When you order food at a counter, do you tip? I mean, what is the basic standard of expected service if you walk up to a counter, place an order, pick it up, walk it to a table, get your drink and clean up?
Tip Jar Versus Tip at Check Out
In any situation, if someone goes above and beyond, a tip is an appropriate gesture. There’s a food truck my family goes to that we love. The food is terrific and they always get the order correct. The owners are super-nice and they even remember our names. This particular food truck is a bit pricey, especially considering there is minimal overhead. I don’t mind paying their prices because it’s so good. But when you give them your credit card and they flip the screen around for you to sign, this is what it looks like:
Because this is a business we frequent regularly, we always tip. But we aren’t particularly happy about it. It’s optional but doesn’t really feel optional. And maybe that’s MY problem because I technically can check the “no tip” option. And the minimum is 15%? Really???!!! At a full-service restaurant, the customary tip for good service is arguably 15% – 20%. It might be more palatable if these businesses started at a more reasonable percentage.
Is Tipping for Every Service the New Norm?
Panera does it along with so many other counter service establishments. Will McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wendy’s be next? I guess I am thinking that if I order the food at the counter, pick it up at the counter, fill (and re-fill) my drink and clean up after myself, a tip may not be warranted and the service provided is simply a cost of doing business. It feels to me like businesses are trying to institute the tip screen as the new norm.
How Do You Handle the Signature Screen?
When there’s a tip jar, and you put something in it, you are making a voluntary, conscious decision to acknowledge good service with a tip. When that screen swings around and you have to make a selection to tip or not tip, knowing the cashier is going to swing the screen back around and see what you’ve selected, it seems personal. If I don’t tip, am I saying they didn’t do a good job? Maybe, but probably not… I don’t tip the person who made my Pub sub at Publix, or the kind man who made my sushi while I shopped. Can you imagine going to the grocery store and being presented with this screen when you checked out?
The Cost of Doing Business
I’ve shopped in some terrific stores where the service is top-notch. A store’s associate will be so helpful and, as a result, I shop there again. When I pay for my purchases, there isn’t a tip line. Have you been to a department store and walked into a dressing room that the previous occupant left a complete disaster? Didn’t hang the clothes back up, etc.? The person who works there has to hang everything up, button, tie, etc. and put it all back where it belongs. When you pay for your purchase (if you make one), there isn’t a tip screen. Maybe that’s next…
Okay, my rant is over… I’ll park my broom for now.
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