A customer used Shake Shack’s kiosk to build and pay for her order, and she says the machine asked her if she wanted to leave a tip. Her post regarding the tipping option sparked debate about whether the ask is appropriate given she used the kiosk to place her order but workers would still have to fulfill it.
TiKToker Alexis Nido-Russo (@locaelclectic) went viral on the popular social media application after calling out a Shake Shack location for putting a tipping option on a self-checkout kiosk.
@locaeclectic Replying to @heychelssay this is next level #shakeshack ♬ original sound – Alexis Nido-Russo
Alexis says in the clip, which was viewed 66,000 times, “This blew my mind. Yesterday, I went to Shake Shack, and first of all, they only had the option for me to do like self-checkout, so I ordered on a screen by myself—no one helped me. And then they present me with this screen.”
She then moves out of the way to show the image on her green screen in the video. It asks customers to tip the “team” 10% or 15%. There are also options to add a custom tip or to not tip at all.
There seems to be a growing number of gripes online that folks have with tipping culture in the United States, in general, with many social media users posting their dissatisfaction with businesses asking for gratuities in situations where they believe it to unnecessary, such as when they go through a drive-thru or buy self-serve frozen yogurt. Although many have remarked that they think it’s only fair to tip servers who are bringing them their food and beverages to a table, others have expressed they feel it’s unfair for consumers to fund the salaries of food industry workers. If you visit any forum regarding this topic, you’ll see a variety of different answers and arguments as to why this practice should either stay or if it should ultimately be changed in the restaurant industry.
In 2021, NPR interviewed several servers about the pay structures at their respective jobs. One Olive Garden waiter stated that he feared transitioning to a standard wage structure would see more reduced hours if the restaurant had a particularly slow week, as he experienced that already on a gratuity-based salary.
Throngs of TikTokers who saw Alexis’ post agreed, however, that they shouldn’t be tipping on orders they are essentially placing themselves. There were others, however, who disagreed with Alexis’ sentiments and stated that because food service workers don’t earn enough as they should, those who work in the kitchen should still receive some type of supplemental income for their work.
“Tell me youve never worked in the service industry without telling me youve never worked in the service industry,” one comment reads.
“They need to pay their employees a LIVING WAGE instead of placing the burden on their customers”
“Yogurtland does the same thing and like…we prepare our own?! These places need to pay more, I’m so tired of tipping for no added service,” a third said.
The Daily Dot reached out to Alexis and Shake Shack via email for further comment.