Chili's Server Says Company 'Steals' From Workers, Customers in Viral Video

In a viral TikTok video, a Chili’s server says the restaurant is stealing from both her and customers due to their food runner and to-go tip sharing system.

“Well, friends, after three years of working for Chili’s and hoping that things would get better after this food runner system rolled out, I am finally gonna quit, and I’m gonna tell you exactly why,” user @thoseawkmoments says.

“Chili’s is stealing from me, and they’re also stealing from you. You wanna know how?” she continues.

While the TikToker makes $2.13 an hour, most of her income is made through tips, similar to most servers. Chili’s recently introduced a food runner position, which also offers $2.13 per hour. The TikToker says servers are required to pay 5% of their total sales from their tips to food runners. She says that amounts to a quarter of her income each day, that is, if she even receives 20% tips from her tables.

“Instead of paying these food runners an hourly wage, they’re paying them $2.13 an hour, and their tips are coming out of my tips. Make it make sense,” she says.

She also notes that food runners are not tippable employees. In fact, several Chili’s servers in Pennsylvania filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company is engaging in unlawful tip-sharing practices that prevents these workers from meeting the state’s minimum wage requirement.

“They are not even technically tippable,” the TikToker says. “The guests do not hand them cash, they cannot receive credit card tips, and they do not have a way to declare their tips at the end of their shift. So, how are they able to be paid $2.13 per hour? How is this even legal?”

The TikToker says that even if food runners are not on the clock, servers are still required to pay out 5% of their sales from their tips.

“If they clock out at 2pm and we don’t have a food runner on, they continue to make the tips, until a different food runner clocks in, where the sales can start going to them, and the tips can start going to them,” she says.

However, the TikToker also alleges that Chili’s is stealing from customers, as well. She says that if customers tip on to-go orders while a to-go specialist is not on the clock, those tips go straight to the corporate office.

“Directly to corporate, as if corporate needs more money,” she sings.

“You’re telling me that you can’t afford to pay them a working wage, so you have to take it out of my hard-earned money that I earned for tips? It doesn’t make sense, and I’m tired of it, I really am,” she says.

In a follow-up video, she notes that regardless of how much customers tip her, she is still required to tip out 5% of sales to food runners. If a table doesn’t tip on a $100 check, she says she must give the food runner $5 from her pocket.

She also responded to comments from other users in the industry who claim that servers tipping out to other workers is the norm.

“Then why aren’t you fucking speaking up then? Speak the fuck up. Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about how these companies are genuinely stealing fucking money from us, while we live paycheck to paycheck,” she says.

The Chili’s server initial video received over 150,000 views, and several servers in the comments shared similar complaints.

“I’m a server too & I’ve been saying this. There is no reason servers should be responsible for paying the other employees wages,” one user said.

“I’ve worked so many restaurants where this is the case and it’s never made sense to me!! Good for you for quitting girl know your worth babe,” another said.

“I used to work at a restaurant where we did this for bussers, expos, and the bartenders. Last year I tipped out $6,000 … and got taxed on it,” a third user said.

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