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Tipping is a hot topic in the United States. Minimum wage and tipping laws vary from state to state. Many people believe that the culture revolving around leaving tips is deeply flawed and bad for employees. However, it is so deeply entrenched in the American psyche that big changes are difficult to fathom.

The r/EndTipping subreddit aims to shake things up so that “US workers aren’t reliant on tips.” Members of the online community share examples of just how ridiculous and shameless demands for tips can get. We’ve curated a list of the most powerful pics to show you that the system really does need to change when things are as egregious as this. Scroll down to see for yourselves, Pandas.

Bored Panda wanted to learn about how customers can gently push back against Tipflation (tip inflation), so we got in touch with Max Alberhasky, Ph.D. He was kind enough to share his thoughts on this, as well as how changes in the minimum wage can affect tipped employees. Alberhasky is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at California State University Long Beach and is the author of the insightful ‘Psychology, Money, and Happiness’ blog on Psychology Today.

Marketing expert Alberhasky explained to Bored Panda how customers can gently push back against Tipflation. According to him, it helps when people have a number in mind going into the purchase when they’re asked to tip. This can be any percentage of the bill.

"Having a standard amount you want to tip going into a purchase helps prevent nudges to tip more (which is common on tablets via high default choices) or social pressure from the cashier or those behind you in line to make a fast decision," he told Bored Panda in an email.

#2

Even High Earners Are Sick Of The Shenanigans

Even High Earners Are Sick Of The Shenanigans

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#3

I Saw This Today, Bless

I Saw This Today, Bless

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Justin Tyme
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So they have a tipless policy and they are happy to take tips. Okay, got it.

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"Sticking to your guns in terms of what you tip for standard service helps to provide a buffer when nudges or social pressure arise when you're paying," he said.

“Research from Uber and former Chief Economist John List suggest most consumers have a habit or idea in mind for what they prefer to do, with 60% of riders never tipping, 20% of riders always tipping, and 20% of riders deciding to tip or not based on the quality of their ride.”

Alberhasky also commented on the drastically different minimum wages across various states in the US. "Service industry workers doing the same job in California likely earn more than workers in Nebraska. If the overall minimum wage is increased, it may indirectly affect tipped employees," he told Bored Panda.

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#4

I Would Say More Than Mildy Infuriating

I Would Say More Than Mildy Infuriating

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#5

Saw This Online

Saw This Online

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Kaddiss Ventorum
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Cash only avoids these screens yall. No card swipey just pure hard fiat bills in hand. Unless you're telling me cash is not being taken ( which is illegal it says on the money bill good for ALL DEBTS ) ( US speaking )

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#6

My Favorite Restaurant In NYC (Xi'an Famous Foods), Where Hospitality Is Included

My Favorite Restaurant In NYC (Xi'an Famous Foods), Where Hospitality Is Included

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"For example, if the regular minimum wage goes up, employers may also be required to increase the cash wage for tipped employees. Additionally, changes in the minimum wage can have broader economic implications, usually impacting the cost of goods and services purchased, which may impact tipping practices," Alberhasky explained.

"In circumstances where tipping is the norm (bars, restaurants, coffee shops), increasing wages and prices is likely to lead to higher tips because customers are tipping the same percentage on a larger bill. In circumstances where tipping is not standard yet it's an option (fast food restaurants, bowling alleys, tattoo shops), increasing prices is likely to decrease tipping because customers are facing an expensive bill that would make tipping additional money seem unreasonable," he said. 

For some more expert insights, be sure to check out Alberhasky's ‘Psychology, Money, and Happiness’ blog on Psychology Today.

#7

No, I'm Not Tipping A Hotel Booking Website

No, I'm Not Tipping A Hotel Booking Website

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#8

End Tipping

End Tipping

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Guess Undheit
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If some cafe charges that much for its "coffee", I expect an orgasm with it.

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#9

Tipping Option At Newark Airport Self-Checkout Counters

Tipping Option At Newark Airport Self-Checkout Counters

No service was provided. It was literally one of those “express” shops where you grab things like tissues, snacks, etc.

