Frozen yogurt joints have been cropping in large numbers over the past few years, a good thing for the nation’s health I guess. In some cities there are two frozen yogurt storefronts on a block, offering consumers choices in flavors and toppings.
I’ve noticed two types of frozen yogurt experiences. The first is full-service. You walk into Yolanda’s Yogurt (fictional place) and an employee takes your order and crafts a deliciously healthy concoction of cold yogurt and fresh fruits. The second type doesn’t offer this service and that is fine. Instead, you walk into Phil’s Frozen Yogurt (again, fictional), pick a cup size, and go through stations, pouring your own banana blizzard yogurt and adding gobs of blueberries. Then you get to the register where an employee weighs your creation and you pay the amount due.
At Yolanda’s, where the server kindly waits while you hem and haw between that banana blizzard and the raspberry revolution that looks so good, there is a plastic cup by the register. The cup has a hand written message: Tips Appreciated
At Phil’s, where you literally do all of the work yourself, there is a cup sitting next to the register. The cup has a hand written message: Tips Appreciated
I used to work in the restaurant business and spent over ten years waiting tables and collecting tips as a way to pay the bills. It was a great character builder and I often look back on what I learned and realize I’ve taken many of the lessons with me. Working in the industry also molded my view on tipping. Tipping is important and I’m more than willing to pay a great amount for stellar service.
But why is Phil’s asking me to tip? I picked the container size. I filled the cup with frozen yogurt. I covered the frozen yogurt in toppings. I even put on the lid. So I wonder, why would I tip? I don’t tip the cashier at the grocery store. I don’t tip most cashiers, so why tip this one? Is my tipping etiquette out of whack because I haven’t been in the biz for a while? Should I tip those that take my money but provide no service? My gut tells me I’m right here. What do you think?