Today’s Tipping Culture: Fair or Forced?


Welcome to the Light Her Project Podcast,

Real Women.

Real talk.

I'm Rachel Strella.

and I'm Vixen Divine.

Hello, hello.

So we're recording on Sunday again and

this time because th of July holiday is

coming up so it's Sunday, we're starting

the week so Vixen...

How has your past week been?

Well you know, I tell you what, this is

something I haven't done all season.

So, I am wearing linen.

Linen and my thing is with this is like I

know it's not wrinkles sort of but my

brain tells me that I want to get the

wrinkles out.

I know how linen is like it’s weird so I

got a couple of these I love the color

like I got this in lavender and in this

yellow and but I'm really my brain is really

working with the linen material.

It feels good because it's summer, but it

makes me want to just iron it.

I understand as somebody who's very

particular about certain things like a

steamer could be your best friend, but you

could end up steaming it all day, I mean.

So you're feeling sunny, it sounds

like you're feeling sunny.

All right.

How about you?

I’m feeling pretty good, I mean, it's the last day of June, I can't

even believe that, but you know, on the

sad note, my kitty is still missing.

It's been three weeks and I wrote a

tribute to him today.

But on a positive note,

you know, as a business owner, my business

is just suddenly really booming right now.

And it's one of those things as an

entrepreneur, you know, where you're

really happy that it's happening.

You're also like, why all at once?



You know, you gotta take it though.

You've gotta strike when the iron is hot,

so we're doing it.

But I'm going on vacation at the end of

the week, so I'm really hoping I can get

all this stuff wrapped up before I go.

That's the other thing about being a

business owner, like you never really

fully get time off, you know?

Right, right, right, that’s true.

Well, let's talk about something that's a

little different today.

Today's topic, we're actually talking

about the tipping culture.

And is it fair or is it forced?

So before we go into why we decided on

this topic, I thought we'd have a little fun.

So rather than our normal quiz, I'm going

to ask Vixen a couple of things and I'd

like the audience to think about their

answers as well.

So can you guess the average tip

percentage in the United States?

The standard is 20%, but I'm going to say

that the average is probably 15.

Hmm, okay, and I'm with you there.

It's actually 18% so we're right right in

the middle.

Ahh, okay okay.

Okay, now what do you, which state do you

think tips the best, tips the highest amount?

What state tips the best?

I would think somewhere like New York

because they have the high rollers, you

know, and you know, they have they not

everyone but they do they're famous for

you know being Manhattan, you know, high

roller stuff so I'm gonna I'm gonna say

New York.

I would think that too.

Well, you're not too far off.

It's actually California.

See, okay, all right, all right, higher

roller there, okay, all right.

I mean everything’s already overpriced

so why not make it the tip too?

So there you go.

All right, so what do you, which state do

you think tips the worst?

Okay, okay, tips the worst I would go with

somewhere like Alabama.


You're actually not too far off location


I'm actually surprised about this one.

It's Illinois.


Chicago is there.

I'm thinking another big city.

So and the difference of that so

California's average tip percentage is

almost 23% and Illinois is 14% so.

I would not have picked, I wouldn't have

picked Illinois.

I would have picked something like

Alabama or Louisiana or something like that.

Nebraska, you know, I don't know.

Just for fun.

Hey, hey, hey, now you know, we know.

Tennessee is my next one.

All right, let's talk about this topic.

Okay, so Vixen had mentioned to me before

the last podcast, you know, that she'd

like to discuss this.

So do you want to tell us what led us to

this discussion?

Well. Something happened that I was...

you know made me think.

It's always an experience when something


So I'm in an ice cream shop.

And in an ice cream shop, and I think this

is pretty much across the board, you get

paid whatever a certain wage.

You're not like a waitress where you are

kind of paid a little bit and then the

customer kind of pays you the rest.

So they're paid a regular wage and I go in

and I get pints, which are already scooped out.

They're in a pint like they're in a


And so I forget what the bill was,

whatever the bill was, I got two pints.

And so literally I walked in, they pulled

two pints from the freezer and they rang

me up, which is what I wanted, you know?


