Vending machines and self-checkout boxes begin to ask for tips


The American-style tip, within the bill itself, has reached vending machines and self-checkout boxes in the United States. Is this a trend that will reach our country in the same way that the American tip itself reached some of our restaurants?

There is a growing trend in the United States: vending machines now ask for tips in airports, sports stadiums, cafeterias or at gas stations.

Supposedly, the money goes to the shift workers who work in the warehouses and those who fill or manage the machine, and yet it is something that creates rejection to the buyer. Is this a trend that could reach Spain?

First there were stores without employees like Amazon’s, then tips included in the bill in the United States, and even the complaint on social networks of a person who was forced to tip a robot.

Everything that begins to be done on the other side of the pond sooner or later threatens to reach us imported in a setting with great cultural differences.

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The tip is mandatory or considered in poor taste in different countries, and in ours it is not entirely clear. Some consider it aggressive, an abuse. Others a detail, a gesture with which he has served you. There are even those who consider the problem of a labor nature, since it allows lower salaries.

Asking for a tip is not illegal.but FACUA has already warned that “It can create a feeling of guilt in the client who decides not to leave anything”. And it is even a practice that can annoy customers, taking into account, for example, the situation, current economic inflation and the rise in the price of food.

However, Until now this was a debate limited to services provided by people, although it seems that it begins to expand. That a machine asks you for 10% of the price of your bottle of water, is confusing” for the majority of clients. “They don’t know who they are paying,” some say “it is emotional blackmail,” consumers interviewed in the Wall Street Journal declared.

Would you tip a vending machine, self-checkout or robot?

The total of Tips received by restaurants increased by 16.5% in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2022. This data reflects all tips received and not just those from self-service kiosks.

A “tip fatigue” that has even reached rentals. Americans complain through social networks of the inclusion of tip clauses in rental contracts. The landlords, for their part, consider it unfair that I receive a tip for a coffee and not for a good house. A debate, without a doubt, heated.

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In United States it is common to find within the invoice a claim of 10 to 20% in businesses as different as a restaurant, taxi, Ubers, hairdressers, bakeries or hotels.

A socially rooted custom in the country that, however, is not so established in countries like Spain where it is something optional for the client depending on the quality of the service received. And you, Would you tip a vending machine, self-checkout or robot?