The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The undeserved art of tipping in California

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Tipping in California is a mistake. 

As much as it seems like a courtesy or a reward, people who receive tips are not reliant on them. 

As a result, they have basically become glorified bonuses. The beneficiaries of this needy practice are already getting paid to do their job, whether that be as a server, a bartender, barista, delivery service or an Uber driver.

People are being pressured to pay extra on top of their bill as it is a cultural norm to tip for good service, or even for bad service. When paying together at restaurants with family, friends or colleagues, the expectation to tip is high, which leads the non-tipper to look cheap. 

To be quite honest, it is unnecessary to pay the waiter or waitress extra for doing their job. They simply take your order, serve your meal (sometimes have another server do it) and checkup to refill water or bring the condiment you asked for. 

Understandably, servers, and other tipping job employees, work hard. But to receive a bonus for doing what they originally get paid to do should not be expected.   

According to insider Curt Jaimungal, a former server of eight years explains, “It’s gotten to the point where, in the absence of amazingly enthusiastic fervor, the consumer starts to look at people who  aren’t even soliciting tips and think ‘Boy, that’s bad service. Where’s their manager?’”

The ridesharing app, Uber, has recently added in-app tipping. This has also brought many people to believe that this is another service to add a tip to, even when before it was not an applicable feature. 

With Uber, drivers make their own schedules, so the conversation of salary becomes very indefinite. Without knowing this information, it brings the bigger question as to why a customer would reward a driver when the driver could be making a larger salary to begin with.

According to Vox, “Your Uber driver is not a neighborhood cabbie you recognize at the taxi stand or a server at a restaurant you frequent. You may only see an Uber driver one time. They may drive for a couple months, then stop, then switch neighborhoods depending on where the crowds are. There is no relationship with Uber drivers, so thinking of them as faceless workers is easier.”

Millennials in California are bad tippers in general due to the fact that they are more careful with their money due to the wrath of school loans and higher rent.

Val Gui, Chief Operating Officer of Instamotor, conducted a survey explaining, “Millennials are accustomed to the concept of the sharing economy, whereas the older generation may view companies such as Uber and Lyft as more traditional services, like taxis,”

Since new generations is already prone to not tipping as frequently, cutting it all together in California would be much easier, instead of maintaining a competitive culture for tips having to prove thier “worth” to strangers in exchange for a bonus or reward.

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