She told me, she goes, okay, I'm going to

give you this, she had like a little like

iPad type thing, like a little tiny


She says, it's going to ask you two

questions and then you can turn it back around.

So that's the way she put it.

That is the way she put it.

So, and I'm just like, cause I'm paying

with, I think it was paying, I don't know

if I was paying with a card or something

like that, something like that.

But I think it was paying with a card,


So I tap it, you know, and that's when she

says, it's gonna ask me two questions.

So she turns it around and it asks me for

a tip.

I'm like, tip for what?

And then the second question was, how did

I want my receipt to be given?

And I had it texted to me, which is fine, but

that was the second question.

But I'm just like...

If you're getting paid already to scoop

the ice cream, because I'm in the ice cream shop

to scoop the ice cream, put it in the


There's no special request here.

Like I didn't even get the scoop, but that

is what you're paid for.

Like the scoop.

What, what in the world?

What, what am I tipping you for?

Like, why would you even ask me that

question in an ice cream shop that had no,

there's no sprinkles here.

Like there's, there's nothing.

They don't even have sprinkles.

Do you know what I mean?

It's just, what?

Well, I, you know, it kind of brought me

back to a memory hearing that story.

When I got, when I was just got out of

high school, I worked at a, like a

concession stand at a state park and like

they had a pool there and they had people

that would come down and boat and


And so like I was working this food

concession stand and you know, we had

hamburgers, hot dogs, all of that, but we

also had ice cream, you know, that we

would hand out.

And I think it's that time I got paid

$55 an hour for that job.

And there's like not air conditioning in

this thing, all right.

It was like 150 degrees in there, you

know, trying to hustle, get this food, get

this stuff like, and you know, you'd have

people that would come up and they'd be

like, I want a freeze pop.

And I'll be like, okay, it's a dollar.

And they're like, I got a nickel.

What can I get for that?

Well, so in any event, you know, what we

had was like a little styrofoam cup by the

door, like by like the opening, you know,

if somebody wanted to put a nickel or

whatever and it was there, you know, there

was no like expected tip.

Now it's like they have this technology

and what you're discussing is actually

like a pre under tip screen, you know,

where it's assumed that

you're giving a tip.

This is like actually, there's all these

names for it now.

We've talked about the new normal after

the pandemic, it's a new normal tipping.

Tipflation, guilt tipping, all these

things now that are where we're at with

the tipping culture.

Tipping culture.

See, this is my thing.

I don't think that, I think you get a tip.

I am all for tipping.

Don't get me wrong.

Do not think I'm not.

Because I'm in a tipping industry.

I love tipping.

But don't ask me for a tip when you know,

you know you don't deserve a tip.

Not at all.

You know, that actually leads me to

something I hadn't thought about till now.

So you're using these screens.

So you're painting electronically, I'm


And when you're paying electronically, usually

the way that my understanding of it is, is

a portion of that doesn't go, doesn't all

go to the person that you're paying.

A portion of it can also go to the

organization or the company that's created

this tip thing.

And I know that because of a salon that I

go to.

And so like I always pay her cash so that

like they don't get any of the tips.

And because it's like not exactly well I

shouldn't say this publicly but you know

not exactly considered wage so I

hadn’t thought about that till now because

what I mean I'm assuming this person's

just doing their job and so it's probably

standard for them to give you the screen

it's not like well we don't do that you

know that's what her job is or I'm


Well, here's how she put it.

The thing about it was, I've seen this tip

screen before, and I've dealt with that

company that she uses for her.

I've since moved to another processing

company, but I'm familiar with the

processing company.

And you can indeed, all she had to do was,

you can say no tip.

You don't have to have tipping.

It's elected to put that on the screen.

And then just the way she put it, just

like she didn't have to say anything.

She just could have I would have seen it,

swiped by it or like she said it like

there was this important thing that was

about to happen to me.

Like, OK, you're going to see two

questions on the screen.

Like I'm about to tell you something

really important.


That’s the way she put it.

And that poor thing is, tip me, and how

would you like your receipt?

You know, I still don't, I mean, again,

this person is probably an employee and

following protocol, but it's, it's


Let's just talk about this.

It is expected, but why?


