Food service staff have become immensely popular on the Chinese-founded social media app TikTok. As servers and other restaurant personnel document their experiences at work, they uncover what really takes place while they are on duty in a workplace setting. In February 2023, one server from Olive Garden soared to fame when she chose to take action against a customer who started sharing her meal with another diner at the same table.
The Olive Garden server in the widely-shared video posted by TikTok user @ariel.marie824 is wearing her uniform while revealing a customer’s bill to viewers. Lasting only five seconds, the video featured on-screen text reading “POV you witnessed the guest who said she wasn’t hungry, eating some soup and salad, so you charged $9.99.”
@ariel.marie824 It’s 9.99 like bffr 😂 #fyp #foryou #servertok #worktok #worktiktok ♬ ACCUSATIONS – lil k
The viral video sparked a flurry of comments and reactions. Most people found the server morally incorrect for charging the diner who ate soup and salad off someone else’s plate.
“If someone needs to share a soup and salad, they’re probably struggling. I wouldn’t be so proud of myself for charging them,” one person said.
One person commented on the server’s work and wrote, “Girl…. ik they don’t pay you enough to do all of that.” This individual clearly failed to comprehend that servers can potentially earn more in tips if the total bill is larger by increasing their percentage.
Other restaurants penalize patrons who want to share their meals with others, charging them an additional fee. Someone shared their own story of what happened when they encountered a similar situation while dining at a restaurant: “This happened at a village inn. My husband took a couple of sips of my coffee, and they charged us for an entire pot!”
“So what does Olive Garden do with the uneaten portions of salad? They trash them, so unless they order another helping, then it shouldn’t matter.”
Another person wrote, “Mr. Olive Garden himself is going to come to thank you for this.”
Some people were concerned for the server as they speculated that the soup and salad fee could potentially detract from the tip-earning potential.
Another said, “I mean if that’s what you want them to spend your tip money on.”
The server encountered a variety of opinions from people who disagreed with her decision to add an additional $9.99 charge, however, she also had many supporters who saw the justification in her actions.
“Y’all saying that’s her tip, but if the lady is sneaking a shared meal, I promise you she probably wasn’t going to tip anyways.”
Is it right for the server to be asking money from a customer who discovered them eating another guest’s meal?