In a striking revelation, a Florida-based entrepreneur has taken aim at the surging tipping culture in the United States, comparing it to his recent experience in Italy, where gratuity is virtually nonexistent. Christian Bonnier, 23, has ignited a nationwide discussion on what he calls “tipflation,” shedding light on a practice he believes has spiraled out of control.

Bonnier’s journey into this tipping debate began when he ordered a pumpkin spice latte in Miami and was met with an unexpected mandatory service charge. His frustration boiled over, leading him to share his thoughts on TikTok, where he boldly stated, “Tipping in the United States is out of control.” He lamented not having the option to decide whether or not to tip and described the moment when the cashier presented him with a fixed service charge instead of the traditional percentage-based choice.

While Bonnier expressed willingness to tip generously for exceptional service during a three-course meal, he was taken aback by the coffee shop’s automatic service charge. His exasperation was fueled by memories of his recent visit to Italy, where he savored a delectable three-course feast of pizza, pasta, and wine without the pressure of tipping.

Recalling that moment, Bonnier recounted, “When I was in Italy over the summer, I had a three-course meal—the best pizza, the best pasta, the best wine I have ever had—and when I went to pay the bill, the server went to pay the bill and I just signed it, and there was no line to tip.” He fondly remembered the waiter’s words, “We don’t do tips here, we’re in Italy.”

The stark contrast between the two experiences left Bonnier astounded. He lamented, “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.” In his view, America is gradually reaching a tipping point where individuals may expect gratuities for even the most mundane services, like fetching a glass of water or handing out napkins.

Bonnier’s TikTok video, which garnered over 1.8 million views, struck a chord with viewers who flooded the comments section with similar experiences and grievances. Many agreed that tipping in the US has spiraled to unprecedented levels, and some voiced their resolve to withhold tips for counter-service establishments.

One commentator shared, “I don’t tip unless it is a full-service restaurant. If I have to stand and order and pay upfront, I don’t tip.” Another recounted a baffling incident at a restaurant where the screen prompted them for a tip when purchasing a gift card.

Bonnier’s tipping revelation echoes a traveler’s experience in a New Jersey airport, where she encountered tipping options at a self-checkout machine. Purchasing a chicken Caesar wrap and a Vita Coco coconut water, she was presented with tip choices of 15%, 18%, and 20%. Reddit users recognized the incident, with some sharing their own encounters with similar kiosk machines.

As the discussion surrounding America’s tipping culture continues to grow, Bonnier’s account has sparked a nationwide dialogue on the fine line between rewarding exceptional service and succumbing to an excessive culture of tipping.

In a society where tipping has become the norm, it is worth pondering whether this practice has indeed reached a tipping point, prompting a reevaluation of our customs and expectations.


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

♬ original sound – Christian