And it, you know, I've been reading about

this now, because this isn't anything I

really thought about until you talked

about the topic.

So it says that in this article that I'm

reading on CNBC, “Tired of guilt tipping?

There's a good reason.

Businesses are taking advantage of your


Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Nope, that's true.

That's true.

Absolutely true.

Honestly, the way that it was put to me

was like, this is what you need to do.

Now, I'm not falling for that.

Y'all know me better than this.

If this is not your first podcast, you

know better.

But that is the way it is.

It was like, this is your assignment.

Your assignment, you’re running some

ice cream, you know?

Yeah, so...

I don't...

I mean...

I don't know.

Here's the way I feel about it.

I mean, what do you think?

And then I'll tell you what I feel about it.

I think that like I don't have to deal

with that that much because you remember I

usually don't go to the grocery store or

shop for my own stuff like it's all online

but I use like like Instacart it will say

you know how much tip do you want to

leave to your driver or shopper or

whatever and it will I will automatically

like put it in a bracket for you like you

can decide to change it up or down and I

always just let it take its automatic

thing which I think is like 15%

and if they're really great, you know, add

more on.

So I think that like that is something I

would tip for.

I mean, these people are shopping for my


That's saving me so much time and they're

driving it to me and bring it to my doorstep.

That is something I tip for, you know, but

just like

is customizable and delivery is something

that we've always tip delivery people.


Here's my thing.

Like, okay, I was I was at the market.

So we have this thing here.

In Central Pennsylvania called the Broad

Street Market.

And they have this pop up market now

because it actually half of it burned down

last summer.

I think it was last summer.

And so there was a guy in front of me in

line and he got a head of lettuce and he

paid for it with a credit card.


Could you imagine getting a head of

lettuce and like getting a like, a thing

like that what you just got for a head of


Like expecting a tip.

First of all, I'm like, guy, take out two


Like really?

You're going to pay for that with a credit


But second, you know, what if that was a

case where he was getting one of those?

How does that work in his head?

Now I will say this, this place, you know,

like I said, it burned down and a lot of

people were out of business for a long


You know, they built this pop -up thing

while they're rebuilding the old one.

And they have a little donation bin there

at the front.

You know, if you want to put a donation

in, cause they all suffered a lot with that.

In that case, yeah, you know, it's

optional and I want to help them out,

that's great.

But the assumed tip, especially if you're

just getting like a head of lettuce, like

I went in and got two limes, it was one


If I had to get one of those machines for

a tip, I don't even know, like I think I

would laugh hysterically.

Well, the donation bin, I get that.

You know, they've had hardship and you

might want to donate, but you're donating

to that particular cause.

You're not giving money because you picked

up a head of lettuce.


But, I mean, that's where we're at.

And I mean, I think this thing we should

really, I mean, let's talk about this for a minute.

This guilt tipping thing.

Guilt tipping.

I mean, is that, do you feel guilty?

Do you think people are playing on

emotions here?

I feel actually offended.

I feel offended that you are trying to,

because I recognize it.

I feel offended that you are trying to

play with my emotions.

Like I said, I don't play into that, but

that means you do it to more than one person.

Do you know what I mean?

They didn't just pick me out and like,

let's do her, you know?

Yeah, I'm offended that you would do that.

That's like...

To me, that's like taking advantage of the

little old lady that comes to bring her

grandkid to get ice cream.



I agree with you.

And I mean, a lot of the headlines I've

seen, you know, is that's out of control

and consumers are actually pushing back,

you know, like, and tip fatigue is now a word.

I thought Zoom fatigue was a phrase, and

now it's tip fatigue, you know, and

they're starting to tip less.

So we're going to swing the opposite way

because now people are offended, you know,

and they've had enough.

Gosh, I mean, let's talk about that.

Go ahead.

I still think I'm not sour on tipping

altogether because I do think the things

that are customizable should be tipped


When you go with your haircut, she doesn't

cut everybody the same way.

She frames your face.

It's very customizable.

And because she did such a great job or


That's why you tip them because, my god,

you feel fabulous.

You look great.

Like, that's a customizable thing.

So don't stop tipping people.

