How Far Are We Going To Take Tipping?
I understand your concerns about the expanding expectations for tipping in various industries beyond traditional restaurants.
The practice of tipping in restaurants has a history that's rooted in compensating for lower wages in the service industry. In recent years, debates have arisen over whether tipping should be restructured to provide fair wages and eliminate the need for customers to supplement employees' incomes through tips. Some argue for a living wage for service workers, so they don't have to rely on unpredictable tips to make ends meet.
As you've observed, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the precarious financial situation of many service workers and led to increased empathy for their challenges. This could be one reason why tipping has been extended to other industries as well.
In industries like coffee shops and fast food, the introduction of tipping might stem from a desire to support low-wage workers or to acknowledge the effort they put into their jobs, even though these roles traditionally haven't been seen as tip-dependent.
However, it's natural to have concerns about the extent of tipping becoming too widespread. It's important for businesses and customers to strike a balance between showing appreciation for good service and not feeling obligated to tip excessively for every interaction. In some cases, tipping might not be necessary if the service doesn't involve the same level of personal attention or customization that's common in restaurants.
Ultimately, tipping practices can be shaped by consumer behavior, societal values, and regulatory changes. If you find the constant requests for tips uncomfortable or if you disagree with the extent of tipping, you can choose to communicate your preferences through feedback to businesses, or by deciding when and where you feel tipping is most appropriate based on the service provided.