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Frustrated Man Criticizes America's 'Out Of Control' Tipping After Traveling Abroad Where Gratuity Was Rejected

Photo: Dejan Dundjerski / Shutterstock
man making payment with smartphone in restaurant

If there's one thing most people are often divided on, it's the topic of tipping in the food service industry. Whether it's at a restaurant or a coffee shop, many individuals have something to say about the increase in various "service charges" that have begun popping up, sometimes on top of tipping.

However, a content creator named Christian pointed out how different tipping is once you leave the United States.

He criticized America's 'out of control' tipping after traveling abroad where gratuity was rejected.

"Tipping in the United States is out of control," Christian began in his video. He explained that he was currently in Miami and ordered a pumpkin spice latte from a coffee shop, and when he got his bill there was a "mandatory service charge."

On top of the service charge, which Christian admitted he had no idea what it was for in the first place, there was also an option for him to leave a tip. He found it ludicrous that he wasn't even asked about leaving a tip, but that it was just assumed. 

   

   

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"I had to tip as part of my order. The woman flipped the screen around to me and instead of clicking what percentage you want, it just said service charge," he recalled. "Don't get me wrong, I'll be happy to tip on a great three-course meal with good service, but for a cup of coffee, I typically don't tip."

Christian continued, saying that he wasn't sure if it was just a thing in Miami, or if the tipping culture is this way in other places in the United States. He explained that he spent the summer in Italy, and one night had an amazing three-course meal at a restaurant, where the service was equally as phenomenal.

When it came time to pay the bill, the server brought him the check and when he signed it, he noticed there was no line to leave a tip. Christian claimed that he was confused, and went to ask the server how he could leave a tip because the service had been amazing and he wanted to show his appreciation.

Man Criticizes America's Out Of Control Tipping After Traveling Abroad Photo: YakobchukOlena / Canva Pro

"He goes, 'Oh, we don't do tips here. We're in Italy,'" Christian recalled the server telling him. "So, you go from Italy where you can have the best service of your life and there's no tip, to Miami where they pour you a cup of coffee and you are forced to tip."

"We're getting to a point now in America where people are gonna ask for tips for grabbing you water, for getting you a napkin, for holding the door open for you ... like aren't tips supposed to reward good service," he ranted. "Not just a requirement for ordering a coffee at a coffee shop."

It's been found that most Americans don't tip restaurant servers enough.

According to the Pew Research Center, around seven in 10 U.S. adults (72%) say tipping is expected in more places today than it was five years ago. More Americans oppose (40%) than favor (24%) businesses suggesting tip amounts to their customers — for example, on the bill or on a checkout screen. Another 32% neither favor nor oppose the practice.

RELATED: Man Claims He's No Longer Tipping Servers Unless They Provide 'Exceptional Service'

About seven in 10 adults (72%) say they oppose businesses including automatic service charges or tips on customers’ bills, regardless of group size — including half who strongly oppose the practice. Only 10% favor such charges.

Similarly, 57% of American diners tip 15% or less for a typical sit-down meal, "including 2% who say they wouldn’t leave any tip." Only about 22 percent of people said they would leave a tip of 20% or more. 

   

   

However, in Europe, the tipping customs vary from country to country but there isn't a uniform system like in the United States. The reason for that is because European restaurant servers are more well-paid than the ones in America. The U. S. national average for server earnings — the total pay before taxes — is $20,000, $31,000 annually.

In Europe, tips are considered a small "bonus" to reward a server's great service but are not something that restaurant employees rely on for their income. In America, tipping at least 20% for servers is not considered a non-negotiable, but American servers rely on their tips to supplement their income.

As opinions on the tipping culture continue to emerge, especially from frustrated American consumers like Christian, the economic factors are something that most people can agree on. American restaurant servers are the ones getting the short end of the stick with how minuscule they are earning for doing incredibly hard work.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.