Internet Backs Drive-Thru Customer Who Says 'Tipping Culture' Is 'Out of Control'

In a now-viral video, a drive-thru customer expressed her opinion that "tipping culture has gotten out of control," and commenters couldn't agree more.

The video, found here, was posted to TikTok on Tuesday by Realistic.recovery (@realistic.recovery), who wrote: "Literally just charge me the extra $2 for my meal, stop making me feel uncomfortable." So far, the video has received more than 3.2 million views and over 385,000 likes.

In the video—which was filmed from inside her car—the TikToker said that she'd just grabbed food from the drive-thru of a "cheap a** fast food restaurant," when she was asked to tip at the payment window.

"Homegirl, what am I gonna tip you for?" she asked the camera. "I'm in the f**king drive-thru."

Ultimately, she declined to tip the drive-thru employee.

"I ALWAYS TIP. Nails. Waxing. Massages. Hair. House Cleaners. Delivery drivers. Baristas. Servers. EVEN IF THE SERVICE IS BAD. But this confused me," she said in the video's comment section.

There doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rules when it comes to tipping on drive-thru orders, or takeout orders in general. In fact, many experts are divided on the subject.

"Any time you're picking up a to-go order from anything other than a drive-thru window, it's standard practice to leave a gratuity [a monetary thank you] for the service from the person who boxed your meal, made sure all the condiments and utensils were included, bagged everything, and then either had it ready at the counter for you or brought it to your car," Maralee McKee, founder of The Etiquette School of America, wrote on her website.

She added that, in light of the pandemic, all customers should tip as much as they can when ordering takeout.

"The money you give is helping them get through today and maybe even keeping them afloat for tomorrow. Do you really want to lose one of your favorite restaurants?" she asked.

Speaking to USA Today, Bonnie Tsao, the founder of Beyond Etiquette, echoed the sentiment.

"As of right now, I would encourage you to tip on takeout orders if you can, because restaurants are still understaffed and aren't operating at full capacity," she said.

Still, some experts are against tipping on takeout orders.

"I don't tip on takeout," Adeodata Czink, an etiquette consultant, told USA Today. "All they do is put it in a bag."

Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University's hotel school, told the Sun Sentinel that he also didn't find it necessary to tip when ordering takeout.

"I make my living studying tipping and I don't see a reason to do so. The restaurant is not providing any customized service," he said.

The majority of Realistic.recovery's viewers agreed that it was unnecessary to tip in most takeout situations.

"Tipping is for a service. If you are in a drive-thru, YOU drove there! That's not a tipping situation," said creepinginons**t.

"I have a rule, if I didn't sit down, I won't tip. We tip for the service they provide us. It's getting out of hand really," wrote sarah salami.

Sadie Sue commented: "Tipping for takeout feels like a scam."

"Tips are for services or going above and beyond. Next thing you know fast food is going to expect tips for handing you your food lol," added Jess Maple.

Tip jar
In a now-viral video, a drive-thru customer expressed her opinion that “tipping culture has gotten out of control,” and commenters couldn’t agree more. Experts are split on the custom of tipping at a fast food drive-thru. Robert Alexander / Contributor/Getty