A diner who left a nine per cent tip for their waitress and explained that they couldn’t afford to give her any more money because times ‘are rough right now’ has sparked a major debate on social media.

On December 13, the customer dined in an Applebee’s restaurant on Staten Island, New York City. He was tipped only $6.55 on $73.45 bills – this came to approximately nine cent tip.

A note was also written by them on their receipt saying: “You were great.” The holidays are not easy right now.

TikTok received a video of the receipt and a note about the tip from @kingj24__. It sparked fierce debate Concerning whether tipping waiters should be compulsory.  

A customer at a Staten Island Applebee's tipped $6.55 on a $73.45 bill, adding a note that the waitress did a 'great' job but they're struggling financially

Staten Island Applebee’s customer tippled $6.55 for a $73.45 bill. He also noted that the waitress was doing a great job, but is struggling financially. 

The clip quickly became viral after it was posted online. It received more than 700,000. Views in just days. 

This caused a huge debate among viewers. Some people claimed that someone shouldn’t go out for dinner if they can’t tip. 

If money is scarce, don’t go out to eat. Another person said, “Stay at home and make your own food.” 

“Anyone saying, “At the very least, you got a tip” or “Be understanding” has never been to eat at a table. That customer was wasted [the waiter’s]time he could’ve done to-go,” another said. 

Other people defended their customer, while criticizing the restaurant industry’s inability to pay workers more. 

Applebees did not pay this server a minimum wage of $2.13 an hour. It’s customary to tip 18-20%.  

A video of the receipt was posted to TikTok and it provoked a huge discussion in the comment section about whether or not consumers should be obligated to tip their waiters

TikTok shared a clip of the receipt. It sparked a massive discussion on the comments section regarding whether consumers should have to tip waiters.

One person claimed that if someone can't afford to tip then they shouldn't go out to eat

According to one person, if someone cannot afford tipping then they should not go out for food.

However, others defended the customer and slammed the restaurant industry for not paying their workers more

Others defended the customer, and criticised the industry for failing to pay its workers better.

“Don’t fault the tipper. Blame the establishment. Someone else stated that these people should not have to depend on tips in order to make ends meet. 

One other wrote: “Ban tipping, force restaurants to pay server living wages. 

According to receipts, many people believed that TikTok had been posted by Dana G. (waitress). Some people were furious at her for putting the customer on blast.

 ‘What’s the point of feeling so entitled you had to publicly shame them because they couldn’t afford a better tip?’ One person asked. 

A second comment said that “Tips are voluntary, not obligator.” “People are aware that the job for which they signed up doesn’t necessarily guarantee them tips. This is a great sense of entitlement.

Another user shared the following: “Some people take weeks off to save money for a $80 dinner for their family, at least they had something,” 

Another person added, “Tips aren’t compulsory.” Someone left a message. Be understanding. It is a great job. You can handle the challenges of waitressing. That’s life.’ 

Another person said, “This makes it really hard for me to go to Applebees.” It’s a small tip, but still a tip. This is an offense to customers. 

Dana insists that the video was not hers. She told the Staten Island Advance that she would ‘never shame anybody’ for giving her a small tip. 


Many people thought that the TikTok was posted by the waitress herself, who was named Dana, and began bashing her - however she said she was not the one who shared the video

Many believed the TikTok was uploaded by Dana, a waitress. They began to bashing Dana and she later admitted that she had not shared the video.

 ‘I turned the check in at the end of the night and went home,’ she explained. My manager asked me if I knew anything about the receipt. It’s on TikTok and it has a lot of views and people are thinking it’s you.”‘

Dana, who said she is now ‘scared to go to work,’ continued: ‘I would never ever shame anybody for anything they’ve ever given me.

Following an investigation by the chain, they concluded Dana had not shared the video online and that Dana was the victim in a nasty internet joke.

‘It’s a joke that they’re playing on – not us at Applebee’s – but this poor girl Dana who’s been with us for some period of time,’ CEO and chairman Zane Tankel said.

‘She’s not a kid. She is the mother of two kids. She’s a mother – a hard-working mother – and she remembers the guest well.

“We spoke to her about it. He is still very much in her mind and she didn’t take offense to the comment made on the check.