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I'm a Server and These Are the 3 Biggest Tipping Mistakes You're Making

He's revealing the truth about these common tipping misconceptions.

While there are a handful of tipping etiquette dos and don'ts, it's no secret that not everyone agrees on those—as evident in the very heated conversation surrounding tipping culture on social media. Some of us wouldn't dare tipping below 20 percent, and others strongly believe that they shouldn't have to tip on to-go food or drink orders at all.

RELATED: 7 "Polite" Tipping Habits That Are Actually Offensive, Etiquette Experts Say.

Tipping is a contentious topic of discussion, to say the least. And with more and more establishments utilizing tablets and mobile cash registers, customers are feeling more pressure to tip adequately, or—in some instances—to tip more than they should.

"Tipping has undergone significant changes in recent years. Traditional tip jars have been replaced by more persistent screens, making it difficult to ignore or decline the option to tip," Kristi Spencer, etiquette expert and founder of  The Polite Company, previously told Best Life.

However, customers aren't the only ones feeling the heat. A restaurant server on TikTok said that food and beverage workers are under stress as well, since they're the ones dealing with the customer tipping backlash—despite having no control over the situation.

After completing a 12-hour work shift, server Dean Redmond (@deanredmonds) posted a video educating his followers on the three biggest tipping mistakes people make—and how food service workers actually feel about them.

RELATED: 6 Tipping Mistakes You're Making When You Go Out to Eat, Experts Say.

At the top of his list: assuming that servers are responsible for asking for tips, when it's actually at the owner's discretion.

"None of the service workers you're yelling at for asking for a tip on your to-go are the owners. We don't buy the credit card machine. We don't set up the prompts," Redmond shares.

"So when you see the 20, 25, 30 percent, hit the skip button, OK? We're not begging you for money," he says, also noting that the tipping prompt is displayed before the transaction is complete. "If you don't go through that prompt, you can't even pay us."

According to Redmond, another common mistake is assuming that to-go orders are less work than dining in, and therefore don't merit gratuity. In reality, Redmond explains that take-out orders require more time and energy, because servers are tasked with interpreting and customizing orders. This includes labeling each meal with a person's name, and packaging food, utensils, and condiments.


#stitch with @Justice #restaurant #storytime #serverlife #tipping #tippingculture

♬ original sound – Dean Redmond

"Meanwhile, when I go and take an order from a regular table sitting down, I just take the order and put it in and bring out the food. That's, like, three things to do, and you always tip me and don't complain about that," he points out in the video.

Lastly, Redmond tells his followers that complaining to servers' faces about having to tip doesn't accomplish anything. "If you don't want to tip us, don't," he says, noting it's as simple as that.

Uttering a passive-aggressive remark about tipping won't make the prompt go away any faster—nor will it improve your restaurant experience.

It goes both ways, Redmond says. "But don't complain to my face, because I'm not complaining to you when you have a $250 to-go bill and you decide to hit the skip button and then yell at me for it," he concludes.

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Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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