Woman Says She Was Shocked When Grocery Store Checkout Asked for 25% Tip

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Jan. 19 2024, Published 11:12 a.m. ET

When the iconic Destiny's Child released "Bills, Bills, Bills" in 1999, the bills they discussed were much different than bills today. These days, any activity outside of staying home has a bill attached. And, honestly, staying inside can cause multiple bills to spike, especially your TV subscriptions.

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In January 2024, a woman on TikTok shared how capitalism always wants more out of your pocket, even when you try to splurge a little in this economy. While attending what she called a "bougie grocery store," the woman and her boyfriend discovered the store wanted even more than what they were already willing to pay for.

Keep reading for the full story!

A cashier checking out a customer at a grocery store.
Source: Getty Images
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A woman said a grocery store requests 25 percent tips from customers after they've bought their groceries.

Most people know that grocery bills get expensive. For this reason, some create a list of everything they need to avoid spending too much on the things they don't. The best grocery list curators even set a budget for their shopping trip to ensure they stay within the money they've put aside for food, drinks, etc.

Whether you're a meticulous grocery shopper or going into the space with a bit of extra money to blow, no one expects to pay a gratuity, also known as a tip, at the grocery store. At least, so I thought. However, a TikTok user named Ev () proved me wrong when she shared how her plan for a cute date night was tainted when the store she shopped at asked for a 25 percent tip.

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Ev began her Jan. 14, 2024, TikTok with a stitch from another creator named @minna. Minna said in her post that she was done "unnecessarily tipping" establishments, which reminded Ev of a moment when she had a grocery store named Tiny Grocer in Austin, Texas. Although Ev admitted in her video that the store was "bougie," she explained it isn't a store she or her boyfriend frequents. The couple was simply in the mood to shop for a romantic date with "cheese, cured meats," and "wine."

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Ev said she was already prepared for her Tiny Grocer bill to be a little more expensive than if the couple had gone to Kroger or my favorite store, Aldi. When the price for the treats came to $40, Ev wasn't surprised. But she didn't expect the cashier at her checkout to "flip the tablet around and ask for a 25 percent tip on a $40 grocery bill." To say she was stunned would be an understatement.

"I was f----- up about it for days," Ev recalled. "I'm probably still f----- up about it now."

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Ev's TikTok commenters were also floored by the content creator's grocery shopping trip.

Ev's declaration that she's still "f----- up" about being asked for a tip at a grocery store is entirely valid. High-end shops like Tiny Grocer should be ashamed of requesting extra money from their customers after spending too much. On their website, the grocer, like Whole Foods, has salad dressings priced at $9.99, so it's safe to say the shop is doing OK without any extra funds from its customers.

Requesting a tip at a grocery store isn't a good business practice, considering the experience requires a shopper to do most of the work before they checkout (unless you're like me and self-checkout is king). So, asking for a tip without providing a service isn't necessary.

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Underneath Ev's post, the TikToker received comments from people who were also messed up after hearing her story. Most people agreed that Tiny Grocer and other stores or even doctors' offices need to be corrected for asking their guests to provide a tip. Others who live in the Austin area said the city has a history of having a negative "tipping culture."

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"I bought yarn. Online. ONLINE. And they asked for a tip. I’m done," one commenter shared.

"I was asked to tip at my doctor's office…. Like I just paid a co-pay, I’m not tipping," another said.

"Those tips almost always go to corporate, not the cashier," another explained of the grocery stores' tactics. "Those charity 'round-up for hungry kids' donations are similar."

Ev didn't say if she will return to Tiny Grocer after her eye-opening shopping trip. However, after her viral post, it's safe to say she will find another date night spot in the future!

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