The Tipping Point: Navigating the Gray Area of Gratuities. TIPS ARE A PROBLEM IN THE U.S.?
Tipping has long been a practice in the US, but many consumers are frustrated with the increase in automatic tip prompts at businesses that adopt digital payment methods. Across the country, there’s a silent frustration brewing about an age-old practice that many say is getting out of hand: tipping. Some fed-up consumers are posting rants on social media complaining about tip requests at drive-thrus, while others say they’re tired of being asked to leave a gratuity for a muffin or a simple cup of coffee at their neighborhood bakery.
One of the reasons for this frustration is that customers are unhappy about being asked to leave a gratuity at drive-thrus, bakeries, and other places where tipping is not typically expected. Unlike tip jars that shoppers can easily ignore if they don’t have spare change, experts say the digital requests can produce social pressure and are more difficult to bypass. And your generosity, or lack thereof, can be laid bare for anyone close enough to glance at the screen — including the workers themselves.
Another reason is that the increase in price of items due to inflation makes it more frustrating for customers. As more businesses adopt digital payment methods, customers are automatically being prompted to leave a gratuity — many times as high as 30% — at places they normally wouldn’t. And some say it has become more frustrating as the price of items has skyrocketed due to inflation, which eased to 6.5% in December but still remains painfully high.
While customers may be frustrated with the increase in automatic tip prompts, it is important to understand the impact it has on workers in the service industry. Some workers depend on tips as a supplement to their wages, and they feel that it is important for customers to understand the role that tips play in their livelihoods. Dylan Schenker, a 38-year-old barista at a café in Philadelphia, earns about $400 a month in tips, which provides a helpful supplement to his $15 hourly wage. Schenker says it’s hard to sympathize with consumers who are able to afford pricey coffee drinks but complain about tipping. And he often feels demoralized when people don’t leave behind anything extra — especially if they’re regulars.
In conclusion, tipping is a complex issue with different perspectives and opinions. While customers may be frustrated with the increase in automatic tip prompts, it is important for them to understand the impact it has on workers in the service industry. On the other hand, it is also important for workers to understand the perspective of customers who may be struggling with inflation and the increase in prices. Ultimately, it is important for both customers and workers to understand the impact that tipping has on each other.