not yet the case in all states of the United States. Until then, tip your servers!