Tipping is often the right thing to do, but traditionally it was a choice whether at dinner or at the barbershop. Nowadays, many Americans feel the pressure to tip everywhere—even when you’ve served yourself.
Experts say iPads stationed in places ranging from coffee shops to airport kiosks automatically prompt shoppers to leave service charges, and this leads to “burnout”.
Why does America tip so much?
Despite frequent grumblings, Americans are more inclined than they used to be. Square, which makes many iPads available at points of sale that customers connect to, says total tips paid in the fourth quarter of last year at full-service restaurants rose 16.5% over the prior year and 15.9% in quick-service restaurants.
Data from restaurant management software company Toast found that diners still advanced between 15% and 20%. The average tip percentage for full-service restaurants was the same in the second and third quarters, flattening at 19.6%, Toast said, while quick-service restaurants saw the average tip percentage decline, from 16.9% to 16.8%.
Checkout self asking for tips
Nearly 20% of Americans tip for a broader range of services, and nearly half say they leave a tip when they normally wouldn’t because an iPad prompted them to, according to a September survey of more than 1,000 people by PlayUSA, a website covering gambling industry.
Are people leaning less?
Although tipping at restaurants has remained relatively strong, some surveys have found that more consumers are cutting their tips overall.
Higher prices led 17% of Americans to tip less, according to PlayUSA, while a November survey from restaurant tech company Popmenu found that 43% of those surveyed would tip servers 20% or more in 2022, a decrease. Sharp from the 56% who made a similar amount in the previous year.
“People see that in every interaction,” said Lizzie Post, co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, Centennial Edition. “So it’s not like you’re looking at food or the service industry, you see that in retail experiences, which is totally unexpected, and people just didn’t feel good about it.”
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Why is tipping so big in America?
Tips played a major role in restaurants, where workers typically earned less than minimum wage and relied on service fees to supplement their income.
Now that clients are constantly being asked to leave tips for a range of services, some companies are even including tips in their job listings to try to attract applicants. But tips are not a sure thing unless they are automatically included in the customer’s bill.
Stop asking for tips
Some restaurants include gratuity on the bill to ensure that their employees’ ability to make the money they need is not dependent on the whims of the customer.
Joey Ward, chef and owner of Southern Belle and Georgia Boy in Atlanta, told USA TODAY that he switched to a full-service model in July. This means that the check for each guest now includes a 25% fee that is eventually split among the employees, which helps cover paid vacation time.
“(We wanted to) provide a better quality of life for our employees,” Ward said. “Why don’t[your customers]just pay the price and have it cover the costs of the business instead of hoping we’ve done a good enough job for you to think we deserve to eat or pay our rent?”
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What is the general rule for tipping?
Each service does not require a tip.
For example, while a 15% to 20% gratuity is expected when you dine out, leaving a spare or a few dollars in the tip jar at the coffee shop is entirely up to you.
“Workers in these establishments are usually paid differently than restaurant workers, which is why this is a little bit different,” Post said.
Post said that tipping screens are basically the same as the tip jar except you need to tap No Tip on the screen if you don’t want to tip.
You can make your decision depending on the circumstances. If your barista has to bring your coffee instead of taking a drink off the shelf, for example, or they’re juggling you in a group of customers, you might want to give them something extra — and 10% tends to be said Post.
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