Man Says Coffee Shop Made Him Tip by Adding ‘Service Charge’

Man Says Coffee Shop Made Him Tip by Adding ‘Service Charge’

Man Says Coffee Shop Made Him Tip by Adding ‘Service Charge’

Tipping culture is a major topic of discussion in the United States. Specifically, an increasing number of Americans are complaining about what they call “tipflation”—the idea that they are now being asked to tip more often, and in higher amounts, than ever before.

This topic has come up again and again in Internet discussions. Several users have shared their stories of peculiar locations where they’ve been asked to tip, such as at the mechanic or self-checkout. Others have simply documented the large amounts they’ve been asked to tip, including a mandatory 10% tip minimum and tip options ranging from 20 to 30% for a single beer.

Now, a TikTok user has reignited the conversation about tipping after recounting a recent experience he had in Miami.

In a video with over 694,000 views, TikTok user Christian (@cbwritescopy) says he purchased a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Pura Vida in Miami, Florida. When he went to pay, he says he was told that he would be made to pay a mandatory service charge.

“I didn’t even get the option to tip. I didn’t get asked if I wanted to tip. I had to tip as a part of my order,” Christian says. “Like the woman flipped the screen around to me, and instead of clicking what percentage you want, it just said ‘service charge.’”

“Don’t get me wrong—I’ll be happy to tip on a great three-course meal with good service, but for a cup of coffee, I typically don’t tip,” he adds.

This tipping culture is an anomaly around the world, Christian says. For example, he says that on a recent trip to Italy, he had a three-course meal with food he describes as among the best he’s ever had. When he went to pay, he says he discovered there was no way to tip his server.

“I was honestly confused, because it was great service. I was happy to tip,” Christian explains. “So I go, ‘Hey, man. How do I tip you? You did great.’ He goes, ‘Oh, we don’t do tips here. We’re in Italy.’”

“So you go from Italy, where you can have the best service of your life, and there’s no tip, to Miami where they pour you a cup of coffee, and you are forced to tip or else you can’t get your coffee,” he continues.

Tipping culture in America, Christian says, has moved past what he says was the original idea behind tipping.

“Aren’t tips supposed to reward good service not just be a requirement for ordering a coffee at a coffee shop?” he asks. “Like, what?”


I have never seen a mandatory “service charge” until today lol

♬ original sound – Christian

In the comments section, users largely agreed with Christian’s assessment.

“I’ve stopped tipping completely, unless it’s at a sit down restaurant,” wrote a user.

“I agree the tipping issue is crazy here,” added another. “Why would I tip $3 for a $5 cup of coffee it’s ridiculous.”

“I live in Miami and majority of restaurants automatically add 18% gratuity to bills. If you don’t pay attention you’ll end up tipping double,” a third shared.

The Daily Dot reached out to Christian via TikTok direct message and Pura Vida Miami via website contact form.

*First Published: Dec 25, 2023, 9:00 am CST

Braden Bjella

Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schon! magazine, and more.

Braden Bjella