Has tipping for takeout become a social norm?
According to a recent survey, 67.7 percent of Americans feel pressured to tip when picking up takeout food or coffee if the POS system prompts them to, and 44.8 percent only tip because a POS tablet prompts them to do it.
The Time2Play survey of just over 2,000 U.S. consumers found 86.8 percent of respondents agreeing the pressure to tip from a POS system makes them uncomfortable.
Like some other recent surveys, the study found consumers were more open to tipping over the pandemic as many food establishments faced challenges.
Of the respondents, 53.4 percent said they have tipped for takeout versus 24.2 percent before the pandemic. The average takeout tip was 13.8 percent. Overall, the average tip at sit-down restaurants was found to be 22.8 percent, up from 17.1 percent pre-pandemic.
A survey from PlayUSA of about 1,000 Americans similarly found 51 percent had given a few extra bucks when a touchscreen payment device asked them and 54 percent felt pressured by the tip prompt. Of the respondents, 31 percent tip when getting takeout from a restaurant while 39 percent leave a tip at a coffee shop (27 percent at big chains like Starbucks, 49 percent at local coffee shops).
A recent Recode article explored the social pressures to tip as touchscreen contactless payment methods were adopted during the pandemic, something harder to ignore than the tip jar. One consumer frustration, the article points out, is the varied tipping suggestions across establishments, with some businesses setting the range higher to encourage bigger tips.
Harry Brignull, a U.K.-based user experience specialist and researcher of human-computer interactions, told Recode, “It’s easy to cross the line from honest persuasion to harmful manipulation.”
A CNBC article pointed to recent research from payment processing platforms, Toast and Square, indicating average tips were decreasing at quick-service restaurants since the earlier stages of the pandemic.
“Part of it is tip fatigue,” Eric Plam, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based startup Uptip, which supports cashless tipping, told CNBC. He added, “This point-of-sale tipping is what people resist the most — compelling you to tip right there on the spot.”
- Guilt Tips: Are we being pressured to tip more? – Time2Play
- Takeout From Restaurant – Play USA
- Americans are worse tippers now than before COVID-19 hit – CreditCards.com
- Everyone wants a tip now. Do you have to give them one? – Recode
- Americans have ‘tip fatigue’ — post-pandemic, diners are less inclined to tip generously for takeout – CNBC
- Literally just charge me the extra $2 for my meal, stop making me feel uncomfortable – TikTok
- The case for tipping for takeout – The Washington Post
- To Tip, or Not to Tip? – The New York Times
- Is tipping out of control? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Has tipping for takeout become a social norm? Do you think touchscreen payment tablets with tip suggestions for takeout orders are irritating and/or manipulative?