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Server Advocates for Change by Withholding 20% Tips in Viral TikTok Video

The service industry needs a nuanced approach to tipping that acknowledges and rewards the hard work
Cover Image Source: TikTok | jenna_michal
Cover Image Source: TikTok | jenna_michal

In the fast-paced world of the service industry, tipping has long been a topic of discussion. Recently, a server named Jenna B. from Atlanta went viral on TikTok for expressing her decision to no longer tip certain service industry workers 20% of her bill. The video, which has garnered over 51,000 views, captures Jenna sharing her candid thoughts on why she believes some servers don't deserve the standard tip.

 Image Source: TikTok  | jenna_michal
TikTok | jenna_michal

One of Jenna's primary grievances is with servers who neglect the basics, such as timely drink refills and swift condiment retrieval. She also expresses disdain for those who seat patrons without providing silverware and fail to inquire about individual preferences for splitting checks. "Bro, this job is simple," Jenna contends. "Does it get hard at times? Yeah. But you're really bringing people food and making sure that their drinks are full...It's just not that hard."

Jenna's frustration emanates from her own experience as a hardworking server. She emphasizes her commitment to ensuring her tables have everything they need and laments encountering subpar service at other establishments. "If you sucked… I'm not tipping you 20%," she declares. "I can't validate it anymore. I can't do it."

The video, however, sparked a lively debate among fellow service workers in the comments section. Some argued that they consistently tip 20%, viewing it as an act of kindness irrespective of the quality of service received. One commenter mentioned, "I'm tipping 20% for bad service and 35% for amazing service. Life's hard right now."

Image Source: TikTok | jenna_michal
Image Source: TikTok | jenna_michal

On the other hand, some resonated with Jenna's tough-love approach. A server shared their frustration, stating, "I'm a server, and I know I'm a good server, and I go elsewhere and I'm like what the hell?" Another viewer echoed this sentiment, expressing their decision to stop tipping 20% for every service in 2024.

Image Source: TikTok  | Brianna
Image Source: TikTok | Brianna

A third service industry worker supported Jenna's stance, emphasizing that not all servers put in the effort required. "I am a server, and there are many servers that just don' it? I tip 10% because it's their living, but like? Do the work?" they commented.

Image Source: TikTok  | Haleighdavis
Image Source: TikTok | Haleighdavis

Jenna's viral TikTok highlights the ongoing conversation within the service industry about the expectations and standards associated with tipping. While some argue for generosity as a default, others echo Jenna's sentiment, advocating for a reconsideration of the automatic 20% tip in favor of recognizing and rewarding exceptional service. Ultimately, the debate sparked by Jenna's video raises questions about the subjective nature of tipping and whether it should be tied solely to societal norms or reflective of the actual quality of service provided. As the discussion unfolds, it becomes clear that the service industry needs a nuanced approach to tipping that acknowledges and rewards the hard work of dedicated servers while encouraging improvements where necessary.