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Tipflation becomes more widespread, may hurt industry in the long run

Tipping inflation may hurt service industry
Tipping inflation may hurt service industry 02:01

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- You've probably heard of shrinkflation and greedflation before. Here is another one to add to your vocabulary: tipflation.

Shoppers say they're seeing more and more tip requests in more unusual places.

"I actually prefer not to call it tipflation but tipping invasion," Thomas P. Farley, "Mister Manners," said.

It's the unwelcome shopping surprise that has social media buzzing.

"And they're talking about 18% gratuity is already included in the bill. Girl, it's water," a TikToker said. 

Tips, a staple of the service industry, are now extending far beyond.

"In the drive-through and they've been asking for a tip," a TikToker said.

On TikTok, you'll quickly find folks aren't too pleased about it. 

So what's the deal?

"It's a relatively new phenomenon," Dipayan Biswas, marketing and business professor at the University of South Florida, said. "I see it becoming more widespread."

Professor Biswas has studied tipping for a decade. He says this new tipping trend started with the boom of digital kiosks, then the pandemic "added flow to that fire," plus inflation and more businesses allowing tips to make jobs more lucrative at your expense.

"Like I'm sick and tired of tipping right? So That's my biggest worry that it might actually affect the industry where it really matters the most," Biswas said.

Farley, an etiquette expert said, "the very concept of a tip is that we are rewarding a service employee who's being paid less than minimum wage."

Farley has a "tip without hesitation list," and just three people make the cut:

  • Servers
  • Bartenders
  • Washroom attendants

"I really wonder, where is the line? Will you one day be in your doctor's office or your dentist's office, will you be tipping," Farley asked.

When it comes to holiday shopping his top tip to avoid tipping: pay cash. But if plastic is a must "you need to own your position, you do not need to feel guilty about it," he said.

There's power in saying "no."

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