by Gray Graham
Let’s get this out of the way in the beginning. This is not a tipping vs not tipping vs paying a living wage discussion although I probably will be touching on some of those points. I have written about that before in the past and will add it to the new website when I can. No my friends this is going to be a new discussion about tipping the cashier whenever you purchase food to-go or pick-up.
It seems many people are upset that thanks to new point of sale technology when you purchase food of any kind be it fast food restaurants, pick up orders, or even your local coffee shop, you are being given the option to tip the cashier just like you have been at full-service restaurants in the past. This is leaving a lot of people feeling a certain way because they don’t know what to do. Should you tip and if you should tip how much should you tip?
To say some people are in shock might be an understatement. I have seen many people upset because they say the cashier doesn’t actually do anything that warrants getting a tip. It is funny how quickly food service cashiers went from essential workers helping save the world to; you not doing anything that deserves a tip isn’t it?
Okay now this is where I have to mention the history and culture of tipping in America without starting an argument. To this day most Americans would be shocked that tipping is mostly an American thing. Even in countries that allow tipping it is no where close to the amount you pay in America. In a large part of the world tipping is an insult especially some of the large amounts Americans throw around. Even Americans that travel abroad frequently have trouble with tipping in other countries. Tipping is far from a standard practice across the world. So please keep this in mind when you think about tipping in America.
Now back to your cashier that is waiting on you to pay your ticket so she can help the customers piling up behind you. To put it short there really are no rules to tipping. Tipping is and has always been a personal choice. Sure there are societal norms that certain people follow but that is definitely not everyone and it’s probably not even most people.
To be honest most people are terrible at math. Telling someone they should tip 20-25% is pretty meaningless to them which is why many payment screens just ask you the percentage you want to tip instead of giving you a dollar amount. Many customers wouldn’t be able to figure out what percentage they were tipping based on the dollar amount.
People are waiting on you to decide if you are going to tip so I am going to help you out. This should be your rule to tipping in food service. If you tip then tip everywhere that accepts tips. Apply the same rules to everyone that provides a service to you. It doesn’t matter if they are a cashier, chef, waitress, or delivery driver. Do not try to devalue the service provided to you because you don’t think it is that hard. I know you don’t think driving a pizza around the corner and bringing it to your front door is more difficult than getting your food order together, making sure it is correct, helping you figure out how to use the payment system, helping out in the store wherever someone needs help, answering the phone, while all the time having a big smile.
So the next time you are picking up that pick-up order make sure to tip your cashier if that is your thing. The store has made it easy for you by giving you the options of 20%, 25%, and 30%. If there is anyone in our economy that needs a tip it is a cashier because they are probably the lowest paid people in our country with most being women trying to improve their lives and/or take care of their families.
If you can tip your hair stylist and barber after paying them a few hundred dollars you can tip your cashier.
Also some of you have a few phone calls to make. You need to apologize to some of your friends and associates that you have called cheap over the years because they didn’t believe in tipping because I know you don’t want to be a hypocrite and now you know their struggle.
You take. God bless and I love you all.
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