Server Faces Backlash For Explaining Why Tourists Who Visit America Should Always Tip At Least 20%

“If you can’t afford to tip, then don’t go out to eat.”

waitress speaking to couple at a table andresr / Canva Pro

There is a significant conflict between service industry workers and tourists visiting America who find tipping culture ridiculous.

While servers in America rely primarily on their tips, tourists unapologetically believe it is not their responsibility to tip when going out to eat. While it’s true that the actual problem lies with employers, refusing to tip only hurts the workers, not the businesses.


A server faced backlash after taking to TikTok to stress the importance of tourists tipping their servers.

TikToker Bailey aimed to raise awareness of the reality behind many struggling workers who frequently deal with non-tipping customers despite providing quality service.

In no way did she attempt to call out or criticize individuals who typically don’t tip, but she tried explaining how most service workers can only rely on their tips to make ends meet.

@carloandbailey Tipping 20% of the bill is the kind, right thing to do! And no, a 25 dollar tip isnt enough for a 400$ bill.Also I was a server for half a year so i’m not a stranger to the struggle #americaninitaly #america #USA #usa_tiktok #serverlife #servertiktok ♬ original sound - Bailey in Italy 🇮🇹

RELATED: Former Server Explains Why She Refused To Tip More Than $2 On $75 Bill


She began the video by saying, “When you go to the USA, and you are a tourist, and you’re not used to tipping, but then you go to a restaurant, and then you see the little tip line, if you put zero dollars and zero cents, a portion of that meal is going to be taken out of the server’s paycheck.”

“I know it’s not fair, but it’s true,” she continued. “Do I think that America needs a little bit of reform, especially when it comes to our tipping culture? Yes. Do I think it’s getting out of control? Yes.”

She further emphasized that when tourists refuse to tip “as a form of protest,” they are only contributing to the problem by giving their money to these businesses rather than supporting their hardworking servers, who are desperately trying to support themselves and their families. All this mindset does is harm the servers, who are living paycheck to paycheck due to their insufficient minimum wage.

“If there comes reform, it has to come from the waitresses and the waiters themselves, but that’s not up to you,” she stated.


In America, tips are crucial for servers to earn a livable income.

In most countries, tipping is either minimal or not expected at all. In fact, it’s even considered rude to tip. This is because most businesses in other countries pay their servers sufficient wages where they don’t need to rely on tips.

Bailey pointed out how when Americans visit other countries, they abide by these non-tipping customs. Yet, when tourists visit America, they reject America’s emphasis on tipping culture simply because they refuse to support its faulty system. These tourists don’t realize the impact this mentality is having on hardworking servers who don’t have many other choices to support themselves.

@angelrassy #stitch with If you visit America you should be tipping appropriately #serviceindustry #tippingculture #americaisthebadplace #fyp ♬ original sound - Angel Lynn

In the U.S., tipping is not just a courtesy; it’s a fundamental part of the wage structure for servers. The federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour, and refusing to tip your servers will make no difference to this corrupt system.


Many tipped employees rely on service jobs as a means to make additional income or to save money while studying in college. They take on these jobs due to their underpaying jobs or to their expensive education costs.

That being said, it isn’t fair to blame the servers for choosing their profession simply because the system they are working within is flawed.

RELATED: A New Study Reveals How Servers Can Convince Customers To Tip More Based On A Simple Trick

Commenters were not too agreeable with Bailey’s unpopular take on tourists and tipping.

Despite her valid explanation of why tipping is so important for American servers, individuals continued to defend the reality that tipping is a choice, not a requirement, blaming employers and capitalism for the issue.


“Sounds like the restaurant's fault for not paying a reasonable wage, still not tipping,” someone said. “Tipping culture is out of control because of capitalism and restaurants not wanting to pay appropriate wages and force the public to compensate the lack of proper wages,” another individual asserted. “Tipping is optional; if servers don't like it, they should find another job,” someone else argued.

@yourtango A man on Reddit admitted to not tipping his server after the bill was more than he anticipated. The next day, he returned to the restaurant.#tippingculture #tip #reddit #aita #serverlife #restaurantlife#greenscreen ♬ original sound - YourTango

While it’s true that it’s unfair for individuals to pay out of pocket to compensate underpaid service workers, and it is the employer’s responsibility to resolve this issue, the American tipping system puts an unfair burden on both the servers and the customers.

If individuals truly want to advocate and take action for a reformed service industry, then they should boycott restaurants altogether, not just the tipping system.


“You should protest tipping culture by not going to places that require tipping in the first place, not by not tipping at those places and letting the staff feel the pain,” someone suggested.

It’s no secret that there are not too many options for workers to effectively support themselves in America.

Oftentimes, service jobs can be their most accessible and profitable option.

According to Data USA, most servers are young, in their 20s-30s, and don’t have many well-paying entry-level options to make a livable wage to support themselves. Even if they can find a suitable job, the income still doesn’t compare to how much they can earn as a tipped employee.

I supported myself with tips from a job in the service industry while I was in college and still do in my developing career. I know firsthand how difficult it is to earn a livable income when you are young and just starting out. The service industry can be the easiest place to start and additionally pay you more than most entry-level jobs.


While tipping is optional, tourists and other non-tipping folks aren’t grasping the impact a 20% tip can have on someone’s life. While the system is imperfect, flawed, and unfair, reform won’t occur by simply refusing to support the individuals experiencing the toxic industry firsthand. It’s easy to tell someone to “go find another job,” but this belief is significantly unrealistic when there are not enough well-paying options available.

While this is not a customer’s problem, if they are visiting a restaurant and being served and catered to by an individual who is just trying to support themselves and their families, it doesn’t hurt to spare them a small portion of your check.

There is a growing need to address the systemic issues within the American service industry— there’s no doubt about that. But reform takes time and community.


RELATED: Server Explains Why She's Against Earning A 'Livable' Wage As A Restaurant Employee And Prefers Getting Tips

Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team based in Orlando, FL. She covers lifestyle, human-interest, adventure, and spirituality topics.