Server Goes Viral On TikTok After Sharing How She's Forced To Tip The Cooks, Asks If That's Fair

Tipping culture is one of those issues in the United States that are going to divide most groups of people into two opposing camps. On one side of the fence, you have some businesses that see it as something that should continue to exist and even be encouraged. On the other side, you have service industry employees who desperately need it to change so they have some proper financial stability in their lives.

Having to rely on tips just to make ends meet can put a huge amount of pressure on you. Especially if you’re waiting tables and the restaurant expects you to give the cooks a large part of your tips. That’s exactly what happened to TikToker @__heylee_ who went viral after asking the internet if it was fair how much she’s forced to tip out the other employees. Scroll down for the full story.

Bored Panda reached out to @__heylee__ via TikTok direct message, and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear back from her.

@__heylee__ The other waitresses work 8 hour days from open – close and make way more money so of course they can tip out $25 on the week days and $40 on the weekends. But I come in later and I’m always put in the section that doesn’t get a lot of business because it’s for overflow. I feel like I’m being treated unfairly and the other waitresses just say “we don’t make that much more than you do, and we still have to tip out”. What do you guys think? #waitressing #waitressproblems #serverlife #foryou #whatdoyouthink #comment #like #share #boost #treatedunfairly ♬ original sound – Hey Lee

TikToker @__heylee__ went viral after sharing how much she’s forced to tip the cooks

Image credits: Pressmaster (not the actual photo)

“You guys wanna hear something [messed up] up? All right”

Image credits: __heylee__

“I work as a waitress and when I first started there we tipped out the cooks 10% of whatever we made.”

“Or a little bit more if we made more, you know, whatever. And so, lately, they haven’t been really happy with the amount that I’ve been tipping out ’cause it’s been a small amount. I only work like two or three hours a day”

Image credits: __heylee__

“I don’t make that much money. So my boss made it mandatory to tip them out 25 on the weekdays and 40 on the weekends”

“So now it’s Saturday and I only worked two hours and it was slow. So they sent me home early and she still expected me to pay out 40 bucks, but that’s like the exact amount of tips that I made. And so I went to her and I told her about it.”

Image credits: __heylee__

“She made me tip 25 and I only went home with 15”

“Do you guys think that’s fair?”

Image credits: drazenphoto (not the actual photo)

It’s essential that service industry employees know the local labor laws and their own rights

TikToker @__heylee_’s video had over 638.6k views at the time of writing, and resonated with a ton of people online. People could really feel the unfairness of the whole situation.

How tipping functions will depend a lot on the state you live in, the local minimum wage laws, as well as the particular culture of the company you work for. So there’s a lot of place for nuance here.

If you want to know whether or not the restaurant, cafe, or pub you’re working at is being fair to you, you have to read up on the local laws and see what your rights are, and how tipping non-tipped minimum wage employees (i.e. the back-of-the-house) works. There are no shortcuts here. You may want to consider seeking free legal advice on labor laws, too.

Servers sharing part of their tips with the cooks and other back-of-the-house employees is nothing new. But there’s a need for balance here.

After all, it’s not just the servers who keep the whole operation afloat: they’d have nothing to serve and it’d be hard to keep the customers happy if the food that left the kitchen was constantly sub-par. However, it wouldn’t make sense to give the cooks basically all of the substantial tips that you earn through hard work, charm, and politely smiling through the pain.

Image credits: imagesourcecurated (not the actual photo)

Tipping culture has a lot of issues

TikToker @__heylee explained how her boss made it mandatory to tip the cooks out $25 on weekdays and $40 on the weekends. The issue is that this is a huge amount of money for the server because she only works 2 to 3 hours each day. Essentially, this means that she’s left bringing home a tiny amount of money. The situation could be solved by changing the flat amount she’s supposed to tip to a percentage, working longer hours, or… scrapping tipping as a whole and paying everyone a fair, dignified wage.

In a follow-up video, the TikToker considered the idea that the way that tipping functions at her workplace could be someone’s way of trying to get some of the servers to leave by creating an even worse environment for everyone.

As we’ve written on Bored Panda before, many servers feel that tipping culture as a whole should be thrown out the window and replaced with paying a proper wage. It’s how things are done all over the globe, and it works.

The sign of a good server is that they’re attentive to their customers, can anticipate their needs, and generally create a memorable experience. However, not every customer is going to be a saint. We’ve written before how some people demean the members of staff by using large tips as an ‘incentive’ to do whatever they want. Workers deserve better.

Image credits: drazenphoto (not the actual photo)

Here’s what some TikTok users thought after seeing the viral video