# Customer has \$250 meal with his family. Then, the restaurant asked him to leave a massive tip

Simple calculations at the end of a meal can make the experience of a delicious outing awful.
UPDATED AUG 11, 2024

Having meals at the restaurant is a fun activity for most of us, and people like to be generous with giving tips to the helpful staff who ensure that their requests are being taken care of. But normal math at how much money one might end up giving as a tip can make you go bonkers. TikTok influencer Mario Zelaya recently made a post on TikTok where he spoke about how much money goes into tipping, and how tippling culture has become a more normal practice.

In the United States, federal law states that the minimum hourly wage for a restaurant staff needs to be \$7.25. And if a staff member is categorized as a “tipped worker” then the restaurants can pay them less than the minimum wage of \$7.25 per hour, since they can easily make more than 60% of the minimum wage from tip alone. What is surprising is that even the non-tipped staff in the United States expect the restaurant visitors to give them a generous tip. The practice has become quite prevalent not just in restaurants but even in bars.

Recalling a recent restaurant bill that Mario had to pay, he mentioned that the tip in the bill was more than 18% of the actual food price. For a bill amounting to \$250, of which tip alone was \$50. In addition to the tip, he had to pay the taxes which made total money out of his pocket \$282. Doing a simple calculation at the end of the meal can make the experience of a delicious outing experience as awful. In some scenarios, it is even observed that the staff members get anxious as they are expecting a good tip for the services they offered, and eagerly look forward to it at the end.

It has become a common practice for restaurants to add a tip to the bill of the customers. And in most cases, the tip amounts to 20% of the total bill amount which can be a bitter experience for the customers. Federal law allows restaurants to add it, but customers have all the rights to pay it or get it waived from their bill at their discretion. That’s the reason why some bills even have it under the label discretionary service charges. However, it can be an unpleasant experience for customers to ask the restaurant manager to remove the charges from the bill. Tips are to be paid at the will of the customer if they are pleased with the service being offered by the staff. The practice of adding it to the bills default, and kind of forcing the customers to pay it is not a healthy one.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 27, 2024. It has since been updated.

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