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Chhavi Sachdev
Podcaster and Independent Radio Producer/Reporter
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piqer: Chhavi Sachdev
Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Tipping Culture And Why It Persists

I find tipping rather confusing. In restaurants, 15% is a good standard, for taxis, I just round up to the closest 10, but in hair salons, I get really foxed, especially when the stylist is super senior or the owner of the establishment. Argh. Why do we have to tip at all? 

Turns out other people have not only questioned it, but also find it rather distressing. So, NPR's The Indicator went to find out the underpinnings to the system by talking to professor of consumer behaviour and marketing, Michael Lynn, who has studied the tipping culture of America. 

As cohost Stacey Vanek Smith asks: "Tipping seems to be designed to reward good service. So the better the service, you know, the higher the tip. But is that what happens in real life?"

Tune in to listen to what professor Lynn found actually influences tipping behaviour (spoiler alert: a lot of prejudice!) and the legality of it. Unsurprisingly, it's totally circular. We learn that, "Once you get started on tipping, competitive forces make it almost impossible to go back."

Tipping Culture And Why It Persists
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