“15% tip, maybe?” »

I rarely get food delivered. But when I do it, it’s always pizza. So after working all day on an article for our Autos 2023 guide, I decided to order it.

The courier appears at the door. He pulls out a payment machine, enters the amount of the transaction and, hold on tight, enters the tip percentage himself: “15% tip, is that normal? he asks, handing me the terminal.

Er… sorry? A delivery man who chooses a percentage… and writes it himself? What’s the next step: take my bag and get the money for me? Apparently I told him to erase the clue and let me point to it myself.

Normally I would contact the company to express my disagreement. But the restaurant is minutes from my house, the courier knows my name, my address, my phone number… Without being paranoid, I bought the world that evening and decided to do nothing (we pick our fights).

inconvenient time

Then I remembered the payment process from my previous experience with the same restaurant. This time, I filled out an online form on his website so he could prepare a takeaway order for me. Before completing the transaction, I was asked, “Would you like to tip our team?” “. Leave a tip… in advance? For an order I pick up myself? No thanks.

Halfway between compensation and a gesture of gratitude, tips cause a lot of problems, especially in areas where workers are poorly paid. A client who decides, rightly or wrongly, not to give as much as is asked of him, as a result, is forced to cut an already low salary.

Last year, I published a post about payment terminals that display a pre-set percentage rather than prompting the customer to enter it themselves. I explained that this was a way for salespeople to take advantage of the guilt that buyers feel for not daring to push buttons that allow them to choose a different percentage. At least in order not to drag out for a few seconds the moment when an employee looks at the machine to see how much he receives, it is easier to simply abdicate.

Is that what you give me

But with my pizza delivery man, this time we’re on another level. We pass from the category “a given percentage that can be changed” to “an employee who chooses this percentage himself and enters it on the terminal”. What’s more, by writing 15% on the device, the carrier instead offers himself 17%, because most terminals calculate the amount including taxes when social norm requires that they be excluded from the calculation.

Admittedly, my little adventure is anecdotal. Nonetheless! This is part of the context in which the pandemic and the boom in contactless payments have finally changed the culture of tipping: the roadside offers tips, the mechanic who also asks for tips, tips are requested before they are served, tips are requested at the take-away counter. , a bakery that offers pre-determined percentages (15%, 18%, 20%, 25%) to add to baguette purchases, which give the impression that it would be “cheap to leave the traditional 15%…

People who want to choose how much to keep can still do so, but the pressure is greater than before.

For my part, I really liked the pizza. Knowing I will order elsewhere next time.

>> See also: Do ​​you tip more (or less) than the average person? and Tipping in Quebec: who to tip… or not?

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