Personal Finance

Let the Debate Begin: Should You Tip Robots?

Should you tip robots?In recent years, robots have been popping up in a wide variety of places and have been tasked with performing various jobs. Robots have become common in warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and other places that can benefit from their repetitive movements. New robots are being created that can clean stores, help with hotel housekeeping, and even serve meals in restaurants. Now that robots are being used in places where customers would customarily leave a tip, a debate has begun on whether should you tip robots or should you only tip human servers. For most people, the answer will depend on the situation.

A brief history of tipping

Tipping is generally thought of as a way for customers to show their appreciation to service providers for a job well done. The better the service, the bigger the tip. Tipping was originally implemented for low-wage professions, like restaurant servers and housekeeping staff, but has since grown to include many types of service providers, including hairdressers, salon workers, landscapers, and movers. Today, technology has made it easier than ever for customers to leave a tip and people are running into tipping prompts in many places where tipping wasn’t previously part of the process.

Tipping etiquette today

In today’s modern, fast-paced world, getting things done quickly is very important to businesses and many people will leave a bigger tip for prompt service that is performed correctly. While humans are typically able to perform tasks correctly and quickly with training, some robots can perform those same tasks faster with the same or better accuracy. Using robots can help a business serve more customers quicker and cheaper than hiring humans, so some businesses have turned to robots for these customer-facing jobs.

That brings us to the question of whether should you tip robots that are performing the same task you would tip a human for. Some people say no – that tipping should be reserved for human service providers and that tipping a robot is just giving the company extra money over the price of the service. Others say that if you would tip the human service provider, you should tip a robot doing the same job or providing the same service.

So, should you tip robots?

At the end of the day, whether you should tip robots is up to your discretion, just like you can choose to tip or not to tip a human service provider. Tipping is an optional action and there are no legal consequences for not giving a tip to a service provider, although you may not get the best service when you return. While a robot cannot feel gratitude or appreciation for a tip, quite a few businesses pool tips among employees, and tipping the robot can boost the incomes of the other people who work for the business. You can also provide feedback to the business about your interactions with the robot to help make the experience better for others in the future.

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