Great, now we have a no-tip influencer

A man’s whole influencer schtick is not tipping. Does he have a point?

A man’s gone viral for not tipping, sharing his exploits of racking up big bills and stiffing servers across Los Angeles.

A tip jar full of cash against a blue and peach background.

But does he have a point?

The anonymous non-tipper…

… goes by @zerodollarstip on Instagram and @idonttip on TikTok, a la Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs, only 32 years later.

He told LA Taco that earlier this month, he was confronted with a tip screen suggesting $1-$3 on a $3 danish and decided he’d make not tipping a “lifestyle.” This is despite admitting he used to be a service worker whose generous tips afforded him a Prada wallet.

He recently posted a ~$400 bill for cocktails and tableside truffles — $0 tip. By not tipping, he estimates he’s saved ~$300 in two weeks.

Let’s be clear

A guy who clearly has money to spend self-righteously harming service workers like some kind of B-team Batman villain may crave change, but it’s a shitty way to go about it.

But there is a very real conversation to be had about tipping culture, which has only gotten more confusing in the last few years:

  • Many US service workers rely on tips, with the federal minimum wage for tipped employees at $2.13/hour.
  • Yet tipping culture has rapidly expanded, including to cashiers. This has led to backlash, with ~63% of Americans saying too many places are asking for tips.
  • Meanwhile, many other countries don’t tip at all. In some, like Japan, it’s considered offensive.

The primary question in the US…

… is who should shoulder the burden of providing service workers a living wage — and there’s no easy answer.

In Los Angeles, where Captain No Tip lives, fast-food workers now make a minimum of $20/hour and tipped workers make a minimum of $16/hour, per state law.

Local restaurants — still reeling from the pandemic and two Hollywood strikes — are struggling with the rising costs of labor and everything else, forcing some to hike food prices and replace humans with kiosks or robots.

Yet, with the average LA apartment renting for ~$2.7k, workers don’t have it much easier.

The end result? Nobody’s happy, except maybe this non-tipping guy, and landlords — some of whom are also asking for tips now, and no, absolutely not.

New call-to-action

Get the 5-minute news brief keeping 2.5M+ innovators in the loop. Always free. 100% fresh. No bullsh*t.