Is tipping getting out of control? Many consumers say yes

Placed an online order for a non-food-related Christmas gift. Was asked, as part of the checkout process, if I wanted to add a tip for the workers. First time I’ve encountered that.

It was an Icelandic-based company, FWIW.


The final tab might also impact how customers react. Karabas said in the research he did with other academics, they manipulated the payment amounts and found that when the check was high, consumers no longer felt as irritated by the tip requests. That suggests the best time for a coffee shop to ask for that 20% tip, for example, might be on four or five orders of coffee, not a small cup that costs $4.

lol come on someone paying for a $4 coffee is not going to be upset about 80 cents. just tip them.

I’ve gotten a look before because I pressed no tip after paying by card but I left cash in a jar which they didn’t see.

For me in tipped jobs I learned early on not to look at receipts or acknowledge tips until the end of service. That said I never made a ton of money but did make enough to feel comfortable not paying attention to tips in the moment

I could be wrong but I feel like cc companies and pos systems have their own incentive for driving tip culture since it increases the amount of the charge from which they gather processing fees


Sure, but I can’t imagine their incentive is greater than that of the primary business. Making it acceptable (and possibly EXPECTED) to ask for tips means just a little less pressure to pay their employees higher wages.

Couple that with US tipping culture’s racist origins (One can find passages from the 1800’s and early 1900’s cautioning against insulting white service folks with tips, while encouraging them toward servers of color, to properly motivate them) along with the inherent classism (“Be prompt my good fellow, or no bonus for you!”) leave us wanting to support underpaid and overworked service employees with an extra 15-20% here and there, and resentful that the system rewards this sort of backdoor price bumping, rather than encouraging (or DEMANDING) proprietors figure out the cost of their goods/services and price them accordingly, and transparently.


I’m not discounting any of that and it wasn’t my intention.

Just saying cc and pos companies definitely have an incentive for businesses that never had a tip culture before to suddenly start raising prices 15-25% in the form of tips. Or for businesses that historically processed 15-20% tips to now make it easier for them to process 20-25% tips. That’s still more money they weren’t processing before that they now are


Interesting that the article mentions etiquette experts who suggest that tipping for take out isn’t that important. It was actually here on FTC that people who worked (tangentially?) in the food biz mentioned that packing food for take out can be kind of a pain (and painful in a different way than serving it at the restaurant) and so tipping is actually a “good” thing in this situation. Wish that line of reasoning had made its way into the article…


I wish tipping would go back to being a bribe. Like here’s a couple bucks, give me as much sauce as you can without being fired.


Funnily enough, I find that if you ask for “extra sauce, like, EXTRA extra”, most places will say ok, and a few will say “It’s a buck extra” or some other minimal charge. So… isn’t that the same thing, just more transparent?

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Same thing to me but not the worker. But to your point yes, I would think pay for sauces in order for restaurants to pay a living wage and eliminate the tip line would be utopia but here we are.