Annoying or Normal? Arizona’s Opinions on Tipping
During the pandemic, most of us were just doing whatever we could to keep going. Times were crazy and a lot of us worried about the state of our jobs, especially those in the service industry.
The Tipping Explosion
While office workers took their work home, restaurant and retail workers, along with other service industries, suddenly found their jobs shrinking or gone - or at least shaky. You couldn't exactly service your tables from your laptop.
One side effect of the uncertainty was a burst of altruism; in other words, those who had it shared as much as they could with those who might be at risk with an uncertain future.
Is EVERYONE Asking for a Tip?
Suddenly, very, very large tips were being left for service workers around the country. For example, CNN reported that a waitress in Pennsylvania was shocked when she received a $3,000 tip from a customer. Stories of incredibly large tips were everywhere.
All of a sudden, organizations who had never collected tips began showing up with their hands out. We expect to tip the folks cutting our hair, doing our nails or delivering our pizzas. We're not so keen on handing over cash to the kid who just handed us a bag of fast food through the drive thru window, for example.
Is this a new socially expected practice of hitting the tip jar for nearly everything? It's hard to tap the No Tip button, for example, when the eager young lady handing you the $7 cup of Caramel Macchiato spins the kiosk around and watches while you decide to tip...or not.
How Arizona Feels About Tipping
How does Arizona feel about tipping? It turns out, it all depends on the situation. We found some interesting trends.
People who are themselves service industry workers are much more likely to not only tip, but tip generously. The empathy gratuity goes up considerably if the restaurant is short-staffed, busy, or if the service is exceptional. The minimum tip seems to be around 20% then goes up from there.
Allie has worked in the food service industry most of her adult life. She said this question is strange for her because she can understand all angles, saying, "At a sit-down restaurant...I tip at least 20% or more."
Allie has opinions on other service industries and tipping. "Hair salons, tattoo parlors, [I tip] closer to 50% if I'm impressed. However, it seems these days everyone has out tip jars. Tipping the drive thru worker who handed me my order gets confusing."
"If I'm confused on whether or not to tip," she says, "I'll ask what they get paid. Regular minimum wage or the tipped minimum wage are different."
Matt told us he has a scale when deciding how much to tip. "I tip based on service at sit down [restaurants]; pleasant [service] or above and beyond service, gets 30%...and a minimum of 15%, but they'd have to be rather rotten to get 15%. Pick up orders and delivery get $5; coffee is $1-3 or 20% for a large order. I don't tip fast food or food trucks; all fees and wages are implied with overpriced food."
These are only a few of the responses we got. Overall, it seems that Arizonans are extremely generous when it comes to leaving a tip.
While some of us have a metric, nearly everyone said they even leave at least a small tip for sub-par service, and often leave a very generous tip for exceptional service, even when it's a "non-standard" service asking.
Is this tipping for everyone trend annoying or should it be the new norm? Let us know your thoughts.