Eat & Drink

Tipping Huge Is Great, But is Posting About it on Social Media Necessary?

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There’s been a trend over the last year or so of customers going into restaurants to leave huge tips for their servers and recording the interaction to post on social media. While I’m all for a deserving server receiving a holiday bonus of wads of cash, isn’t posting the event online a little bit, I dunno, cringey?

Just a couple of weeks ago, an Arkansas waitress was given tip of $4400 to split with the other server she had shared the table with. Of course the generous tipper posted the whole thing on the Internet. The restaurant owner got wind of what was going on and made the waitress turn the money over to them so it could be split amongst everyone who worked there. When the generous tipper found that out, he demanded the money go back to the waitress. It did and then the restaurant fired her. Maybe, just maybe, if the scene hadn’t gone viral, the restaurant never would have found out. The benefactor could have kept his mouth shut and the waitress would have kept the money and kept her job. There’s nothing wrong with just silently slipping a massive amount of cash into an envelope, handing it over, and leaving. Does everything have to be posted on the Internet?

Last week, a waitress in Connecticut received a $1920 tip and of course it too was shared on social media. There are even Instagram accounts that are set up for the sole purpose of leaving big tips for servers. There are some who will say these moments are shared on social media in an effort to encourage others to do the same. I get it, but might part of the reason be for self congratulations and more clicks? Booker T. Washington said, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” Giving away thousands of dollars to someone in need must do a lot for the soul. It doesn’t seem to me that it would do more for the soul if 100,000 people watched it happen. In fact, it might even feel better.

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I’m sure some social media influencer somewhere once said “Nothing counts until it’s on Instagram.” Maybe that’s the reason people so freely post these types of videos. They don’t feel like it really matters until it’s made public. I just can’t help but think about the waitress who is thrust in that position without being asked first. If it happened to me at work, I’d be thrilled for the money, but worried about how greasy my face is going to look on camera after a six-hour shift at the restaurant. “What does my hair look like? Did I just snot out a booger when I started crying? Wait, is this live??”

I’m not trying to be a Grinch here. I love that this is a trend, especially now that working in a restaurant is even more challenging than it ever has been. I just hope that the people who are doing it would enjoy it as much if it was done without a cellphone capturing the moment. If it goes viral and encourages others do the same thing, I guess it’s all for the greater good. To me it seems cringey.

So, do I think the practice of surprising servers with big tips and recording it for social media is awkward? Yes, I do. Am I bitter that it’s never happened to me and that a reality show I pitched that would have starred me doing the exact same thing for servers was rejected by a reputable network? Also, yes.

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Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.

2 Comments

  1. Darlene Hagen
    December 23, 2021 at 3:05 pm — Reply

    I prefer to tip big and stay anonymous. Doing something good for others is reward enough and it needs no confirmation from anyone and definitely not on social media. That just screams “Look what good I did! Tell me how awesome I am!” Phuck that. My sons (who also work in restaurants) were raised to do for others with no expectation of any popularity contest or thanks. People are some needy asshats if they can’t do something nice without documenting it for all to see.

  2. December 23, 2021 at 10:52 pm — Reply

    Usually, the same self-congratulatory pricks who boast about tipping big are the same pricks who oppose taxing the rich and/or raising the minimum wage to the point where tipping would be unnecessary.

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