United States: Tips confuse Americans | business

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 United States: Tips confuse Americans |  business

Tipping is experienced very differently around the world. In Japan this can be considered an insult, as providing good service is considered a duty that comes with your salary. In Europe, tips are usually associated with gratitude for good treatment and, in any case, they are relatively low. In the United States, however, it is almost an obligation, since it constitutes a large part of the compensation of employees in hospitality and other sectors. The general impression among Americans is that this obligation is increasing and more and more consumers are…

Tipping is experienced very differently around the world. In Japan this can be considered an insult, as providing good service is considered a duty that comes with your salary. In Europe, tips are usually associated with gratitude for good treatment and, in any case, they are relatively low. In the United States, however, it is almost an obligation, since it constitutes a large part of the compensation of employees in hospitality and other sectors. The general impression among Americans is that this obligation is increasing and consumers are increasingly unaware of how much to tip and when.

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The phenomenon of tipping has its roots in 16th century England and until the 19th century it was more common in Europe than in the United States. But the tables turned to such an extent that at the beginning of the 20th century, waiters in fashionable restaurants in the United States had to pay the owner to work there (and thus collect tips ). Retaliations against customers who don’t empty their pockets vary and in Chicago the police broke up a network that poisoned those who didn’t leave tips.

Unwritten rules create legal uncertainty. In the absence of law, custom prevails, but when customs change, trouble is guaranteed. A report released last month by the Pew Research Center showed that only a third said it was easy to know when to tip (34%) or how much (33%) for different types of service, according to results of a macro survey. to 11,945 people.

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Most agree (72%) is that they are increasingly asked to tip in many places, in a phenomenon called tipflation (tipflation, in English) and encouraged in part by the pandemic. . While in countries with a less established tradition in this regard, such as Spain, the reduction of cash payments has affected tips, in the United States it has found a breeding ground to multiply. Screens with suggested tips are increasing and can be found everywhere: fast food chains, self-service, automatic car washes and even in some retail stores. Even robots, like the one making smoothies in San Francisco, want your tip.

Full table service restaurants are still the kings of tipping. About nine in ten adults who eat there (92%) say they always or always tip. A fee of 15% is considered the minimum acceptable and 18% or 20% is more common, although the conclusions depend very much on the consulted guide.

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Besides restaurants, tips are also common when getting a haircut (78%), for home delivery (76%), when ordering a drink at a bar (70%) or when using a taxi or shared transportation service (61). %). On the other hand, few Americans tip frequently or often when they buy coffee (25%) or eat at a fast food restaurant (12%), but payment screens suggest doing so more often. .

To make things even more complicated, in more and more restaurants in big cities like New York or Washington, the bill is accompanied by a surcharge or a service charge (which is kept by the owners) to which taxes must be added. and the tip (it will be passed by law to the waiters). Restaurants justify this because of inflation and laws that require an increase in wages for waiters. Others, adding insult to injury, argue that they charge a surcharge to avoid raising prices. How thoughtful! They deserve a tip.