Gift cards don’t pay the bills.
A TikTok user has gone viral for showing a customer paying a tip not with cash — but a $25 Amazon gift card.
In the video shot at Ko Ryo Jung Korean BBQ restaurant in Torrance, Lombera and company’s bill totaled $95.24. But when it came time to tally up the gratuity, her 17-year-old brother Gustavo offered a now controversial alternative.
“He asked if he could tip with an Amazon gift card,” the video’s jokey subtitles read.
Kaitlyn’s TikTok clip — set to the cartoony sound of “SpongeBob Sad Song Steel Lick.” — has since had over 625,000 views, almost 40,000 likes and a raging debate between viewers in the comments section.
“He’s 17, so of course he’s not rolling around in money,” she told Jam Press in response to scores of haters accusing her family of being cheap. “When the bill, came my sister paid on her card and he wanted to contribute so he asked if he could tip with an Amazon gift card.”
However, the video has sparked a heated debate over tipping practices in restaurants and eateries. Some commenters commended the patrons’ generosity, saying that a $25 tip is actually quite a bit more than a 20% tip of $17.19.
“That’s actually really generous,” one user wrote. “As a waitress I would love it! Lol $25 that’s more than 20% too,” another pointed out in the comments section.
Others were quick to slam the gift, pointing out that gift cards won’t keep the lights on. “As a waitress no, I need bills paid not Amazon,” said one unamused commenter.
“People really going out to eat when they don’t have any money huh,” wondered another commenter.
One social media watchdog even pointed out: “Imagine the waitress or waiter is anti-Amazon,” while another critic sniped, “Please look up the definition of ‘tip.’ “
Despite all the online fuss, Kaitlyn claimed that when Gustavo asked if he could tip using the gift card — he made the waiter laugh. She added that their older sister, Ashley, 23, ultimately ended up tipping the waiter between $15 to $20 in cash.
Meanwhile, TikTokers have recently been exposing the bad tipping habits of customers through their short snaps. Commenters on the social media platform recently shamed a user who couldn’t afford a 20% gratuity. The user shared a bill from an Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar in Staten Island last month that showed a person leaving a 9% tip. The check came to $73.45, and the restaurant asked for an 18% tip of $12.14 or a 20% tip of $13.49.
But the customer left just $6.55, and a note that said: “You was great. Holidays are just rough right now.”
Another instance that has left viewers puzzled is the act of “tip baiting.” An Oregon truck driver slammed the practice that lets not-so-nice customers promise a large tip to delivery drivers on online apps.
However, they reduce the gratuity amount once their food has been dropped off at the desired location.
Uber Eats driver Owen Lindstrom posted a video on TikTok to shade the stingy peeps.
“In food delivery apps, the customer has the ability to increase or reduce the tips after drop off,” Lindstrom explained in the clip. “
Tip baiting is when a customer offer a large tip to get their food faster and then take it away at the end. While it’s good to protect the customer from having bad service by holding the tip over your head, it leave a big opportunity to screw over the driver.”