Tipping has me stymied. Not in terms of dining out, having my hair highlighted, or requesting that a bellhop hold my luggage. Unlike some of my fellow millennials, I understand the etiquette behind that kind of tipping. If you are performing a job in the service industry that benefits me, especially if it goes above and beyond the call of duty, I probably owe you a tip. So why in the world is there now a tip jar at my favorite self-serve fro-yo place?
To illustrate this conundrum properly, let me explain how this particular frozen yogurt establishment works.
Here’s what I do:
- I walk in, pick up a cardboard bowl, pout if they don’t have cake batter flavor, briefly contemplate nonfat or low-sugar options, and then pull the lever on the full-fat flavor that most suits my fancy.
- Next, I bypass other indecisive patrons and loose children and head to the toppings bar.
- Once I’ve arrived, I spoon in some rainbow sprinkles, add a dash of chocolate chips, and throw on some strawberries for good measure.*
- Finally, I continue circling around until I reach the register. At which time, I place my bowl on the scale, briefly regret not adding hot fudge, and grimace at the new tip jar.**
Here’s what the fro-yo guy does:
- He pushes a button on the register.
- Then he reads me the number on the register screen that we can both see.
- Afterwards, he points at the spoons.
- He watches while I swipe my card.
- Finally, he says have a nice day. If he remembers.
Am I really supposed to tip him? I understand that I’ve oversimplified his job in many ways. There are certainly behind-the-scenes things that he does that benefit my fro-yo experience. I’m not saying that he does nothing. But he hasn’t served me in any capacity that is different from a cashier at Target, a stock clerk at the local grocery store, or the fry scooper at McDonald’s. All these people have arguably unpleasant jobs. But we don’t tip them. So, I need you set me straight once and for all: Do I tip the fro-yo guy?
*My fro-yo is practically health food now. Antioxidants, for the win.
**In the spirit of full disclosure, I do tip. I figure better to err on the side of caution than to be a jerkface. And also, I can’t do what I do with tip jars at Starbucks, which is to avoid them by not going, because frozen yogurt is serious business.
So Tell Me…Do you tip the fro-yo guy? How much? Why not? Help a fro-yo lover out!