‘Consumers resist as guilt tipping reaches new heights’

The trend of “guilt tipping” has been on the rise as customers feel increased pressure to tip, especially with payment prompts offering predetermined tip options. This phenomenon has extended from traditional service encounters to app-based services like ride-share and delivery apps. Tim Self, an assistant professor of hospitality, suggests that customers should not feel obligated to tip and that tip jars may be a more practical alternative.

With inflation, shrinkflation, and tipflation affecting consumers, many feel the need to tip out of guilt. Alex Skijus, CEO of True Life Wealth Management, advises consumers to tip only when they genuinely want to express gratitude, rather than feeling pressured at every point of sale. Skijus believes that standing firm in not tipping excessively will prompt businesses to adjust suggested tip amounts or eliminate tip prompts altogether. It is crucial for consumers to resist succumbing to guilt and to stick to their principles.

Recent trends indicate a decline in tipping at both full-service and quick-service restaurants. While guests at full-service restaurants left an average tip of 19.4%, down from 19.5% in 2018, tips at quick-service restaurants decreased to 16% from 16.6%. Tipping habits also vary by day, with Thursdays being the most generous tipping day and Sundays the least generous. According to a report by Toast, tipping tends to increase throughout the week before dropping on weekends.

Despite the societal pressure to tip, customers have the right to make their own tipping decisions without feeling obligated. The fear of judgment by others may influence some to tip out of guilt, but it is important for individuals to stand by their beliefs. By resisting societal pressures, consumers can help drive change in tipping norms and advocate for a more balanced and fair approach to expressing gratitude for services received.

In summary, tipping has become more widespread across service industries, prompting a sense of guilt among consumers. While tipping is common in various service encounters, customers should feel empowered to make their own tipping choices. By standing firm in their beliefs and expressing gratitude when genuine, consumers can play a role in shaping the future of tipping practices and encouraging businesses to adapt accordingly. Tipping trends may fluctuate by day, but ultimately, tipping decisions should be based on personal appreciation rather than societal expectations.

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