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The tipping system in the US is convoluted and confusing, to say the least. Wage laws and attitudes toward minimum wages vary from state to state.

Pew Research Center calls it a patchwork system: “For example, a restaurant server in Waukegan, Illinois, is entitled to a $13 minimum wage—$7.80 in direct wages from the restaurant, plus a $5.20 tip credit. But for a server 17 miles away in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the minimum is $7.25—with $2.33 in direct wages from the restaurant, plus a $4.92 tip credit.”

As Pew points out, the minimum wage for most workers, under US federal law, is $7.25 per hour. However, there is a major caveat.

If an employee is a tipped employee, their employers can pay them just $2.13 per hour… so long as they get the remaining ‘tip credit’ of $5.12 per hour in tips. The employer is bound to make up the difference if their employees do not meet this minimum in tips.

#10

Gratuity Isn’t Gratuity If It’s Automatically Added To A Bill

Gratuity Isn’t Gratuity If It’s Automatically Added To A Bill

20% gratuity was automatically added to our bill for a party of 2 while the receipt says it’s added for a party of 5. On top of that the receipt given back to you pretends like they didn’t just add a tip and leaves another line for a tip

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Ni Na
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was in Miami 2 weeks ago and almost every restaurant at Miami Beach had a Gratuity added (the note was at the end of the menu) and you were expected to tip too. What's the point of the 20 % then?

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#11

The Default Tip For A Croissant Purchased Over The Counter Was 102%

The Default Tip For A Croissant Purchased Over The Counter Was 102%

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#12

Apparently Tipping Non Living Objects Is Perfectly Acceptable

 Apparently Tipping Non Living Objects Is Perfectly Acceptable

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The minimum wage in 30 US states and the District of Columbia is higher than the federal minimum. The variety is massive. It ranges from $8.75 per hour in West Virginia to nearly twice that—$17—in DC.

The tip credit also varies greatly. For instance, in Virginia, the minimum wage stands at $12. However, the tip credit is $9.87, meaning that the actual minimum wage (depending on your employer and company) can be $2.13, with the rest being considered tip credit.

However, some states (e.g. California) have refused to accept tip credit as a workable concept altogether. This means that companies are supposed to pay their employees a fixed minimum wage (e.g. $16 per hour in California, far higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour). They can also keep any tips they get on top of that. 

#13

This Was The First Thing I Saw Today At My Hotel's "Free" Breakfast. I Was Immediately Annoyed

This Was The First Thing I Saw Today At My Hotel's "Free" Breakfast. I Was Immediately Annoyed

It is literally a self-serve standard hotel breakfast. The only thing the "attendant" did was put out a few more oatmeal packets.

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WindySwede
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

'Have a "Safe" trip from your breakfast if you don't tip' 😨

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#14

Popular Sandwich Chain Had This Tip Sign

Popular Sandwich Chain Had This Tip Sign

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#15

So I Guess This Is A Thing Somewhere

So I Guess This Is A Thing Somewhere

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Beth H
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Holy cow, this is theater of the absurd. I have been in the restaurant industry for 25 years and I've never seen anything this egregious.

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Many Americans feel pressured to tip larger and larger sums. This effectively means that going out for dinner ends up costing far more than the customers might have anticipated. The issue is that you’re expected to tip because the servers’ livelihood depends on it.

Tipping becomes less of a reflection of good service and more of a way of supporting employees who might be living paycheck to paycheck. The responsibility, which should rest on the employer’s shoulders, is passed down to the customers. 

#18

DIY Mister Car Wash In Florida Asked Me For A Tip.. It’s An Automated Car Wash And You Have To Vacuum And Clean The Car Yourself. People Work There But Don’t Do Anything But Ask If You Want To Sign Up For The Monthly Club. Tip Or No Tip?!

