Budget-Strapped Consumers Are Tired of Being Asked to Tip Self-Checkout Kiosks

Consumers Are Tired of Being Asked to Tip Self-Checkout Kiosks

For financially constrained consumers, the pressure to tip is verging on the ridiculous, with many customers even asked to add gratuity at self-checkout.

By the Numbers

The December installment of the “Consumer Inflation Sentiment” series, “Tipping Over: Consumers Reducing Spending and Avoiding Tips,” drew from a PYMNTS Intelligence survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers seeking to better understand their views on tipping.

Consumers asked to tip in nontraditional circumstances

The study found that among consumers who tipped less (predominantly because they could not afford to tip as much due to increased prices and/or because their personal financial situation was worse than the year prior), 1 in 3 were asked to add a tip to their retail or grocery purchases using self-checkout at a convenience store.

The Data in Context

It isn’t only in retail that consumers are being asked to tip more and more. In an interview with PYMNTS last year, Brian Hassan, co-CEO of instant cashless tip payouts platform Kickfin, discussed how he has seen gratuity extend to more categories.

“When we look at the total addressable market of digital tipping, call it a few years ago, it has grown in multiples,” Hassan said in January 2023. “What used to be only in full service is now in full service, quick service, airports, stadiums, personal services, and the list goes on. It touches our lives every day and almost every transaction we might encounter outside of retail.”

Even in a more traditional tipping sector such as the restaurant industry, tips are making their way into more parts of the experience, as Jordan Boesch, founder and CEO of restaurant team management platform 7shifts, told PYMNTS in 2022.

“Certainly, more consumers are tipping, but I would also say that we’re also seeing more restaurant brands looking at tipping more equitably across the organization,” Boesch said at the time. “Some of the great brands are looking at how they can make these processes more equitable to all of their staff, not just specific departments, and maybe not just specific seniority levels.”

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