NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Electronic systems are making it easier to leave a tip, but with every ask at the carry-out counter or solicitation to donate for a cause, shoppers may be feeling a bit of guilt.
At Rex Coffee in Hell’s Kitchen, the java is flowing and the tips are flooding in, reports CBS2’s Jessica Moore.
“They tip more on the iPad because they’re paying with a card and you don’t see the money leaving you so it’s easy to be a little bit more generous,” said Tawanda Mamabolo at Rex.
Recommended tipping options on this $3.00 coffee are $1, $2, or $3, or customers can select “no tip” at the bottom.
According to the Restaurant Association, tips on electronic devices tend to be higher because of those pre-recommended amounts, but does the mere suggestion and direct accountability with a server make customers feel pressured?
“I don’t feel pressure at all,” said Eric Holzworth in Hell’s Kitchen. “I think 100 percent people want to give back and tipping is something people want to do, but we’re not a cash culture anymore.”
Holzworth graciously turns away as customers decide whether to tip, but not all do.
If you had the opposite experience and the barista was staring at you, would you feel different?
“I think it would make you feel pressure,” he said. “I don’t think you wouldn’t tip, but I do like the subtlety of that.”
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“It’s not pressure on me to give them a good tip,” said Lance Bush or Deerpark. “The question is whether they performed their job.”
Such “public displays of gratuity” can sometimes lead to “tip shaming,” making some customers feel less than generous.
“If the guy’s standing right there it’s like, hey guy, back up,” said David Brown Jr. of Harlem. “If he did good work, I’m going to tell him he did good work but don’t pressure me.”
And then there’s the constant requests for donations at drug store checkout lines. Some businesses like Petsmart and CVS put the option donate to charity on the payment screen rather than asking a customer outright.
“That is a little embarrassing,” said Tyrone Wilson of Chelsea. “I think, ‘Wait a minute, why did she just come out and ask me for $5 for this, $5 for that?’ It’s not the time right now. I just want to buy my products and I’m gone.”
Most people said they’re always happy to give back, but they don’t want to be put on the spot.