Why did tipping change compared to a few years ago?
The tipping culture has changed in the US over the past few years, but the new norms are not very clear. What’s new with tipping and why the shift?
Tipping has long been a part of American culture, and it has undergone a few changes over the past few years. These days, more establishments are giving customers the option to tip, from fast-food restaurants to ice cream stores and even some department stores. It appears that even more businesses are dumping the responsibility of paying decent wages onto their customers.
Screens replace the tipping jar
Technology has contributed to this ubiquity; with digital payment becoming widely available, these shops conveniently use screens to ask clients if they want to leave a tip.
While consumers are used to tipping waiters, salon stylists, and taxi drivers, places where purchases are small and service is minimal are offering choices to tip between 15% and 25% on tablets and self-service kiosks.
The effect of the pandemic on tipping
Covid-19 had a hand in evolving tipping habits. At the beginning and at the height of the pandemic, service workers were considered to be putting their health and life at risk to be able to cater to customers, so people tipped more heavily to show their appreciation.
The situation has changed: the pandemic has reached manageable levels and the dangers are not as great for workers, but businesses continue to expect increased tips.
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However, customers are now tipping less. According to Toast, a restaurant management software company, amounts are down compared to 2021 levels. One factor is inflation, which makes customers more hesitant to shell out even more cash on top of higher-priced goods.
Another is the increased number of shops that are offering the tipping option. Seeing so many screens asking for a tip is overwhelming and turning off clients from adding on a gratuity.