Everyone, don't stop tipping.

That's not what we're saying.

Do not stop tipping.


Just saying.

We’re going to talk about that tipping

philosophy too.

We are.

But, you know, I think the role of the

pandemic, you know, what it's done with tipping.

What do you think?

The pandemic, do you think that change our

tipping culture?

I think that was more of that donation


That's really what that tipping ended up

to be.

A donation because there were people we

were tipping that we would have not tipped before.

But because they're out and they have to

be out because we had to eat, you know,

and you know, we had to eat.

People were at the grocery store, they

were bringing possibly this home to their

family, you know, that type of thing.

So we, that was kind of a guilty thing,

but we were helping people out because

they were doing something for us.

So it was more of a donation type of



Because they were going through that's a


Yes, totally.

And I do feel that a lot of people, yeah,

I mean, I think about using a waitress as

example, you know, a lot of these places

just closed for a while.

You do feel guilty and you want to help


But then where you draw that line.

And I don't think it was ever what once

you've gone there, it's like, you can't go back.

Yes you can.

It's there.

I don't know, the hardship isn't there


At least not now.

Like it was.

I think everybody's open now.

Everyone, you know, we basically, now,

somethings-- people were affected.

Now is a time for donation time.

Like it's a donation time.

Like you talked about the Broad Street

Market burning down.

That's a donation tipping or that's a


Yes, absolutely.

I agree with you there.

So one thing that I find a little

interesting too is thinking about the

difference between men and women in

tipping, since this is a podcast for women.

And so I looked up some statistics and it

says that over half of women, 55% of

women, always tip compared to 39% of men.

Plus, women are more likely to leave a

larger tip at restaurants.

So that's interesting.

However, this is interesting too.

Men, they feel more obligated to tip when

presented with one of those tablet screens

at checkout.

The guilt tipping gets them.

The guilt tipping gets them.

But you know what?

I also think though, it depends on who's

around them.


Are they trying to impress someone?

Or are they trying not to look bad?

Or yeah, are they gonna run into this

person again?

I didn't even think about that, but yeah,

that could be.

Could be.

I think that men, I mean, you know, how

cute is the waitress?

Mm -hmm.

That makes sense.

Wanna impress her a little more?

Does she have a little boy?

Does she have a little kid?

Well, while we're talking about men and

women and tipping, okay, does tipping

affect how people perceive you as a woman?

Actually, it does.

When you, again, who's around you, if

you're out with your friends, you know,

your girls, you're out with your girls,

you tend to leave a bigger tip than you

would if you're alone, other than

being at a regular place.

Like if it's your coffee shop that you go

to all the time and you know Stacey,

Stacey's the one who gives you your


You know, you're going to tip her well

because you know her and you guys are kind

of buddies, friends and all that.

But you are seen as, because when you do

this, you're seen as generous.

You're seen as, you know, you've got it


You know, you have enough to spread


And that's how you're seen then as a

woman, because women are supposed to be,

you know, the nurturers, but now that

you're giving more, you know, you're

tipping a good amount, then you are seen

as perceived at least as,

having it all together, being okay.

And we women, we want to be okay.


Yeah, I see.


I don't actually go out with girlfriends

all that much, but...

I don't know that they're even gonna see

the bill, so I hadn't thought about that.

I don't think they're looking over my

shoulder as I'm signing the bill.

And if we're doing the whole split the

girlfriend thing, it's like everybody's

just been on me, whatever you paid for,

but they don't necessarily know what I tipped.

Well, these days they have these things,

again, on the tables, there's little

kiosks and you can split the bill on those


So you can see itemized on who paid what

and how much that is.

And then they give you the percentage of


So when you pass it over to the next

person, they see what you did.

I hadn't thought about that.


I hadn't thought about that, looking at

how much they would be tipping.

That makes sense.

That makes sense.

And I wonder if that would change how I

tip because I've not really been in those scenarios.

Let’s talk about our own personal tipping

philosophy for a minute.

I know for me, it's usually pretty much a

standard  % or whatever the standard is.

