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Server Pleads With Customers to Always Tip in Cash: "We Don't Get Instant Money"

A new change is making it harder for restaurant employees to get tips quickly

Tipping culture in the U.S. has long been controversial. But the debate has heated up lately, with new laws trying to bring tipping to chains like Walmart, and businesses hitting shoppers with self-checkout tipping requests. It's not just customers who are hurting, however. A restaurant server is now speaking out about how people tip, and the way it's affecting employees. Read on to find out why she's pleading with patrons to always tip in cash.

RELATED: New Law Wants to Introduce Tipping at Walmart and Other Major Retailers.

People are tipping more digitally.

Woman paying by credit card and entering pin code on reader holded by smiling barista in cafeteria. Customer using credit card for payment. Mature cashier wearing apron accepting payment over nfc technology.

Technology has started to make a major difference in the world of tipping. A 2023 Digital Tipping Culture Survey from Forbes found that most people always tip their service workers these days. But digital accessibility isn't only making tipping more common among customers—it's also pushing them to give more when they do.

According to the survey, 73 percent of respondents reported leaving a tip at least 11 percent higher when they tip digitally compared to when they tip in cash.

"It's possible that buyers don't feel the impact of a tip as much when selecting a tip amount on a screen versus pulling cash out of their wallet," Forbes posited. "Or they might simply be restrained to the amount of cash they have on hand when tipping in cash."

RELATED: 6 Places You Should Never Tip, According to Etiquette Experts.

But a server is still pleading with customers to tip in cash.


The credit card tips are supposed to be loaded onto our paycards by 8am the next day…. Didnt happen 🤩🩷 #servertok #restaurantlife #restaurantrat #chainrestaurants #paycards #cashtipsappreciated #tipincash #tipyourserver

♬ original sound – The Bereaved Mom (lillie)

Digital tips may be more generous, but that only matters if you get them. A server named Lillie posted a video to her TikTok account @mylasoasis_ on Aug. 9 to urge customers to use cash when tipping.

"PSA. If you're gonna go out to eat and tip, tip in cash," she says. "I work at a chain restaurant so that means I get my tips at the end of the night—not on a paycheck."

As Lillie further explains in her TikTok, this is not the same at many other restaurants.

"When you work at small businesses, often times it's a tip pool," she says. "Honestly, like a lot of [non-chain] restaurants are tip pool, and you get your tips on a check at the end of the week or every two weeks or whatever."

RELATED: 6 Surprising New Rules for Tipping, According to Etiquette Experts.

She says servers are no longer able to get tips right away.


Lillie says that at every chain restaurant she's ever worked at, she has always walked out with her tips at the end of the night. But she tells viewers that this is now changing because restaurants are "getting robbed" more and more. Due to this, they're now giving servers pay cards for their credit card tips, according to Lillie.

"So we don't get to walk out with our tips anymore, and nine times out 10, a server is serving so they can have instant cash money," she says. "Now we don't get the instant cash money unless it's [expletive] cash tips now. So yeah, tip your servers in cash. Use cash."

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Some people say this isn't a realistic expectation.

handsome businessman paying with cash in cafe
LightField Studios / Shutterstock

Viewers have sounded off in the comment section of Lille's video, with many servers backing up her perspective. But some restaurant patrons have pushed back on Lillie's request, explaining that tipping in cash is not something they may always be able to do.

"That's not a very realistic expectation I don't know hardly anybody who even carry cash," one user responded.

Another wrote, "I always do when I have cash, but that's not often. Better to tip on my credit card than not at all."

Others suggested Lillie find somewhere else to work. But she said this system is currently being implemented at most major businesses.

"A lot of the big chain restaurants are working that way right now … which is unfortunately all that is around me right now," Lillie replied.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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