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Server sparks discussion about tipping culture after calling out customers who don't tip enough

A server named Ben Raanan said in a now-viral video that leaving meager tips for servers is not OK in today's day and age amid rising inflation.

Server sparks discussion about tipping culture after calling out customers who don't tip enough
Cover Image Source: TikTok/blazikenben

A server gave rise to more discussions about the tipping culture in the United States after posting a two-part rant about customers who don't tip their servers enough. Ben Raanan, who goes by @blazikenben on TikTok, took to the platform last month to explain how leaving meager tips for servers is not OK in today's day and age amid rising inflation. "Okay, this is for all you bad tippers out there. If you're a bad tipper, listen up. Okay, if you don't know how to tip, I get that. But for your information, $10 is not, like, cute like it used to be," Raanan says in a video that's been viewed more than 161,000 times. "It's not the 1950s, it's not the 2000s anymore."


"Okay, inflation means that $10 is not worth that much anymore. You can't just leave a little cute $5, a little cute $10 for your server and think that that's like fun and cute. It's not fun and cute. Okay, if your bill was like $50, you can leave 10," he continues in the video. "That's 20%, that's fine. If your bill was $200 and you leave me $10, that's 5%, that's fu**ed up. That's a fu**ing insult. Okay, don't do that at a restaurant. If you come back to my restaurant after leaving me 5%, honestly even 10%, I'm [going to] say something. I'm [going to] be like, 'Was there a problem with your service last time? Because you tipped 10%, 5%, and that is not a good tip at all.' [I will] put you on the spot."

Raanan then went on to urge fellow servers to start calling out customers who don't tip enough. "This is fu**ed up. People shouldn't be doing that. If you don't know how to calculate the tip, take the bill, move it one decimal point, that's 10%, double it, that's 20%. That's what you should tip," he concluded. Thousands responded to Raanan's rant, with some who have experience working in the service industry agreeing with him and others stating that his frustration was directed towards the wrong people. "Who created the 20% rule anyway lol. We always tip 20 but this video rubbed me the wrong way. It's what I WANT to give not HAVE to," commented on TikTok user.


"Do not blame the customers, blame your boss for not paying you what you deserve," wrote another. "Come at your employers with that. They making bank not paying you while you are mad at the wrong people. How do they get away with paying $2?" asked a third TikTok user. On the other end of the discussion, one commented: "Going out to eat is a luxury and service just like getting your nails done, hair etc. If you can't afford to tip for a SERVICE get takeout and stay home." Another pointed out: "People that don't tip and say 'maybe they should pay you a livable wage' don't realize that if servers got paid more, their food would cost a lot more."


A few days after posting his original rant, Raanan made a follow-up video protecting his stance on the topic. "If I'm not entitled to a tip, you're not entitled to a good service. Guess what? You take for granted the nice experience that you have at restaurants. I think most people do. Until you've worked a server's job, I think you truly don't understand all that extra work," he states in the two-minute clip. "All the hard work that servers do, that's extra that they don't have to do. It's a minimum wage job. I could give you minimum wage work... You come to a restaurant because you don't want McDonald's, you want a service experience."


"You want people to serve you... Every 10 seconds, pulling me away from my tables. Guess what, that is not the norm for restaurants. That's not just how a restaurant is. That exists because you have grown up in a system where tipping exists. So there's an implicate... there's an implied contract that I'm giving you good service because you're going to tip me. That is why you've always gotten good service at restaurants... I'm not the entitled one. You are entitled if you think that your nice experience at restaurants is out of the kindness of my heart. No. Money makes the world go round. And if you want good service, you better give me a good tip. That's just how it works," he concluded.

Twitter user Christopher Keelty did a little digging into the origins of America's tipping culture last year following what turned out to be a spot-on assumption that the practice likely has a racist origin. The search led him to a 2019 TIME article that confirms that the earliest days of the practice in the country do, in fact, have a connection to the racial oppression of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. Having said that, despite how troubling its origin and the ongoing use of the tipping wage system is, as long as we take part in it, Keelty firmly believes we should tip our servers, and do so generously.

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