Food & Recipes

People Are Leaving Their Servers Huge Tips As Part Of The ‘Tip The Bill’ Challenge

Here's why people are paying it forward.

It’s common practice to tip at least 15-20 percent of your bill when dining out at a restaurant, but some generous customers across the country are paying it forward by tipping 100 percent of their bill as part of the #TipTheBillChallenge.

It’s not clear when and where the kind-hearted trend started (though Eater tracked it back to at least March of this year), but grateful servers have been taking to social media to share the evidence and thank those who have gone above and beyond with their tips. This Twitter user says the $50 tip she received on a nearly $50 bill made her “whole entire day”:

On the receipt, the generous customers explained that their large tip was part of the challenge, writing, “No math needed here! Our bill was $49 & some change. Thanks a ton! #tipthebillchallenge.”

Many states have a two-tiered minimum wage system wherein tipped workers have a lower minimum wage than non-tipped workers — meaning restaurant servers rely on tips for the vast majority of their income.

Writing for CNN, longtime server James Cox explains just how crucial tips can be: “When I earned a sub-minimum tipped wage, I struggled to earn enough in tips to supplement a nonexistent paycheck. For years I waited tables and my checks would literally read $0.00 after deductions.”

However, not everyone is on board with the challenge. Some people posting about the challenge are saying restaurant workers and other tipped employees should be paid a living wage by their employers, so they don’t have to rely so heavily on tips:

“#tipthebillchallnege Don’t do that,” read the above tweet. “Organize. Start a union and demand your job pays you. Servers and NCAA athletes are the most exploited employees in developed nations.”

In the meantime, those on the receiving end think the challenge is a great way for customers to show their appreciation, like this server who said a tip she received as part of the challenge moved her to tears:

Would you participate in the #tipthebillchallenge?