Server says people who can’t afford to tip 20% ‘don’t deserve to eat out’

‘Anyone who says we should be getting paid a higher hourly…. Okay? But we aren’t’ A server has offered some very strong opinions on tipping, saying if people can’t afford to do, “they don’t deserve to eat out.”

The comment has divided the internet. While the gesture is discretionary in a lot of countries, in the US it is not only expected, but anything less than 20 per cent is considered cheap. But given how little some staff are paid, it is easy to understand the resentment towards penny-pinching dinners.
In a post on TikTok, a server who goes by the handle @mylasoasis_ , explained how she relies on tips to survive. Unlike the US, which offers a somewhat reasonable minimum wage, in the US that isn’t the case.

She makes ‘$3.63’ an hour £2.96 (£118.4 for 40 hours). In the UK the National Living Wage for those over 23 is £10.42.

The poster, who VT called Lillie, said in her now-deleted video: “You can b**** and moan and tell me that my employer should be paying me a higher wage all you want, but this is America, and that’s not what is happening, OK?

“I get paid $3.63 from the restaurant that I work at. My earnings, my wage, comes from tips.”

She went on to explainer the food is cheaper, “because you’re expected to tip on it.”

Then delivered her highly controversial conclusion: “You don’t deserve to eat out if you cannot afford to tip. Like, it’s the same thing with a nanny.

“If you can’t afford to pay somebody else an entire salary, you don’t deserve a nanny.

“If you can’t afford to tip, you literally don’t deserve to eat out. Order to-go, or go to f*cking McDonald’s.”

“And to anyone who says we should be getting paid a higher hourly…. Okay??? But we aren’t. You not tipping is just going to make your eating out experience worse!”

While many commenters sympathised with Lillie, they didn’t much like the way she made her point. They also suggested she look for a new job.

One wrote: “I always tip but the whole entitlement thing is wild like just get a diff job then that doesn’t require you running around n pays you well hourly.”

Another echoed the sentiment, writing: “If you can not live off your job pay, find another job. This is ridiculous.”

A third commenter wrote: “No offence, but just find another job.”

However, another user also shared their struggle, saying they get paid $2.13 an hour “and we literally don’t get paychecks whatsoever.”

Laws around tipping differ from state to state, with the federal minimum wage currently being $7.25 an hour.

However, for tipped employees – such as waiters or bartenders – businesses in some states can pay as little as $2.13 as long as they can demonstrate the employee makes the minimum wage when tips are included. This is called the ‘tip credit’.

Some restaurants also include ‘tip pools’, where servers ‘tip out’ back of house staff in the kitchen. This became legal in 2020 when the Department of Labor introduced a new rule allowing tips to be shared.

But restaurants can only do this if they pay all their staff the full federal minimum wage and don’t use the tip credit.

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