AUSTIN (KXAN) – The advent of new software that allows consumers to tap their phones and cards at the register instead of paying with cash has undoubtedly made the mad dash to the cafe or market a little easier – especially those of us frequently losing credit cards.
But using this type of software – such as Square and Toast – can also make consumers feel “guilted” into leaving a larger tip than they may otherwise offer. Some have dubbed this new phenomenon “tip creeping.”
Toast recently released data on its quarter four 2022 sales, which puts Texas toward the bottom of the list of states with the most generous tippers. Granted, the difference between the “most” generous tipping state and the “least” generous tipping state is only a couple of percentage points.
Though the variance is not so pronounced, Kelsey Erickson Streufert from the Texas Restaurant Society said Texas consumers are feeling the effects of tip creeping.
“We’re seeing some tipping fatigue out there. And all the new technology – which has been great – also comes with the fact that people are being asked to tip in transactions that they haven’t historically tipped. And so that is generating a little bit of tipping fatigue,” she said.
According to the same Toast report, even with inflation, tipping in restaurants is up.
“Tips climbed 16.5% for full-service restaurants and 15.9% for quick-service restaurants,” Erickson said. “In other words, tipping at restaurants is going up – which is great to see. And I think the fact that we’re seeing those numbers at the same time as we are seeing record inflation shows that tipping fatigue isn’t really impacting our restaurants,” she said.
In terms of tip creeping, Erickson said that this may be a transitory phenomenon as restaurants and consumers get used to the new point-of-sale systems.
“Anytime we have new technology, there’s always a little bit of growing pains and a little bit of adjustment as we figure out what that new normal is.”