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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Should Customers Tip Businesses for Basic Service?

    Many businesses across the country are hemorrhaging money daily and are desperate to stay afloat due to the pandemic. Downtown Chicago is practically a ghost town as most of the labor force have opted to work from home. Vaccination mandates have made even tougher for businesses to survive, and some of these establishments are beginning to use unconventional methods to remain profitable.

    Case in point, I work on a hybrid schedule two or three days per week on average. I hadn’t been to Subway in a while and decided to go there for lunch the other day. Initially, nothing out of the ordinary happened as I’m a creature of habit―I usually order a six-inch tuna sandwich with pepper jack cheese, mayo, and lettuce with chips and drink. But here’s where things get interesting. The cashier rang me up after she made my sandwich, and several options to give a tip popped on the credit card machine. I was already taken aback because the sandwich combo was two dollars higher than what it was the last time I was there, and on top of that, they expected me to leave a tip. Huh?! So, I asked the cashier where’s the option to not leave a tip, and her snarky reply was: It’s on the screen. Leaving a tip was now null and void after her snide remark, and I eventually figured out what icon to hit on the screen.

Restaurant

    Now, I’d like to pose the question―when did it become fashionable to ask for a tip for doing your job?  Is McDonalds going to ask for tips when customers want a made-to-order Quarter Pounder? When COVID-19 was in its early stages, many restaurants like Olive Garden and Chili’s offered takeout only, and I’d tip the young men and women who would bring my online food order to my car because they were dine-in restaurants. However, I don’t believe in tipping the cashier at Walmart or the sandwich maker at Subway for basic service.

    Once something is introduced and implemented in society like removing shoes and belts at TSA or automated checkout, there’s no going back. So, is tipping businesses for basic service the new trend? Please leave your comments below.

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