Hop inflation becomes more prevalent, and may hurt the industry in the long run

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You’ve probably heard of deflation and greedy inflation before. Here’s another item to add to your vocabulary: subtractive inflation.

Shoppers say they’re seeing more and more tip requests in unusual places.

said Thomas B. Farley, “Mr. Manners”: “I actually prefer not to call it slow inflation but a tipping invasion.”

It’s the unwelcome shopping spree that gets social media buzz.

“They’re talking about 18% tip already included in the bill. Girl, it’s water,” said one TikToker user.

Tips, a staple of the service industry, now extend even further.

“While driving, they were asking for tips,” said one TikToker user.

On TikTok, you’ll quickly find that people aren’t happy about it.

So what’s the deal?

“It’s a relatively new phenomenon,” said Dipayan Biswas, a professor of marketing and business at the University of South Florida. “I see it’s becoming more prevalent.”

Professor Biswas has studied tipping for a decade. This new trend started with the boom of digital kiosks, he says, and then “the pandemic added flow to that fire,” as well as inflation and more companies making tips available to make jobs more lucrative at your expense.

Biswas said, “It’s like I’m tired of coups, right? So that’s my biggest fear that it might actually affect the industry where it really matters most.”

“The concept of a tip is that we reward a service employee who is paid less than minimum wage,” said Farley, an etiquette expert.

Farley has a “no-hesitation tipping list,” and only three people pull it off:

  • servers
  • Bartenders
  • bath attendants

“I really wonder, where is the line? Will you ever be in your doctor’s office or your dentist’s office, will you pass a tip,” Farley asked.

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When it comes to holiday shopping, his top tip for avoiding tipping: Pay with cash. But if plastic is a must-have, “you need to have your head, there’s no need to feel guilty about it,” he says.

There is power in saying no.

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