Family sparks debate by tipping with Amazon gift card

A viral Tiktok video has reignited the national minimum wage debate

Jade Bremner
Tuesday 11 January 2022 14:39
Comments
Leer en Español

One Tiktoker’s video post of him tipping with an Amazon gift card at a restaurant has divided social media, and reignited the minimum wage debate.

Gustavo Lombera went for Korean food with his sister Kaitlyn. The bill came to $95.24, and the video shows Mr Lombera using a $25 Amazon gift card to cover the tip. The voiceover on the clip states that “he asked if he could tip with an Amazon gift card”.

“Holidays left us broke” reads the post which now has almost 700,000 views. The family supposedly asked the waiter if they could tip with the gift card, to which the waiter chuckled and agreed it was fine, according to Mr Lombera.

Some people said the family was being cheap: “people can’t pay their bills with an Amazon gift card,” commented one user. Some also said there may not be the full balance remaining on the gift card. And another said it could make things difficult if serving staff are obligated to share tips with the rest of the restaurant staff.

However, many servers said they would love a gift card as a tip. “As a waitress, I would love it!” said one user, “$25 that’s more than 20 per cent too”.

Cash tips should be declared as income, but a gift card can be considered a gift, so may be preferable.

“Once a lady has no cash and tipped me with a $10 Starbucks card. I loved it!” said another Tiktoker.

The debate also expanded to fair wages and the idea people should be paid properly instead of relying on tips. “Tipping should be abolished,” said one user.

The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour, and hasn’t been raised since 2009. But some states have their own minimum wages, Washington DC has a $15.20 minimum wage and California has a $15 minimum wage. Massachusetts has a $14.25 minimum wage and, as of 7 January, Connecticut now has a $14.00 minimum wage. Wyoming and Georgia have minimum wages of $5.15 although employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

A 2021 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that 1.4 million jobs would be lost (0.9 percent of employment) by 2025 to cover the increase in the minimum wage. Other experts have said that an across-the-board minimum wage increase would more likely raise the prices of goods and services, which would be spread out among consumers and have a relatively low impact.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in