Plenty of people argue that tipping is an antiquated system that needs to be replaced. But at the same time, tipping is so ingrained in some business models that companies struggle to find suitable alternatives and customers don’t know how to adapt. Yes, we’ve seen some successful Danny Meyer experiments, but we’ve also seen some Joe’s Crab Shack flops.
Instacart is the latest brand to find itself at the center of a no-tipping backlash. Last month, the online grocery delivery service that sends hired shoppers to do customers’ shopping for them announced it would be replacing its “tip” line with a “service amount” line. Users could still choose a service charge as a percentage of their bill, even putting 0 percent if they wanted, but unlike a tip, which goes directly to whoever did the work, these new “service amounts” would be pooled and split evenly between all of the company’s contractors (aka shoppers and drivers). The idea, Instacart argued according to Consumerist, was to give workers “more consistent pay with fewer variables.”