A server on TikTok weighed on the question of how low is too low for a tip and according to her, a penny is more insulting than nothing at all.
TikToker, server and comedian Ashley Gaffey made a video about her experience with chasing down and confronting guests over a 1-cent tip, and it generated plenty of angry reactions and nearly 400,000 views before it was taken down.
The video sparked a debate on the appropriate way to handle bad tips and people were ripping Gaffey apart for challenging the customers about it, although others were on her side.
In the since-deleted video titled “Server Problems,” Gaffey shared that she followed a customer to the parking lot after receiving a 1-cent tip, confronting them and asking if they thought it was funny. She also shared her frustration about working seven days a week without proper breaks and feeling undervalued.
In the original video, Gaffey recalled asking the customers “Do we have a problem?”
“And the guy was like, ‘Ugh.’ And I said, ‘Did you think this was funny? Is that what’s happening? This b*tch goes ‘Yeah, kinda,’ and I said, ‘OK, well, just so you know, a little consideration goes a long way,'” Gaffey said in the video.
While some viewers showed support for Gaffey and her right to stand up for herself, many others criticized her actions and suggested alternative ways for servers to handle bad tips.
One commenter claiming to be a professional chef and restaurant manager wrote, “I have told my staff to NEVER ask about tips or question guests. A few ignored what I said. I fired them.”
Since then, Gaffey has posted multiple update videos addressing people's comments and clarifying why she handles the situation the way she did.
“Basically, this table didn't tip me, but it wasn't the fact that they didn't tip me it, was the fact that they wrote in one penny in the credit slip,” she explained in the video. “So I chased them out and confronted them.”
She addressed the commenters that suggested maybe their low tip was a reflection of her bad service and Gaffey defended herself by explaining that she did the most for the table, including refilling their drinks and splitting their bill despite that being against their policy.
Not to mention the fact that the table, according to her, was very disruptive and loud the entire time they were dining at the restaurant.
“The fact that you chose to write one penny instead of just not tipping, you could have just signed the slip, whatever, I'd f*ck off. Fine,” explained Gaffy. “But the fact that you chose to put that energy out to be purposely be a dick. That's what I have a problem with. And that's why I'm going to confront you and ask like, what's the problem, like genuinely asking what was the problem?”
People in the comment section of her follow-up video seemed to be a lot more on her side and showed their support for her decision to call them out.
One commenter wrote, “Honestly, a .01 tip is more disrespectful than no tip at all.”
Another person agreed and wrote, “You had every right.”
“I don’t blame you for chasing after them,” wrote another user.
While it’s understandable that servers may feel frustrated or undervalued when receiving low tips, it’s important to remember that tipping is not mandatory and should be based on the customer’s satisfaction with the service provided.
On the other hand, it’s also important that customers don’t go out of their way to disrupt service industry workers and remember to always treat them like humans.