DIY Mister Car Wash In Florida Asked Me For A Tip.. It’s An Automated Car Wash And You Have To Vacuum And Clean The Car Yourself. People Work There But Don’t Do Anything But Ask If You Want To Sign Up For The Monthly Club. Tip Or No Tip?!

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Kaddiss Ventorum
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The wash down my street same way: they didn't vacuum or air up the tires in my car- why would I tip an AIR COMPRESSOR

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Another issue is that tipping in the US becomes expected even in the face of substandard service. In most parts of the world, tipping is an expression of appreciation for a job well done. It’s a way to reward servers and kitchen staff for their efforts.

However, if you’re tipping even when the food’s awful, the service is horrid, and you feel disrespected, you’re effectively rewarding the business for bad behavior. This way, there’s no incentive for the restaurant to improve or to conduct better training for its employees.

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#19

For Years We’ve Been Told If You Don’t Want To Tip Then Get Takeout - Mandatory Gratuity Charge With ‘Additional Tips Appreciated’

For Years We’ve Been Told If You Don’t Want To Tip Then Get Takeout - Mandatory Gratuity Charge With ‘Additional Tips Appreciated’

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#20

It Looks Like You Left $0.00 For The Tip. That Might Be An Accident. Would You Like To Leave A Tip?

It Looks Like You Left $0.00 For The Tip. That Might Be An Accident. Would You Like To Leave A Tip?

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The ‘End Tipping’ project was first created in the early Autumn of 2015. In the following years, the community has grown to 14.7k members. The entire aim of the subreddit is to advocate for a different system in the United States so that restaurant and service industry professionals don’t have to rely so much on tips to make ends meet.

The moderators running the group suggest one alternative that would mean rolling a 20% surcharge into the menu prices themselves.

#22

“In Order To Provide Our Team Livable Wages” Anyone Notice An Increase In Messaging That Makes Customers Feel Guilty For Not Tipping?

“In Order To Provide Our Team Livable Wages” Anyone Notice An Increase In Messaging That Makes Customers Feel Guilty For Not Tipping?

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LavenderHippoInAJar
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's the company's job to provide their team with livable wages, not the customer's

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#24

I Was Buying A T-Shirt! I Closed The Screen And Did Not Purchase The Shirt

I Was Buying A T-Shirt! I Closed The Screen And Did Not Purchase The Shirt

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According to r/EndTipping, American tipping culture is toxic, frustrating, and quasi-compulsory. The community hopes that, in time, it will become something different: transparent, with up-front pricing. They hope that, eventually, the prices that Americans see on their menus are what they have to pay in total. 

The mods invite everyone to share their rants, tipping-related news, info about service-included restaurants, and people’s plans to reform the system. However, they set a pretty high bar for the quality of everyone’s posts. The mods urge everyone to not write “useless or stupid stuff.” They also ask the members of the sub to treat everyone with respect, avoid ragebait posts, and avoid calling anyone out by name.

#25

Shaming Customers For Not Tipping

Shaming Customers For Not Tipping

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jamesmcwhirty
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

maybe the service was appalling? I mean, look at the state of the board......

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#26

Mandatory Tipping. Prepopulated Tips Of 18, 20 And 22% And Custom Doesn't Allow 0. This Was A Food Hall With No Servers. You Pick Up Your Food

Mandatory Tipping. Prepopulated Tips Of 18, 20 And 22% And Custom Doesn't Allow 0. This Was A Food Hall With No Servers. You Pick Up Your Food

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#27

Coffee Shop In Chicago Asking Us To Stop Being Poor

Coffee Shop In Chicago Asking Us To Stop Being Poor

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Jay Son
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you want your employees to stop being poor, pay them a normal wage. If you want us to stop being poor, stop asking for tips

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What do you think about tipping culture in the United States, dear Pandas? How would you reform it if you could? If you live elsewhere, what’s the tipping culture like there? How much do you tend to tip? Do you always tip or do you only do so when the service is above average?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Swing on by the comment section to share your thoughts!

#28

Terry Black’s Doesn’t Let You Place A Pick-Up Order Without At Least A 10% Tip. What’s The Point Of Tipping If You Make It Mandatory?

