About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

Math isn't mathing: Woman okay with 20% tip at restaurant notices something unusual

"They trying to scam us all now. I don’t like it," the diner says in her video.
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Dan Smedley
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Dan Smedley

Tipflation has been a topic of debate for quite sometime now, and people have been really struggling to keep up with the soaring tips. As a standard, Americans are expected to leave a tip anywhere between 15% and 20% of the bill. This is because servers are generally paid a minimum wage significantly lower than other roles.

In a recent TikTok video, Kristiahna Clark shared about how the Ziosk machine at a restaurant prompted her to leave a 20% tip. But at this moment, Clark noticed something. 

Money in a tip jar | Getty Images | Photo by Robert Alexander
Money in a tip jar | Getty Images | Photo by Robert Alexander

"20% of $33.30 is not $8.95,” she says, looking at the automatic calculation. "What is happening here? 20% of $33.30, off the top of my head, should be…$6.66, right?"

She then talks about how the restaurant may be trying to cheat people because they know people normally do 20%. While she says she does not mind giving an extra tip. 

"And I keep seeing other people talk about this at other restaurants. Like, what is going on?" she asks, referencing other, similar stories. "They trying to scam us all now. I don’t like it."

While we do not know how the Ziosk machine got this number, people in the comment section seemed to have their own theories. 

TikTok | kristiahnaclark
TikTok | kristiahnaclark

One user writes, "Did you have a discount? If so, they usually calculate it on the pre-discount price," while another writes, "They will give the server 6.66 and pocket the difference."

When you go out to eat, it's best to budget not only for the good itself but also the service. According to a Bankrate survey on this subject, around 59% of respondents reported that they had a negative view towards tipping. 

"Tipping in America is truly out of control," says Kashif Ahmed, a financial planner with American Private Wealth in Bedford, Massachusetts. "I understand many folks get most of their pay from tips, but businesses have started to ask for tips when no extra work was done. And in some cases, no human was even present!"

iAmNurisha | TikTok
iAmNurisha | TikTok

According to another survey by WalletHub, around 74% of Americans feel that the tipping culture has spiraled out of control, and 57% say businesses are just replacing salaries with tips and 27% actually tip less when presented with a suggestion screen. 

Some people also advice against picking the preloaded amounts on the tip screen and go for the custom option. “Do you need to tip someone who punched in your order on the touchscreen? No, because that’s something you could’ve done yourself if given the opportunity,” suggests Andrew Herzog, a financial planner in Plano, Texas.

Moreover, people need to realise that sometimes it's okay to simply say no and not feel pressured to give a tip.

@kristiahnaclark Whats with these calculators? @Olive Garden you need to check on this. Lets not scam people #olivegarden #ziosk @Ziosk ♬ original sound - Kristiahna Clark


Having said  that, one needs to realise when to tip! "But do you need to tip someone who cuts your hair, delivers your pizza, or serves your table? Probably yes. The tip should apply to something you were not able or willing to do yourself," he adds, via Reuters.