People feel pressured to tip when picking up takeout: survey

picking up takeout
Photo credit Getty Images

COVID-19 has changed people's tipping habits.

A new survey reveals that since the pandemic started, more people have been leaving tips when picking up takeout food.

Moreover, the survey -- conducted by Time2Play -- found the reason people are tipping when it's not necessary: they feel pressured by the restaurant to do it.

Once a rarity, but now something of a norm, restaurant payment systems are commonly prompting customers to tip when picking up their takeout orders, which can lead to awkward social pressure, according to the survey.

"When polled, 67.7% of our respondents said they feel pressured to tip if the point-of-sale system prompts them to," Time2Play officials write.

About 44% of the respondents said they would not tip if the point-of-sale system didn't prompt them to do it, the survey reveals. What's more, roughly 8 in 10 people said the pressure to tip from a point-of-sale system makes them feel uncomfortable.

Before the pandemic, 24.2% said they would tip when picking up takeout or coffee, versus 75.8% who said no. Now, 53.4% said they tip on to-go orders versus 46.6% who don't.

Tipping for takeout is nearly on par with dining in, the survey shows, with people tipping an average of 13.8% for takeout.

That's not to say the pandemic hasn't also affected tipping for people who sit down to eat.

When restaurants opened back up and sit-down dining returned, 42.1% of consumers said they began leaving bigger tips as a way of supplementing difficult times -- and the trend is sticking.

Before the pandemic began, the average tip was 17.1% of the bill, the survey found. Today, it's 22.8%.

Still, not everyone is motivated to tip for service. About 15% of people said their tipping habits haven't changed at all.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images