Tipping in Tuscaloosa: Is it getting out of hand?

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Giselle Hood

We’ve all encountered tipping screens on turned-around iPads at a restaurant, cafe or other retail store these days. In fact, many places where you’ve never been asked to tip are now asking for $1, $2, 15% or even 30% right from a screen while an employee offers you a winning smile alongside a silent plea for a little extra cash.

That’s putting a lot of pressure on shoppers who aren’t used to ponying up on the spot.

“It kind of depends what it is and it kind of depends how much money I have,” said UA student Emily Smith. “I’d say I definitely tip as much as the service they give me. If I think it was good service, I will tip more.”

It’s one thing to tip someone who refills your drinks and brings you food or delivers a pizza to your house, but should you tip your barista at the cafe? The worker who packs your pick-up order? A salesperson who checks you out?

“It definitely makes me feel uncomfortable, because sometimes it’s like they’re not doing as much work that is worth 20%,” Smith said. “But, I also don’t not want to tip them.”

Tuscaloosa resident Logan Sprayberry said he has a system for deciding.

“If it is something where they are actively waiting on me, that’s when I tip,” said Sprayberry. “I think it’s important to tip just to show your appreciation for those who are working and their service and the hospitality they show you.”

Categories: Local News