Server's Story About Shaming Man Into Giving a Better Tip Divides Internet

A woman shared a story about how she managed to shame a customer into leaving a better tip for her in a video viewed more than 200,000 times.

TikTok user @tamela.anderson posted the video, which was stitched with another clip that talked about shaming customers who leave poor tips, and her experience left viewers divided.

AARP discussed the various services that someone can leave a tip for, including food service.

Restaurant Tip
A woman's TikTok video in which she talked about how she managed to shame a customer into leaving a better tip went viral. Here, a stock image of a tip left behind at a restaurant. vinnstock/iStock

"For a full-service, sit-down meal, 15 to 20 percent of the pretax bill is customary," the piece stated. "At a buffet, leave a 10 percent tip. Just picking up a sandwich or a decaf latte from the counter? Tip at least 10 percent."

Debby Mayne, an etiquette expert, advised if someone cannot afford a tip that is expected, they should not use the service.

In her video, @tamela.anderson said she served two men and was blonde at that time. One man paid for the meals with cash.

After she brought the change back to the table, she noticed that the man left a tip that was equivalent to 10 to 15 percent of the bill.

"He looks at me and was like, 'You know, never really been a fan of blondes,'" @tamela.anderson said. "And without missing a beat, I looked at him and was like, 'You know, I never really liked s**tty tippers.'"

She said the man nodded at her and gave her an additional $10 on top of the tip he had already left for her.

"Shaming works," @tamela.anderson concluded.

Her video sparked a discussion among commenters about tipping culture.

"Your anger should be at the owners of the establishment," a viewer wrote. "They're the ones not paying you properly."

Another suggested that @tamela.anderson is not owed a tip.

In a different video, @tamela.anderson responded to the comment advising her that she should be upset with the restaurant owners.

"That would be completely fair, but that's not the situation," she said. "Everyone deciding not to tip anymore is not going to force business owners to pay their restaurant employees more."

Instead, @tamela.anderson said many employees will leave the business in search of other jobs.

Some said that what the man initially left was the standard tip, but others jumped to her defense.

"That's honestly fair because he came for you first," a viewer commented.

"I've literally never heard of less than 18 [percent] as the norm, these comments are shocking," one wrote. "I was a server a decade ago and usually got at least 20 [percent]."

Another agreed with the sentiment and suggested that a 20 percent tip is standard for sit-down service, while a 5 to 15 percent tip is standard for counter service.

"Serving is extremely taxing and people put up with it for the tips," they commented.

Newsweek reached out to @tamela.anderson for comment.

Many people have taken their stories about tipping culture to the internet, and they often spark a debate.

A viral TikTok showed a DoorDash order that was sitting on the counter for more than 10 minutes because the customer allegedly did not leave a tip for the driver.

Another video talked about "tip baiting," which means a high tip is offered but greatly reduced or taken away after the service is completed.

However, one woman received the support of TikTok viewers after she expressed that "tipping culture has gotten out of control."