A teenage boy who left a 10% tip on a dinner date got a public scolding from his mom in a viral TikTok video.
"When my son goes on his first date and he goes, 'Mom, the service is good. It was a $104 check' and he said he tipped him a lot of money," Danielle Foster, a mother of three in Virginia, captioned her Feb. 13 video. "$10. Yes, he's on the way back to the restaurant."
In the video with more than 2 million views, Foster lectured her son Johnny after he returned home from The Twisted Crab restaurant where he dined with his girlfriend for their one-year anniversary. It was their first formal date as Johnny, a newly licensed driver, took his parent's car for the evening.
According to Foster, Johnny came home glowing about the seafood meal — and the service.
"I told Johnny, 'I hope you took care' of the server,'" Foster tells TODAY.com. "He said, 'Yeah, I slipped him $10.' I told him that was a horrible tip."
In the video, captioned "I raised him better than this," Foster lectured her son before sending him back to the restaurant.
"Johnny! You need to go get my wallet," she said in the video. "You need to go get my VISA card. You need to go to the ATM and you need to go grab a $20 and drive your ass back to that restaurant because on a $104 check, $10 is a s----- tip! Do you understand me? Go now!"
“I’m not asking, I’m telling,” she continued. “It’s not funny. Do you know that guy might have kids? Do you know (on) $104 he gets taxed on it? You are to go grab my credit card, get $10, $20 and drive it back there."
“Yes, ma’am,” said Johnny.
Foster insisted that Johnny call her on FaceTime when he arrived at the restaurant.
To pay for dinner, Johnny had used a $50 gift card from his girlfriend and money he saved from his jobs as a parking attendant and lifeguard.
Foster speculated that using a gift card may have confused her son about the gratuity amount, and she was happy to fund the add-on herself.
Server William Hoyle, reached by phone at the restaurant, tells TODAY.com that he didn’t notice Johnny’s tip until the teen returned to the restaurant to hand him a $20 bill.
“It was a noble thing to do, and I appreciate it,” he says, adding that wait staff don’t always have high expectations for teenage tippers. However, he says, “We don’t treat them any differently.”
In another video, Foster defended herself against TikTok comments saying that she was embarrassing her son online.
"Imagine publicly shaming your kid for likes because he left what is socially acceptable as a tip," one said.
“Johnny doesn’t feel publicly shamed,” Foster said in her video. “He actually likes all the attention ... he’s 16 years old. How I decide to parent the kid that came out of my body and that I pay for is really not your problem.”
Johnny tells TODAY.com that he believed at the time that $10 was an appropriate amount of money; however, he said he's glad the server was grateful for his effort. And now, he said, he feels “famous.”
Tipping culture is a hot topic in the comments section of Foster's post.
"Tipping has gotten way out of control in America," a person wrote. Someone responded, "Not everyone deserves tips but people fail to realize servers make about $3 per hour."
Regardless of how people feel, says Foster, tipping service workers is an important value in her family.
“We’ve talked about tipping before — I was a server and Johnny’s father is a former delivery driver,” says Foster.