There’s a new word – “Tipflation,” it’s regarding those non-stop tip requests. I hear that even self check-outs are asking for tips now. That’s how I came up with this cartoon. It’s also called, “tip creep.”

I love using self-checkouts, it’s great for introverts, we don’t have to interact with people and it seems to go faster, but so far, I have not seen this tipping request. I use the self-check out at supermarkets, Home Depot, drug stores, etc. So far, so good. No tip requests. But it really makes on sense. You don’t tip the cashier when she checks you out, so why would you tip a machine where you are checking yourself out?

But I do see it on lots of take-out apps. I use them a lot. It’s easy to order and just go and pick-up. I have used it for food delivery services, and alarmingly, I recently read about these delivery drivers asking people for extra tips if they want their deliveries to arrive! What do they do, throw the food out if they aren’t tipped enough?

I think I wrote about this before – at the beginning of the pandemic, when everyone was afraid to go anywhere, I would use the delivery services for supermarket delivery – Publix, Winn-Dixie, Whole Foods, etc. There were so many people using the services at that time, that they literally would take days to deliver the food.

They would let you know in advance, for instance, you would order on a Monday and they would have openings for food delivery on Thursday at 8 pm, something odd like that. But I read somewhere that if you tipped a lot, you will get faster delivery. So I tried that, I would normally tip $5.00, but I upped it to $20.00 and sure enough, the food would come days earlier, many times the same day! So there is something to be said for tipping ahead of time, although I’m not really a fan of tipping before I receive the service.

I tip on apps like Subway and other food apps where they are preparing my food, because unfortunately, they ask for the tip before the order goes in and I feel that they might do something with my food if I don’t tip. My mother used to always say you don’t argue with people handling your food and I guess that goes the same for tipping them.

At my local Starbucks, I don’t tip on the app where I order and just pick walk in and pick up the order, but every once in awhile I do tip $5.00 or $10.00 and I make sure they see me putting the cash in the tip jar.

I like these new hand-held things that restaurants now how. It’s just the push of a button and the tip is added and you don’t have to deal with doing math. The problem with all that is you never really see the final bill. I’ve asked for it to be printed out, but it never is.

I’ve also heard of people tipping flight attendants after a flight. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done, but that seem a bit strange. What next, we tip our doctor or dentist for a job well done?

Years ago I bartended for a short amount of time. I didn’t care about the job and didn’t care if I got fired or not. It was for a Hyatt hotel and I had to deal with all that corporate crap which is insane many times.

If a customer left me a quarter tip for a beer or two, I would give it back to them. I would pick it up off the bar, hand it to them and say, “Here, you must need it more than I do.” I found it insulting and I wasn’t gonna scrounge for their tips. The staff knew I didn’t care about being fired, so they would use me to tell customers off.

One night of the week, there was ladies night and ladies would drink free. But they never tipped! So the waitresses would come to me and ask me to say something, so I would – and of course I would get attitude back like, “Oh, so that’s how it is?” And the non-tipping customer would walk away. But of course they never complained because they couldn’t walk up to a manger and tell them they weren’t tipping for their free drinks they were getting all night.

I always tip Uber, but I read recently that only 16% of people tip, which I find astounding. I’ve always tipped a taxi driver, why not Uber? I always put the tip on the app, and as I exit the car I say, “I’ll add the tip to the app,” and I leave. I usually forget until a bit later, but I always add it, and then I’m concerned about what the driver thinks, does he/she think I stiffed them? But now seeing that only 16% of people tip drivers, I guess just as long as I’m leaving the tip, even if it isn’t immediately, that’s a good thing.

So I guess I’ve been on both ends of the tipping spectrum, but I still find it odd to tip a self-check out register.

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One thought on “Tipflation

  1. Grand social commentary. Sadly so *&^*(&^*(& true. I tip at real, sit-down, “would you like more coffee, sir” eating establishments (I cannot spell “restaurant”) but refuse to play this gimme-gimme game. Good work, sir.


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