Tipping at a coffee shop leads to consumer frustration

People are getting frustrated by automatic tip requests at coffee shops and drive-throughs.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:29 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - When eating out, proper etiquette is to tip your server.

However, not everyone keeps that in mind when getting something small, like coffee or a bagel. According to the Associated Press, consumers are getting irritated by automatic tip requests at coffee shops and drive-throughs where tipping hasn’t typically been expected.

“When there’s like an automated tip added to the credit card reader screens, so they give you an option for like 10, 15 or 20 percent, but some of them don’t give you an option for zero,” said Koyote Koffee’s head barista, April Rose.

More business owners are asking consumers to compensate their employees with tips. They’re even using it as a recruiting tool in the hiring process.

“I believe they have it advertised right now as ten dollars plus tips or ten dollars an hour plus tips,” said Rose.

Customers are now being prompted to leave a gratuity. Sometimes as high as 30 percent at places where they haven’t tipped in the past. However, businesses say it’s only a suggestion.

“If they don’t tip, they don’t tip. I mean, we don’t say anything to them; it’s totally up to them if they wanted to. I think most people just do like a dollar or just the change, especially if it’s just cash, they usually just throw in the change or whatever’s left,” said Koyote Koffee manager Laura Waldock.

For some employees, the tip goes a long way. In South Dakota, the minimum wage for tipped employees is $5.40 an hour.