Around 48% of quick-service restaurants like Starbucks, Panera and McDonald’s now give customers the option to tip, according to data released this month from Toast, a restaurant management software company. That’s up from 38% in 2020.
People are tipping less in part because of inflation, experts say. They are also overwhelmed with the number of places that give them the option to tip with a card on an iPad, leading people to be less generous.
Customers and workers today are confronted with a radically different tipping culture compared to just a few years ago — without any clear norms.
Although consumers are accustomed to tipping waiters, bartenders and other service workers, tipping a barista or cashier may be a new phenomenon for many shoppers.
It’s being driven in large part by changes in technology that have enabled business owners to more easily shift the costs of compensating workers directly to customers.