LAS VEGAS, Nev. (WHNT) — “Tipping fatigue” is a phrase being thrown around lately, with customers saying mandatory “service fees” or awkward transparent transactions are only making things worse.
A recent video on TikTok went viral after one user said he was charged an automatic “tip” for his $16 drink at the Tipsy Robot bar in Las Vegas.
Unsurprisingly, the comments started flooding in with people debating mandatory tipping after @uptin shared the video showing an extra 10% added to the bill for his $16 drink at checkout.
“I normally wouldn’t mind an automatic 10% tip for making my drink,” the captions read, “But… you’re a robot.”
Bartending robot arms can be seen in the background mixing drinks before the camera pans down and shows the digital receipt, zooming in on the 10% “service charge.”
Tipping culture in general is already a topic that sparks debate, but with more customers taking to social media claiming they were charged an “automatic” tip, they say it’s getting out of hand.
Others have recounted their experiences of the “pressure to tip,” with some servers being able to see how much you’re coughing up as you pay the bill. Another person said they were asked to tip after buying just one cookie.
The niche Tipsy Robot bar started serving robotic-crafted drinks in 2017. On its website, it cites “2 Robots. 8 Humans. Endless Possibilities.” It boasts 120 drinks made per hour and 1,440 drinks made daily.
In a recent statement, general manager Victor Valanejad said the service charge in fact doesn’t go to the robots but is instead spread out between the humans.
“We have actually 8 employees paid on an hourly rate,” Valanejad said. “The TOTAL amount of the service charge is disbursed to the employees working and helping the clients, running the robots, cleaning, and providing customer service.”
While plenty of people are on the side of servers and workers deserving tips for the grueling job that is food service, there are still others that say mandatory service fees and tipping for smaller tasks is reaching.