America’s tipping culture baffles TikTokers around the world who complain about being told they’re wrong

Screenshots of people on TIkTok complaining about tips.

Some American TikTokers have responded to explain why tipping is so essential.Screenshots of TikTok

  • TikTokers who have visited or moved to the United States are bonding over their confusion over tipping culture.

  • Many wonder why they are asked to tip at cafes when ordering takeout.

  • Some American TikTokers have responded to explain their thoughts on the need for tipping.

TikTokers around the world are complaining about being caught off guard by America’s tipping culture.

Tipping is not a cultural norm in the same way in many countries outside the United States, and Americans who have moved abroad, as well as foreigners who have visited the United States on vacation, are turning to TikTok to air their grievances about the practice.

One of the most common questions many of these users have is why they were asked to tip at places where they did not sit down for table service, such as in a coffee shop.

“Why do I have to tip 20% for someone to pour coffee from a machine into my cup and hand it to me?” a user asked in a video posted on June 9, which received 137,000 views.

The TikToker went on to say that she moved to the United States 10 years ago after living in Poland, where she worked as a waitress but usually didn’t receive tips from customers. His post led to dozens of commenters from various countries around the world sharing their experiences with tipping in their own countries, with many users in Europe claiming that they had never tipped their waiter in a cafe.

Other TikTok users shared stories about visiting the United States and refusing to tip or not realizing that tipping was an expectation, leading to awkward interactions with the staff.

A TikToker whose bio says she’s based in London, where it’s more common for sites to add a discretionary service charge to the check instead of expecting tips, recalled a time when a waiter at a store New Jersey bubble tea company completely changed his behavior towards her and became hostile after she refused to tip during the checkout process.

“Tipping culture in America is awful,” she captioned her post.

Another British TikToker posted a video in January with a story about visiting a busy bar in New York. After ordering a few drinks and having a short chat with the bartender before paying, the TikToker said she was confronted with the fact that she hadn’t left a tip.

“She was like, we live on tips, you have to tip. This is America,” the TikToker said, replicating the bartender’s response.

“I don’t see how they can justify this, but here we are. It’s the tipping culture in America where they’re entitled to it,” said the British TikToker, who explained that she thought it had no makes sense for the staff to expect a tip from every single one of the hundreds of patrons in the crowded room, especially since she thought making the drinks didn’t take much effort.

The video received a mixed response, as some users said they felt America’s tipping culture was too extreme, while others defended bartenders and service staff for asking for tips, due the fact that many sites still pay workers a “tipped wage,” which is a lower minimum wage intended to account for tips.

According to the US Department of Labor, workers who receive tips can be paid as little as $2.13 an hour, even though the federal minimum wage is $7.25.

Some American TikTokers have used the app to explain the need to tip visitors and newcomers to the United States, based on how the government handles compensation in the hospitality industry.

Tipping etiquette is an explosively controversial topic on TikTok. Some US-based creators have recently complained that they think cultural expectations about tipping are spiraling out of control.

In May, a user said a cashier at Ben & Jerry’s was annoyed at not tipping a $2 cone, saying she was exasperated by the concept of tipping for such a small item. , describing the waiter’s task of making the ice cream and handing it to him as a “transaction” rather than an “act of service” that would warrant a tip.

The video received more than 670,000 likes from users who seemed to agree, but once again cultural norms came into play. “As a Brit, I find the tipping culture wild in America,” he said. read one of the top comments, eliciting 47 responses as people discussed the issue. It seems that the American discourse on tipping culture is going nowhere.

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