There are tons of P.O.S. systems that businesses can use to easily track their sales and purchases, with shiny and easy-to-use applications that they can use across a variety of devices to make managing their profits a breeze. One such popular hardware/software combo areSquare terminals, which look like giant iPads and allow customers to easily use their cards/smartphones, or sign their names with just a finger.
There's also the matter of automatically calculating gratuity and whether or not you want to leave a tip for whoever's working behind the counter and Square has an easy-to-use menu option that allows you to quickly do so. A few options populate the screen and all you need to do is tap one of these options and be on your merry way.
However, there are a lot of people who believe that there are certain businesses that utilize this feature that put customers in uncomfortable positions, making them feel like they "have" to tip after being presented with this option to do so. Many have said things along the lines of: "Once I see an iPad at the register, I know I'm about to tip for something I've never tipped for before in my life."
In the case of TikToker Robert Sullivan, you can replace "iPad" with "Square cash register." And he made a post showing off one of these registers at a business, expressing the exact same concern.
Robert attributed the original quote to comedian Bobby Condon, who he linked to in the comments section of the now-viral TikTok, and many people agreed with the sentiment, stating that if tipping the service associated with the product was essential to it, then that gratuity should be incorporated into the price of said product.
Others pointed out that the 0% tip option is readily available right there on the screen, however, Robert mentioned that he feels like he's being put in a delicate situation because the employee presenting him with the option is standing right there and he feels "guilted" into leaving a gratuity. And some even claimed that the "tips" on these machines don't even go to employees and business owners take that additional money for themselves.
While many registers have a percentage option for tips, others have remarked that other amounts sometimes come up on the screen, like one commenter who said that they were sometimes asked to leave a $1, $2, or $3 tip on purchasing a bagel while using one of these systems.
Others also expressed confusion at the types of businesses that have tip options on screen-based P.O.S. systems, like someone who went to a self-serve frozen yogurt store and assembled their own bowl with toppings and was still asked if they wanted to tip someone behind the counter.
However there were many others who indicated that this practice is helping to keep "tipping culture" alive by businesses who would rather put the onus of caring for its employees and ensuring that they have a livable wage on the shoulders of the customer instead of their employers.
"Tipping culture is driven by corporations and owners who don’t want to pay employees enough. They want customers to make up the difference."
What do you think? Do you die a little bit inside when you see a square register and know that your $6 cup of coffee is about to cost $2 more? Or do you believe that people who are complaining about it should just buy and prepare their own food and beverages?