In most of the United States, minimum wage workers rely on tips, particularly in the service industry. As a result, it appears that tipping proportionally to the service provided is the most humane thing to do. Some people follow through on this, while others do not. This rarely appears in the fine print, but in one case, it is the mother who calls out her son on social media for undertipping.
While it may appear discordant to air one’s dirty laundry on the Internet, it does elucidate the conditions of minimum wage workers and how one can assist them. Danielle Foster, this mother, is also an entrepreneur, so who better understands the plight of the working class? She became famous on TikTok after posting a video clip from her daily life. Her TikTok video about her son undertipping received around 2 million views, in which she expressed her displeasure when she discovered how little her son had tipped at a restaurant.
The video, captioned “I raised him better,” was a quick lesson by Foster to her son about the importance of not only tipping, but also tipping correctly. Foster stated after learning how much her son tipped, “Johnny, please go get my wallet. You need to go get my VISA card, you need to go to the ATM, and you need to grab a 20 and drive your a** back to that restaurant because on a $104 check, $10 is a s**tty tip. Do you get what I’m saying?
Go now! I’m not asking, but rather telling. It’s not amusing. Do you know if that guy has children? Do you know that it is taxed at $104? You’re going to swipe my credit card, withdraw $20, and drive back there.” When her son agreed, she added, “Johnny, I want to see you hand it to him. I’d like to see you walk in. I’ll be muted, but you have no idea how to tip.” Following the release of this video, the entrepreneur informed her followers that her son had returned to the restaurant and, after initially undertipping,
had corrected his error and tipped $20. So, in total, her son had tipped $20 on a $100 bill. The bill was paid with money he had saved, and while his mother thought it was his first date because he had driven his girlfriend out to eat, it was actually their first anniversary. He returned home pleased with the service he had received and proud of the money he had tipped. But, because he also had a $50 gift card, he didn’t think he had to tip on that card as well.
Some of her followers questioned why she had yelled at her son to correct his undertipping error. Danielle responded that her child was an exceptional student. He was also never out partying like the other kids his age and was generally a nice boy. Her yelling was because she was from Jersey and Italian, and this was how she usually spoke to people. Even her son had trouble recognizing that his mother was yelling at him. Nonetheless, she was pleased that her son had corrected his error by swallowing his pride.
“And for those who say servers don’t work hard, I reminded my son that when I was a single mom before marrying my husband of almost 11 years, I worked as a server in two different restaurants while also working another job to support us.” Danielle also addressed some of the negative comments she received in response to her TikTok video. She stated that the first thing she did after waking up was apologize to her son for posting the video on TikTok and ask him not to look at the hate comments because the mother-son duo was aware of how their relationship was. But she did feel bad when people said bad things about her son, who was a good kid.
“But here I was just trying to give parents another tip: even if you talk to your kids about things, they don’t always understand. For example, my son didn’t realize that just because you have a gift card doesn’t mean you don’t tip on top of it. So that’s my explanation. He’s a nice kid. I try my hardest to be the best parent I can be. Then, if you don’t want to tip, don’t eat out. That’s all I have to say. Thanks.”
Danielle Foster was speechless when Bored Panda asked if she had any reason to believe her video about her son’s undertipping would go viral. “I am completely taken aback. When my son returned from the date, I didn’t think any of our friends or family members would believe me when they told me what he tipped. So I began videotaping it to have proof. I shared it with my Slack team, then with my family.”
“I was a single mom, I have family who are currently in the serving business, and people forget in the states, tipping is how they make their money,” Foster said of the video. My son is 16, almost 18, and will be entering the world on his own. I need to make certain that I continue to show him everything I believe to be correct in the world.” Foster also believes that people should tip generously when they receive excellent service. “My parents taught me to treat the janitor as you would the President.
Servers work hard and deserve to be tipped.” Soon after, Bored Panda inquired about this working mother’s plans to upload additional TikTok videos. “My husband will be home soon, so I will post a lot of military stuff,” she explained. The majority of my content is about my business and geared toward the stay-at-home parent or military spouse/first responder spouse community.” “I really just love TikTok and find it fun,” she said at the end of her interview with the media company.
We old people are constantly taking over.” People left a lot of comments on her video, most of which were positive about the lessons she was teaching her son. “As a server, I love you,” one user said. Thank you for teaching him how to properly tip when the service is excellent. He’s a wonderful child, and you’re a wonderful mother.” Another user mentioned that tipping was not taught in school and that it was very easy to make a mistake. And, like Danielle’s child, the user had to go back and tip after initially under-tipping.
Several other users chimed in, with one saying, “Good job, Mama!” I’ve talked to my kids about how they should tip well when they start going out.” Another user mentioned having a similar conversation with their child before prom dinner—and also explaining the expectations of the group bill—so that the child and his friends could plan everything ahead of time. “I always tip 20% even if the service is bad because you never know what people are dealing with,” said another user. I did this as a teen. Mama, you rock!”
Others, however, believed that the son had over-tipping rather than the actual under-tipping accusation. “You’re telling me that if I spend $500, I need to tip $100 to the server who brought me my food with a smile on his face and nothing else,” one user commented. Another user stated, “Tipping has gotten out of hand. This allows the boss to continue paying low wages.” A third user agreed, saying that if a waiter spent only 5 minutes with them, $10 would be more than enough. They would rather tip the chef if such a thing existed in restaurants. So, how do our readers feel about under-tipping? What do you think is a reasonable tip?