Keith and Ronni Lee

From Sweet To Sour: Keith Lee's Tip Stirs Up Drama At Dallas Food Truck

Home / Entertainment / From Sweet To Sour: Keith Lee's Tip Stirs Up Drama At Dallas Food Truck

By Melanie VanDerveer on February 3, 2024 at 1:45 PM EST

It's tough to scroll through your FYP page on TikTok without coming across wildly popular food reviewer Keith Lee and the drama he's currently in the center of all because of a good deed.

Lee, who's currently in Dallas, Texas on his Keith Lee and Family Food Tour, stopped at a food truck, left a large tip with instructions on how to distribute the money, and then the drama began.

Article continues below advertisement

Keith Lee Visited Sweetly Seasoned Food Truck In Dallas And Left A Large Tip

Keith Lee
Keith Lee - TikTok

One of the stops while in Dallas was at Sweetly Seasoned food truck. In Lee's stitched TikTok video, the owner's son explained why they could use some help with business.

"Keith Lee is officially in Dallas, so I asked him for help and come to visit my mom's food truck to hopefully turn it around," the owner's son said. "She is an award-winning pastry chef, she is a culinary chef, she has two degrees. We are just from Milwaukee and here in Dallas. It's kinda hard with the marketing because we don't know our way even around yet."

Article continues below advertisement

Lee spent $80.11 on a bag of food and mentioned that the food truck is in the "hood" and there are people cutting and braiding hair outside of the food truck. He also noted that with everyone around, he had to be slick about getting the food and noticed that they were livestreaming on social media the entire time. (These are all important things to note.)

Lee tried out a pulled pork sandwich, fried ribs with french fries, jerk chicken tacos and beans and rice and banana pudding. He gave his rating for each and his opinion on how to fix the marketing issues, and then decided to visit the food truck to say hello and leave a tip.

Article continues below advertisement

"Before we left, we went and had a conversation with the mom and we thanked everybody for having us," Lee said. "Me and the mama prayed together and we left a $4,000 tip behind."

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

During the conversation between the food truck owner and Lee, he specifically asked that the tip be divvied up a certain way - $1,000 for the barber doing the haircuts, $1,000 for the person doing the braids, and a $2,000 tip for the food truck owner.

Lee asked for his card to be charged $4,000 in total before leaving.

Then The Drama Entered The Chat...

Sherell S Hodge on TikTok
Sherell S Hodge - TikTok

Tons of videos then began popping up about the fact that the food truck owner didn't give any of the tip money to the barber and braider. Sherell Hodge, who had a part in getting Lee to the food truck, shared a video telling her side of the story and revealed that the food truck owner kept the entire $4,000 for herself.

"I bet you're wondering how we got here," she began her video. "So a lot of y'all know yesterday I got to meet Keith Lee."

She continued her video explaining the "downfall" of the experience and shared a clip of Lee explaining the tip money and who he wants it to go to.

"After everything had died down, mind you, on top of him tipping $4,000, this man left an extra $886 to feed everybody else that was coming," she continued. "But this is where she [the owner] went wrong."

Article continues below advertisement
Sherell S Hodge
Sherell S Hodge - TikTok

That's when Hodge revealed that the owner told her that after the next person, "which is the third person," start to charge again. She then explained that she was told it would be a day or two before she got her tip money from Lee.

When the next day rolled around, Hodge asked about the tip money for her brother, the barber who was cutting hair that Lee tipped $1,000. Hodge said that the owner said she wasn't going to be paying the barber.

Article continues below advertisement

Many of Hodge's viewers dropped into the comments to leave their thoughts on the drama.

"The fact remains we all heard how Keith Lee said the money should be divided. He said give the barber $1000!" one person wrote. Another added, "For those of you complaining 'it’s just 1,000.. etc' it’s not about the money alone it’s the PRINCIPLE!! The PRINCIPLE!!!"

Article continues below advertisement

Time To Hear From Keith Lee!

Keith Lee
Keith Lee - TikTok

It was time to hear from Lee about all the talk about the tip money not being distributed as he asked.

"To be honest, there's not much to talk about. But there are a few conflated and confused things that's going around about the situation. So let's talk about that," Lee began his video. "Three days ago, me and my family went to Sweetly Seasoned food truck. Number one, nobody had any idea we was coming. They found out we was in Dallas like everybody else found out we was in Dallas."

In the hopes of Lee visiting them, they had shirts made and were livestreaming all day long. He said that he was under the impression that all of the people involved were a team and that this was "a normal routine for them" referring to the barber and braider being there.

He continued to explain his perception of everything that was going on and said he was "never under the impression" that the haircuts were being done for free.

"We knew that he was cutting hair for $40. So when we walked up and I said I wanna give $1,000 to the barber to do free haircuts and $1,000 to the braider to braid hair, it was because an original video the son said it was slow due to marketing," he continued. "That's marketing. God willingly, after we post a video there will be a line out the door. If there's a line out the door, and there's a barber and a braider doing hair while people are waiting, that's marketing."

Article continues below advertisement

Lee reiterated that he didn't know any of the behind the scenes and didn't know if any of the people involved knew each other or not.

"I've learned through this journey that sometimes it's deeper than the food, it's deeper than the marketing, it's deeper than the customer service, and this is one of those cases in my opinion," Lee said. "Sweetly Seasoned got a lot to figure out and I thank God in advance that they do figure it out."

Lee then explained something that the owner's son has been misconstruing about how Lee explained who gets the tip money.

Article continues below advertisement

"After I said out loud in detail what we deemed the money to be used towards, I also said y'all can divvy it out how y'all feel necessary, meaning, after the money hits because it's a POS system, it don't hit the same day, y'all can send it out through Apple Pay, through Zelle, through Cash App, through check, through cash however y'all feel necessary to spread it amongst the team," he explained.

"I thought, and I still think, that's a very clear statement, but it's being misconstrued, in my opinion, intentionally misconstrued that I said that the mom and the son can say who get the money and who don't get the money."

Keith Lee
Keith Lee - TikTok
Article continues below advertisement

In just a few short hours, Lee's video talking about the Sweetly Seasoned ordeal hit more than 8 million views. Lee's fans are here for justice and left tons of comments about the situation.

"He damage controls well.. with great power comes great responsibility. Please don’t stop being you,?" wrote one viewer. "They blocked their blessing and that’s it! You did your job and your intention was understood by everybody but them," said another.

Article continues below advertisement