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Restaurant Owner Berates Customers For Not Tipping Their Servers Who Work For $3 An Hour, Faces Major Backlash Online
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Restaurant Owner Berates Customers For Not Tipping Their Servers Who Work For $3 An Hour, Faces Major Backlash Online

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Tipping culture in the United States is bizarre to a lot of people. Even if you are from there, the idea that you are required (well, not technically but at the very least obligated) to tip over 15% at any restaurant is a bit strange. Ideally, you’ll tip 20-25% if you receive excellent service or if you have a large party, but even if the service is not great, it is insulting to leave too little. There are many unspoken rules about tipping that can be difficult to navigate, but one thing is clear: people working in the service industry love shaming bad tippers. And while it is sometimes appropriate for servers to call out stingy tippers, the crux of the issue is that servers should be paid enough by their employers in the first place. Then they would not have to rely on large tips. 

Recently, one restaurant was put on blast on Reddit for a hypocritical post they shared demanding customers tip their servers better. Below, you can read the post yourself, as well as some of the responses it has received, and decide whether you think the issue here is the customers or the business itself. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda piece discussing tipping culture in the US, check out this story next.    

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    This restaurant was recently called out online for a hypocritical post they made demanding customers tip their servers better

    Image credits: icsilviu (not the actual photo)

    One reader even pointed out why the owner might be so upset about small tips, bringing to light a comment they had posted

    It is completely understandable to be concerned about your employees’ livelihoods and want them to earn decent wages, but is alienating your customer base the way to go about that? The owners of the restaurant in question, Fireside Grille, certainly have the power to provide their servers decent wages without guilting their customers into tipping more. If they want to cling to paying servers dollars under the minimum wage for non-tipped jobs, which is $7.25 in Tennessee, there are ways to ensure larger tips. For example, some restaurants add a required 20% tip at the bottom of every bill to ensure that servers are paid well and to eliminate the guesswork that comes with allowing customers to create their own tips. If they want to give more, they always can, but this way, servers don’t have to worry whether or not they will be compensated for their work.

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    The post was later deleted after becoming the subject of controversy

    Requiring customers to tip a certain amount may sound abrasive to some people, but the alternative is paying servers higher wages. Businesses should not be as hesitant to do this as they are, but it is the safest way to ensure that servers are provided for. Particularly when tipping has seen a great decrease in recent years, with the pandemic discouraging many people from eating out and inflation leading many people to tighten their budgets. According to a study by One Fair Wage and the Food Labor Research Center at U.C. Berkeley, 83% of restaurant workers reported earning less tips during the pandemic. Meanwhile, many Americans are advocating for a $15 federal minimum wage across the board, with the elimination of a “tipped minimum wage”, but it does not appear to be happening any time soon. 

    Clearly, the tipping system in the US is outdated and could use a serious facelift, but I’m not sure that businesses contributing to the problem have the right to berate their customers for leaving small tips. What do you think of all this: should customers understand their responsibility to tip better or should the business owners take matters into their own hands and start compensating their employees appropriately? We would love to hear what you think below, and if you happen to be eating out in the US any time soon, please tip well. You never know how much a restaurant owner is giving their employees, and a 20% tip might be becoming more and more rare with inflation. 

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    But that didn’t stop the internet from sharing and ridiculing the post

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    Adelaide Ross

    Adelaide Ross

    Writer, BoredPanda staff

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    Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

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    Adelaide Ross

    Adelaide Ross

    Writer, BoredPanda staff

    Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

    Ilona Baliūnaitė

    Ilona Baliūnaitė

    Author, BoredPanda staff

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    I'm a Visual Editor at Bored Panda since 2017. I've searched through a multitude of images to create over 2000 diverse posts on a wide range of topics. I love memes, funny, and cute stuff, but I'm also into social issues topics. Despite my background in communication, my heart belongs to visual media, especially photography. When I'm not at my desk, you're likely to find me in the streets with my camera, checking out cool exhibitions, watching a movie at the cinema or just chilling with a coffee in a cozy place

    Read less »

    Ilona Baliūnaitė

    Ilona Baliūnaitė

    Author, BoredPanda staff

    I'm a Visual Editor at Bored Panda since 2017. I've searched through a multitude of images to create over 2000 diverse posts on a wide range of topics. I love memes, funny, and cute stuff, but I'm also into social issues topics. Despite my background in communication, my heart belongs to visual media, especially photography. When I'm not at my desk, you're likely to find me in the streets with my camera, checking out cool exhibitions, watching a movie at the cinema or just chilling with a coffee in a cozy place

    What do you think?
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    POST
    tahadata avatar
    Lara Verne
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    They pay $3 an hour and still have audacity to call customers stingy...

    morachilis avatar
    Mora Chilis
    Community Member
    1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    And he is dipping into the tips. Claims he doesn't get a hourly wage, that is such c**p. It is his business, he is making money. He is stealing their tips!

