No Tipping Allowed

In my home state, there is a new bagel shop in town that does NOT allow customers to leave a tip.

The owner of Cheryl’s Bagels, Cheryl Mignone, says she was tired of having to tip someone for doing next to nothing and shaming them into tipping once the iPad was turned towards them.

Here’s a link to the Story.

Certainly, there are jobs that need tipping – such as when service is rendered and I know their livelihood depends on it – but I too feel the “Tipping for Everything” moment has gotten out of hand.  In fact, the other day, at a newsstand in the airport, I grabbed my own premade sandwich and drink and was suddenly faced with the obligatory How Much Do You Want to Tip question.

I felt a rush of guilt, as I didn’t feel the person, who hadn’t moved and was still looking at their iPhone, had barely greeted me and simply asked, “Cash or Card?”

Do you tip in this situation?

For me, I have a hard time with it.

I like that Cheryl, the bagel shop owner, is taking a stand in the place in which she owns and runs things.

To me, that is her right, and her promise to herself…and now it’s leading to extreme amounts of business from a tip weary audience.

When I visited Australia a few years ago, the first thing I told people when they asked how it was, I’d say, “They don’t allow tipping! It’s the greatest place on earth!”

Mind you, I’m a very heavy tipper for service I feel deserves it, as I’ve written about before with my $100 Tip blog post, and other stories.  In fact, I’ve been known to give tips to AV Teams, service people in my home, and to independent contractors, many of whom have never gotten a tip from anyone else.

Yet I love the story of the bagel shop making it their Signature Move to just do the job, and do it well, no tip expected or accepted.  BOOM!

Years ago, I did an event for an extreme discount for a struggling startup company that has since gone on to over $1 Billion in sales. I played Emcee over 3 days, while also being the Show Entertainment one evening and the Closing Keynote the final day. I gave it everything I had and more, and felt good about it, even though they needed me to come off of my normal fee to make it work for their event.

A month later I received a $10,000 tip in the mail, which to this day is the craziest tip I’ve ever received.  It felt great, it was deserved (!), and the person who sent it even wrote, “I should have paid you more up front, and this isn’t even enough to cover how great you made our conference! We made way more money at this than expected, and you were a huge part of that, hope you know that, and we look forward to working with you again next year!”

That’s a rare story, but a wonderful one. A great tip is appreciated for service that was underpaid in the first place.

Most tipping stories these days take place in a viral-seeking moment of glory for the tippers, even as they do extreme good for someone in need.   

I’m assuming this post will cause some arguments, but I can say that I choose to tip those who do service and I know are making a small wage depending on the job – but the person who does nothing except turn the iPad around, or fill the cup full of ice and then pour my expensive drink…I’m sorry, NO TIP FOR YOU!

What’s your take? And what is The Promise in this concept for you?



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16 thoughts on “No Tipping Allowed”

  1. It’s worse when you’re face to face with them AND/OR when the % tip choices start at25%, 30%, and 40% (which I saw at a place recently). I’m glad to tip well(when it’s deserved) but it certainly doesn’t always start at 25%…

  2. I agree with you Jason. I experience this daily while traveling. A kiosk employee at the airport asking for a tip while sitting there is ridiculous. On the other hand, I wish I could tip the hotel staff on my credit card since I don’t always carry a lot of cash.

    1. Great point. I wish there were an easier way to tip with CC for hotel as well, that’s interesting – maybe we need to invent it!

  3. There’s a joke that maybe people in the service understand. When people say “thank you for your service, ” it would be funny to flip an iPad around that says how much would you like to tip?

  4. We were in Portugal and Spain earlier this month and there is no tipping requested or required. Suggested in fancier restaurants. In the two weeks we were there we tipped $5 at a fancy place, mostly because the people we were with were regulars and the server pulled some strings to get us seated.

  5. I love your $10,000 tip. The important part of that story is YOU EARNED IT! I know you. You worked hard. You gave it your all. Sometimes to the point of physical exhaustion and even harm.

    It seems as though the biggest tips go to those who are right in front of us, even if they didn’t earn it. Maybe it is guilt about looking bad while someone is staring at us.

    But what about the people who clean the rooms in hotels? People who don’t see us directly tip? It takes them a lot longer to do that work than it does for someone to deliver a meal, but I suspect they rarely get tipped. I try to overtip these individuals (as I know you do).

    1. GREAT point my friend. Yes, I always do my best to remember to leave a tip for those in hotel rooms and such, I love that you recognized this need, which often, they are overlooked.

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