A Guy Was Forced To 'Tip' A Robot Bartender & TikTokers Want To Know Where The Money's Going

"But ... you're a robot."

The order screen at the Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas. Right: The Tipsy Robot's automatic bartenders.
Senior Editor

The order screen at the Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas. Right: The Tipsy Robot's automatic bartenders.

If the robots are looking for a way to enslave humanity, forcing us to tip for drinks is a good start.

One TikTok user has ignited a fierce debate on the platform about mandatory tipping, after sharing his experience with a robot bartender that added an extra 10% onto his bill at checkout.

Journalist and influencer @uptin has racked up over 600,000 views on his video about the Tipsy Robot bar in Las Vegas, where he says he was automatically charged a "tip" on his $16 drink.

"I normally wouldn't mind an automatic 10% tip for making my drink," he says in the video. "But... you're a robot."

The clip shows the robot bartender arms at work, then zooms in on the receipt.

The bill lists a 10% "service charge" instead of a tip, but @Uptin and his followers see little distinction between the two.

"I refuse to spend money at a company that forces an automatic tip," one user wrote in the replies.

"Don't tip Terminator," said another.

"He has a wife and two sparkplugs at home," joked another, while trying to explain the reason for the charge.

Another user pointed out that the charge looks a lot like the "convenience fee" you have to pay when you buy tickets online.

"Don't tip, it's not like it's gonna complain," one person suggested.

"There's no option to opt out," Uptin replied. He also applauded one commenter for suggesting that the tip is included "because they know half their customers are tipsy and won't notice."

Another user seemed to get closer to the truth, writing: "You gotta tip the technician keeping that robot running."

The Tipsy Robot bar opened its doors in 2017, and while it does have two robots on staff, its website says there are also several humans on standby incase anything goes wrong.

The restaurant's general manager, Victor Valanejad, told Narcity in a statement that the service charge gets divided up between the humans working on a given day.

"We have actually 8 employees paid on an hourly rate," Valanejad said. "The TOTAL amount of the service charge is disbursed to the employees working and helping the clients, running the robots, cleaning, and providing customer service."

In other words, the machines aren't taking a cut of the fee. Instead, it's going to to the humans in the room — though the screen doesn't exactly make that clear.

This is only the latest in a long like of TikTok tipping debates, as automated systems have started prompting people to cough up extra cash for services such as coffee and cookies — things for which you wouldn't normally tip.

At least in this case the humans are getting the money, right?

Josh Elliott
Senior Editor
Josh Elliott is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Food & Drink and Lifestyle teams with a focus on entertainment interviews. He is based in Toronto, Ontario.