“The Pressure To Tip”—Viral TikTok About ‘Awkward’ Tipping Culture Sparks Debate

Let’s start with the basics that everyone covers when tipping comes up:

Yeah, there are some states that pay minimum wage to servers. Yeah, it’s a weird American thing. And yeah, the only people you hurt when you dramatically take a stand are the servers.

A new TikTok has sparked debate about tipping in a world of iPad tip requests, with viewers arguing over whether or not the tip prompts on iPad payment systems have caused a decrease in those tips.

@aubreygracep / TikTok

TikToker Aubrey Grace, @aubreygracep, posted a skit in which she acts as a cashier. She flips an iPad around to show the checkout screen of a payment platform while her text overlay reads, “The pressure to tip.”

@aubreygracep / TikTok

“The iced chai will be $6.49,” she says. “Insert your card and it will ask you just a few little questions.”

Another actor pretends to be a customer and hesitates while the cashier watches her decide between tip options, which are automated at 15%, 20%, and 25%. The caption says, “The awkward moment when they can see what you’re tipping.”

@aubreygracep / TikTok

The video quickly went viral as viewers debated if the prompt helps or hurts tips.

“I used to feel so awkward but now I just hit the no tip and walk away,” one viewer wrote.

“I always tip bc i hate not being tipped,” another commented.

“I press no tip as if there’s no other option, like OK have a wonderful day thank you for giving me what I’m paying for,” a third added.

Toast, a popular point of sale company, says that businesses who use the software receive tips on 60% of sales, which is an increase from the measly 28% they say other methods (think receipts or tip jars) garner. Time reported that this may happen because  customers feel “guilty” about pressing “no tip” while a worker is watching.

Other people expressed annoyance that they get a tip prompt when the trip required no extra customer service.

“Right. We got froyo yesterday, so you make it yourself and there was still a tip option. Like for??????” one commenter ranted.

“Nah cus i be SMASHING that no tip button and staring then right in the eye cus unless they r a server im not tipping u,” another declared.

“I was clothes shopping at a boutique the other day and it asked for a tip! For a shirt I picked out myself!” a third scoffed.

Customer service workers were also in the comments, explaining how important tipping is for them.


The awkward moment when they can see what you’re tipping #squarereader #tip #tipping #baristatok

♬ original sound – AubreyGrace

“Unfortunately about 60% of my paycheck is from those tips so it does actually affect us a lot,” one said.

“Baristas at coffee shops usually get paid minimum wage – y’all have no idea how much tips help us pay our bills, we really appreciate it,” another commenter stated.