TikTokers who have visited or moved to the US relate to their confusion about tipping culture.
Many people wonder why they are asked to tip at coffee shops when ordering to go.
Some US TikTokers have responded to explain their thoughts on the necessity of tipping.
TikTokers from around the world complain about being caught off guard by American tipping culture.
Tipping is not a cultural norm in the same way in many countries outside the US, and Americans who have moved abroad, as well as foreigners who have visited the US on vacation, are turning to TikTok to air their grievances about the practice.
One of the most common questions many of these users have is why they have been asked to tip in places where they have not sat down for table service, for example in a coffee shop.
“Why do I have to tip 20% for someone to pour coffee from a machine into my cup and give it to me?” asked one user in a video posted on June 9, which has received 137,000 views.
The TikToker went on to say that she moved to the US 10 years ago after living in Poland, where she worked as a waitress, but doesn’t usually get tips from customers. Her post prompted dozens of commenters from different countries around the world to share their experiences with tips in their own countries, with many users in Europe saying they have never tipped their server at a coffee shop.
Other users on TikTok have shared stories of visiting the US and refusing to tip or not realizing that tipping was an expectation, leading to awkward interactions with staff as a result.
A TikToker whose bio says she’s based in London, where it’s more common for venues to add a discretionary service charge to the check rather than expecting a tip, recalled a moment when a server at a bubble tea shop in New Jersey changed her behavior complete. towards her and became unfriendly after she refused to tip during the payment process.
“Tip culture in America is terrible,” she captioned her post.
Another British TikToker posted a video in January with a story about visiting a busy bar in New York. After ordering a couple of drinks and having a brief conversation with the bartender before paying, the TikToker said she was confronted with the fact that she didn’t tip.
“She meant, we live off tips, you gotta tip. This is America,” the TikToker said, recreating the bartender’s response.
“I don’t see how they can justify it, but there we are. It’s the tipping culture in America where they’re right,” said the British TikToker, who explained that she didn’t think it made sense for staff to expect a tip from every single one of hundreds of customers in the crowded venue, especially because she thought making the drinks didn’t take a huge amount of effort.
The video received a mixed response, as some users said they felt the tipping culture in America was too extreme, while others defended bartenders and wait staff for asking for tips, due to the fact that many venues still pay workers a “tip wage,” which is a lower minimum wage that is meant to take tips into account.
According to the US Department of Labor, tipped workers can be paid as little as $2.13 an hour, even though the federal minimum wage is $7.25.
Some US TikTokers have used the app to explain the need to tip visitors and people new to the US, based on how the government handles wages in the hospitality sector.
Tipping etiquette is an explosively controversial topic on TikTok. Some US-based creators have recently come forward to complain that they believe cultural expectations around betting are getting out of hand.
In May, a user said a Ben & Jerry’s cashier was annoyed that she didn’t tip for a $2 cone, and said she was annoyed by the concept of tipping for such a small item, describing the server’s task of preparing the ice cream and handing it to her as a “transaction” rather than “an act of service” that would warrant a tip.
The video received over 670,000 likes from users who seemed to agree, but once again cultural norms came into play. “As a Brit, I find the tipping culture in America wild,” read one top comment, garnering 47 replies as people discussed the issue. It seems the American tipping culture discourse is going nowhere.
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