Tipping is becoming more common at digital self-checkout kiosks.
But customers are unsure where the money is going or whether the request is necessary.
The problem highlights a larger phenomenon: “tipper fatigue”.
Self-checkout machines in coffee shops, sports stadiums and airports ask for tips – and customers are not happy about giving their extra money at machines.
A recent Wall Street Journal report cited the rise of digital self-service checkouts, which hit customers with a tip at the end of their transactions. This prompt has frustrated people who are asked to tip workers with whom they have had no interaction.
The report spoke to half a dozen consumers across the country. The majority found tipping at the checkout confusing – many wondering where the money went – although some people were willing to foot the bill for the additional fees.
For example, a customer who took a beer from a self-serve beer fridge at Petco Park in San Diego was asked to include a tip with his order, the Journal reported.
“I was confused because it wasn’t very clear who I was tipping,” he told the Journal, though he still tipped 20%.
A spokesman for the stadium, which is home to the San Diego Padres, told the Journal that all tips go to the staff.
One traveler asked to fill up a $6 bottle of water 10% to 20% at an OTG gift shop at Newark Liberty International Airport described the request as “a bit of emotional blackmail,” according to the Journal. The customer did not tip.
A spokesman for OTG told the magazine that all tips collected are pooled and then paid out to employees on that particular shift.
Tipping is an increasingly controversial topic of discussion in the country as many Americans suffer from “tipping fatigue” as they are asked to tip in more places and face the effects of inflation.
Landlords have turned to TikTok to advocate adding tips to rent, while Maryland’s first unionized Apple store is fighting to introduce a tipping system.
However, customers haven’t stopped tipping: The total number of tips received from full-service restaurants and quick-service restaurants increased 16.5% and 15.86%, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, it said a spokesman for payments platform Block told Insider. This data reflects all tips received and not just from self-service kiosks.
Read the original article on Business Insider