Self-checkout machines have a new feature; asking patrons for a tip

Tipping is a part of American culture. There are numerous debates on how much a person should tip and what amount is appropriate in what situation. However, as the world becomes increasingly modern and automated, there seemed to be a reduction in tipping.

But it seems like even with technology, tipping is still considered necessary. Keep reading to learn more!


One of the things that businesses have done in the last few years to cut down costs is to turn more and more toward machines to do the work previously done by humans. Self-checkout machines are a common sight in not just grocery stores but also bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, and much more.

Now the inflation the country is facing and the dismal state of affairs for the world economy has caused a big drain on people’s wallets and even their savings. Saving every penny is as important as ever and with self-checkout options, the pressure to tip was finally off customers who were already stretched in their budgets.

But now, businesses are requesting tips even with their self-checkout features. The tipping feature for self-checkout options has been observed in various places including airports, bakeries, coffee shops, and even sports stadiums.


The Wall Street Journal reported that customers are encouraged to tip even the normal 20% even with the minimal employee interaction they receive due to the self-checkout options.

Customers as a result have reported feeling obligated to tip after being asked but most are confused as to where the money is even going to. But businesses are promoting this model in order to boost pay for their employees outside of their salaries.

William Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University’s Nolan School of Hotel Administration who specializes in tip culture has said businesses “are taking advantage of an opportunity,” because “who wouldn’t want to get extra money at very little cost if you could?” 


At the start of 2023, it was reported that some businesses were demanding tips of as much as 30% on top of their prices.

But with tipping through self-checkouts or places where there is minimal interaction with employees, people are concerned about whether their tips actually go. A customer said, “It should be in writing on the screen saying these tips help out employees or these tips go to all employees, which includes management. It should be specified.”

What do you think about self-checkout options demanding tips from customers? Let us know in the comments!