And then I go above and beyond, of course,

for like the people that

I feel like do a really great job on


Especially, the hard part is I don't like

carrying cash, I don't carry much cash,

but when I'm going to the hairdresser or

the nail stylist or whatever, I gotta get

the cash because I don't want that to be

on the card where they might not get that

whole amount, whatever that means, whether

Uncle Sam takes it or the boss takes part of it.

But I always try to be a good tipper.

Even if I get bad service, I still try to

be at least 15%.

That’s always been my philosophy.

What about you?

Yeah, I don't want to take up like a


Like if I'm at a restaurant, I don't want

to take up a table because that's a table

someone else could have been sitting at.

So I do want to tip well for that because

I know I'm like I said, I know they're not

making, you know, what they should like in

that type of scenario, you know.

So but other than that, I am a person.

This is my philosophy.

This is it.

Things that are customizable.

Things that are customized to you are

worth tipping.

What I mean is, I mean the Starbucks

person that when you said, okay, honey,

yeah, I want a frappuccino, but with oat

milk and a half a shot of that, you know,

that syrup I like, but not too much.

And can you put in the sprinkle of, yeah,

that's tippable.

That is tippable.


So it's not just the hairdresser, the

massage therapist, but anyone who does

something that really customizes it,

they're not going to make it the same way

for the next person.

Like that to me is tippable.

I’m with you.

Have you ever seen that episode or that

scene in When Harry Met Sally and she was

ordering her meal and it was like so


She was just like I want this inside of

this but not with that.

That's me-- I’m a pain in the ass.

So I definitely tip well because I'm very


So if someone can accommodate my pickiness

like I always want to make sure they get

paid for that you know.

So is that also your philosophy?

What, if I'm a pain in the ass I'd tip

even more?


About customization.

Oh absolutely.


I mean, I mean, like I said, I always try

to be fair in their standard, but if

somebody goes beyond I definitely want

to make sure that I compensate them for that.

I think it should be customizable.

Okay, yeah, that makes it that definitely

makes a difference to me.

But other than that, so that's why I don't

understand why.

I get the tipping screen at the bowling


The bowling alley.

Do you hear me?


I'm making an order at a kiosk.

I don't even talk to the person.

That's why I don't go anywhere.

I get it.

Okay, very briefly, because I know I don't

have a lot of time, but I know it's

something that we talked about previously

in my last massage.

You know, what's the tipping point?

And is there some sense of entitlement

here after all of this is said and done?

I don’t know if it's entitlement, but it has

become an expectation.

I feel like, I feel like this become an


Like, it never, you know, things we try to

go back to normal, you know, what was, I

should say not normal, pre pandemic, we

try to go back to pre pandemic.

Like, even though they're not doing

any more work.

They're still trying to stay here because

now, now things have money has gone, the

price of everything I should say has gone


It has not come back to prepandemic most

things anyway has not come back to pre

pandemic levels.

And people gonna hate me for what I'm

about to say.

But instead of finding a better job,

or something that will now accommodate

what your possible change of lifestyle is,

you for no reason want the public to pay

for your extras.


Yeah, I mean, I hadn't even thought about

that either.

The fact that they could potentially have

a different job.

Wow, that's a lot to think about and I


I think that we can't label it across the

board because it's not everybody, or every

scenario, but I do think that there is a

lot more of that expectation.

And it's unfortunate because everything is

going up and costs everything.

I couldn't believe it today when I was

putting stuff in the Instacart.

I'm like, why is Velveeta shells and

cheese like $7?

Everything is going up and you know.

I think the expectation is, well, that's


We could still accommodate everybody else.

But there's only so much money that goes


Like, there's got to be a give and take

somewhere here.

Right because the person doing the tipping has

also experienced that inflation.

So they're expected then to put out more

money, even though the person were tipping

has experienced inflation, so is the

person doing the tipping.

So that doesn't seem to be a consideration

in all of this.

It's gonna be interesting to see how this

plays out over the next probably 24 to 36 months.

It's just very interesting, especially

with the housing market.

We could go on and on, but we've done a

podcast on this.

All right, well, we are coming to the end

of the podcast.

So I wanna thank everybody for tuning in

to the Light Her Project podcast.

You can always follow our conversation

online using our hashtag.

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