    Load More Replies...
    markfuller avatar
    Mark Fuller
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Holy c**p - this is like a third world wage. Restaurant aside, what's up with the actual state legislation??! That would work out at about £2.50 an hour in the U.K. - not even enough to by a sandwich or a pint of beer. Our legal minimum hourly rate (and it's still not enough by far) is £9.18 / just over $11 - almost four times more than this tight a*s restaurant owner. Even Nigeria - one of the poorest countries in the world - has an average hourly rate of 1950NGN, which is around $4.58. What the actual f**k is wrong with America??

    v_11 avatar
    Sftw
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    The way it works is that, if the employee didn't make enough tips to meet normal minimum wage, the restaurant has to pay the employee up to that wage. The server will always make at least $7.25/hr, the variable is how much the owner has to pay. The staff can make more than that off of tips, but it runs the risk of owners illegally dipping into the pool for themselves down to the point their staff makes barely minimum wage. It was implemented during the depression to ease the burden on restaurants as a temporary measure, and then the greedy oligarchs made sure it never changed.

    Load More Replies...
    laura_ketteridge avatar
    Laura Ketteridge
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Pay your staff! Make a big thing in the local media about how well your staff is paid, and that customers don't need to give a 15% tip because it's already been included in the prices advertised. Look after your staff. They are your biggest asset.

    mtgwolfie avatar
    Mtg Wolfie
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Agreed. Pay your staff. Tips should be just that, an additional reward for good service, NOT an expected additional cost of eating. Quite personally, I DESPISE tipping. It is silent consent to a corrupt and vicious system that exploits servers to the benefit of the restaurant. I refuse to eat where the servers aren't paid well, and if the service is good, I leave a note that its a gift (non taxable).

    Load More Replies...
    Load More Comments
    tahadata avatar
    Lara Verne
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    They pay $3 an hour and still have audacity to call customers stingy...

    morachilis avatar
    Mora Chilis
    Community Member
    1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    And he is dipping into the tips. Claims he doesn't get a hourly wage, that is such c**p. It is his business, he is making money. He is stealing their tips!

    Load More Replies...
    markfuller avatar
    Mark Fuller
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Holy c**p - this is like a third world wage. Restaurant aside, what's up with the actual state legislation??! That would work out at about £2.50 an hour in the U.K. - not even enough to by a sandwich or a pint of beer. Our legal minimum hourly rate (and it's still not enough by far) is £9.18 / just over $11 - almost four times more than this tight a*s restaurant owner. Even Nigeria - one of the poorest countries in the world - has an average hourly rate of 1950NGN, which is around $4.58. What the actual f**k is wrong with America??

    v_11 avatar
    Sftw
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    The way it works is that, if the employee didn't make enough tips to meet normal minimum wage, the restaurant has to pay the employee up to that wage. The server will always make at least $7.25/hr, the variable is how much the owner has to pay. The staff can make more than that off of tips, but it runs the risk of owners illegally dipping into the pool for themselves down to the point their staff makes barely minimum wage. It was implemented during the depression to ease the burden on restaurants as a temporary measure, and then the greedy oligarchs made sure it never changed.

    Load More Replies...
    laura_ketteridge avatar
    Laura Ketteridge
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Pay your staff! Make a big thing in the local media about how well your staff is paid, and that customers don't need to give a 15% tip because it's already been included in the prices advertised. Look after your staff. They are your biggest asset.

    mtgwolfie avatar
    Mtg Wolfie
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Agreed. Pay your staff. Tips should be just that, an additional reward for good service, NOT an expected additional cost of eating. Quite personally, I DESPISE tipping. It is silent consent to a corrupt and vicious system that exploits servers to the benefit of the restaurant. I refuse to eat where the servers aren't paid well, and if the service is good, I leave a note that its a gift (non taxable).

    Load More Replies...
    Load More Comments
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