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Do you feel pressured to leave a tip? We asked Hoosiers

“The presence of a line on a receipt or a sign pad or a jar of cash makes it almost seem obligatory."
Posted at 7:39 PM, Jan 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-27 19:39:16-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Inflation is impacting nearly everything we do — from what we pay to how we spend our money.

But is it impacting the way we tip? Many Hoosiers we spoke to say yes.

“I do think it has gotten a little bit out of control because there are times when I want to be nice and help somebody out, but I also have to pay other bills,” Indianapolis resident Erika Chapman said.

As more businesses and restaurants adopt digital payments methods, people are sometimes being asked to leave a tip at places they normally wouldn’t. Some experts say the digital requests can lead to social pressure and are sometimes difficult to bypass.

“The presence of a line on a receipt or a sign pad or a jar of cash makes it almost seem obligatory,” Dan O’Leary said.

The lack of tipping or the pressure of feeling like you constantly have to leave a tip can leave an impact on the workers and restaurant owners.

“That’s one of the things that’s on the forefront of my mind when we are raising prices because how much are these people going to be able to afford to tip? Most of these folks only make $2.13 an hour,” Dave Andrus, the Owner of Pearl Street Pizzeria & Pub in Downtown Indianapolis, said.

Katelyn Cornelius has spent the last nine years as a bartender and general manager at Pearl Street Pizzeria & Pub.

“With pricing changes, it's really difficult for us to make money,” Cornelius said. “We are relying on those tips ... that’s our livelihood; that’s what puts food on our tables.”

Andrus and Cornelius knows all too well the impact inflation and the pandemic has had on their restaurant.

Etiquette trainer Renae Weghorst says the art of tipping is all about relationship building

The AARP has these guidelines when it comes to tipping.

Food server

For a full-service, sit-down meal, 15 to 20 percent of the pretax bill is customary. At a buffet, leave a 10 percent tip. Just picking up a sandwich or a decaf latte from the counter? Tip at least 10 percent.


Stylists and barbers should be tipped a minimum of 15 to 20 percent of the service, and that tip can be split among others who assisted (for example, the shampoo person and colorist). Apply the same value to manicures, pedicures, massages and the like. Think the owner of the salon shouldn't be tipped? Turns out that's an old tradition. Owners today appreciate and will accept 15 to 20 percent.

Cable/satellite installer

With the high price of cable and satellite service, a tip is likely the last thing on your mind. But if the technician's beyond-believable service warrants it, and you've got it to spare, offer no more than $20.

Last year WRTV profiled a couple businesses that took on a different approach to leaving a tip.