Terry Black’s Doesn’t Let You Place A Pick-Up Order Without At Least A 10% Tip. What’s The Point Of Tipping If You Make It Mandatory?

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#30

In What Universe Would Anyone Give A 100% Tip?

In What Universe Would Anyone Give A 100% Tip?

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#31

This 400ml Bottle Of Wine In My Hotel Room, That I'd Have To Open Myself, Has An Automatic 15% Tip

This 400ml Bottle Of Wine In My Hotel Room, That I'd Have To Open Myself, Has An Automatic 15% Tip

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#33

Well At Least They’re Honest Now - T’s A Bribe

Well At Least They’re Honest Now - T’s A Bribe

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Beth H
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've never used door dash. So they make you tip before you even place the order?!

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#34

Bakery - Asking For 22% Tip For Handing Over An Overpriced Loaf Of Bread

Bakery - Asking For 22% Tip For Handing Over An Overpriced Loaf Of Bread

Went to a local bakery to support them. Their prices are already crazy ($7.49 for a loaf of bread).

The guy literally hands over a loaf of bread to me and expects me to tip?

People in front of me were ripping 22%. People behind me were staring what I would do

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Midoribird Aoi
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My Mom and I tip generously at local places, providing that they are not a******s with jerk servers. We do want to support local...to a point.

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#35

Restaurant Tip Shames Public!

Restaurant Tip Shames Public!

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BrownTabby
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

YOU do your servers this way. If you can’t afford to pay them adequately out of your current prices, put your prices up.

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#36

Tipping Has No Shame

Tipping Has No Shame

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#37

Nothing Like A Healthy Serving Of Guilt With Your Meal

Nothing Like A Healthy Serving Of Guilt With Your Meal

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#38

28% Surcharge At A Restaurant In Charleston, SC

28% Surcharge At A Restaurant In Charleston, SC

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Nae who and where
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wow! 28% for non-members and let me guess, you then have the audacity to ask for additional tips on top of that 28%.

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#39

A "Super Tip"?

A "Super Tip"?

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Nae who and where
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate how it used to be 15% now the minimum shown on most machines is 18%. You can always do the math and leave a custom tip! You do not have to use the preprogrammed options, unless you choose to

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#40

Tourist Trap Or What?

Tourist Trap Or What?

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Delta Dawn
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

20% open grat(uity) is standard for a large party, but that IS most certainly the gratuity. You can choose to leave more if the service was excellent or the group was a pain in the a*s.

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#41

Pickup At Cookie Shop

Pickup At Cookie Shop

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Panflute
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'd be happier to tip a person who did the baking rather than the worker that handed me the cookie!

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#42

Asking For Tips On Top Of 16% Service Fee

Asking For Tips On Top Of 16% Service Fee

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C L
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The thing that confuses me is - it appears the service fee is not the same as the tip so to get the tip to the staff I actually have to do both -correct? But what is the service fee actually for? Bill padding? Using a credit card? Walking through the door? We have one restaurant that says in advance there is a service fee for using a charge card of 2.5%, but they are upfront about it.

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#43

Was Asked To Tip My Prescription Medicine Delivery Person…

Was Asked To Tip My Prescription Medicine Delivery Person…

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C Cat
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Deliveries like these are different from servers because they're independent contractors. It's comparing apples to oranges.

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#44

30% Tip. Absolutely Absurd

30% Tip. Absolutely Absurd

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Nae who and where
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've tipped 30% before, but it was a one off for stellar service. We had some bonus funds and decided to make someone's night. But generally we don't tip that much, 20% is the max we usually do, but generally 18% (we've done this since before the machines had it programed in or the receipts had the 18% option on them).

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#45

QR Code For Tipping, 1 Night Hotel Stay

QR Code For Tipping, 1 Night Hotel Stay

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Beth H
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I always tip the cleaning people in a hotel. This is equivalent to the envelope with their names sometimes found in hotel rooms. This doesn't seem so bad.

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