Art by Hannah Singer

Heavy tipping culture causes frustration

At the typical snack or dessert shop, maybe a boba store, where you place your order through an iPad or tablet. After paying, the screen displays a set of tip options, which leaves many people puzzled. If the business takes out the human interaction aspect of service, then is it still a service that should request a tip? 

Tipping percentage options almost everywhere have increased, and even student employees who work in the foodservice industry are frustrated by the increase in product prices along with the increase in expected tips, especially when they aren’t exactly being served. 

Senior Maya Quinlan, an employee at Manresa Bread, said tips are reserved for when a worker performs a service for a customer. 

“I think it’s something you should do either when you’re getting served at a nice restaurant, or if someone is actively making you a drink or a food,” Quinlan said. “They should be getting tipped because it’s a service.” 

Since Quinlan doesn’t work in a sit-down restaurant, she said she doesn’t always expect tips, and she isn’t heavily affected by them. 

“When I started working, I would make more effort to get people to tip me,” Quinlan said. “But, I can’t even see if I get tipped. Also, I only make coffee, so it doesn’t really bother me if someone chooses not to tip.” 

Quinlan also said more places are asking for tips now, even when she thinks they shouldn’t be.

“I think that in some cases, it’s becoming a lot more prevalent than it should be,” Quinlan said. “Some places are asking for tips for giving out pre-made food. 

Senior and Poke House employee Jonathan Wang said he expects tips only if he is doing more for a customer than he usually would. 

“If I’m doing extra work for someone, like I have to accommodate their food, I expect a tip because I’m doing extra service for them,” Wang said. 

Senior and Local Union Hostess Sonia Hussein said she thinks a business needs to provide a real service in order for her to leave them a tip. 

“I’ve been to places where the tipping options are crazy where they’re asking for above a 20% tip even though you’re just ordering on an iPad,” Hussein said. “Personally, I think a big part of tipping is having human interaction since they’re actually servicing you.”

However, Hussein says she has been tipping more at restaurants after starting her job because she empathizes with waiters. 

“I have been tipping other workers a bit more, especially (at) sit-down restaurants,” Hussein said. “I’m more aware of all the work that goes into being a waiter.”

Wang also said he has begun tipping more at other places after getting his own job. 

However, Quinlan said she has noticed some people choose to tip or not regardless of the quality of service. 

“A lot of people tip without it reflecting the service,” Quinlan said. “Some people just tend to tip all the time and some people never tip no matter what.”