When bad weather strikes, your desire to go out drops, but it doesn’t decrease the craving for burritos, or at least that was the case for Twitter user RonBeehive.
Like many of us (at least I hope), RonBeehive wanted to give a driver, willing to come out in bad weather, a good tip. But Chipotle stepped in and prevented the high tip amount.
There are excellent reasons for Chipotle to be cautious about someone who wants to tip an above-average amount. User error is one of those. And Chipotle responded with that information:
So, while there’s logic to it, it’s not the best idea and didn’t sit well with RonBeehive and any others. Here’s what Chipotle should have done instead.
Allow an override
Yes, it’s a pain in the neck when a customer means to tip $2.50 and accidentally makes it $25.00, as you have to fix it and deal with an unhappy driver who gets his tip revoked and an unhappy customer who feels he’s been scammed. But, as many people pointed out, a simple change to “Woah, Woah, Woah, that’s mighty generous of you! That totals 75 percent of the cost of the food. Are you sure?” with a yes/no option would solve the fat finger problem.
Why would this be important? First, it allows customers to be generous. Generosity doesn’t just benefit the recipient. According to a UC Berkely white paper, generosity goes far beyond that–it can also help the system and society as a whole. After all, fewer people will be willing to deliver if tips are tiny. If you want to get a burrito in the snow tomorrow, give a big tip today.
Remember, the labor shortage is highest in lower-paid jobs.
It’s not that the US lacks people--it lacks people willing to take jobs for low wages. No one is getting rich delivering Chipotle (or anything else). Taking away an opportunity for a driver to get a great tip certainly won’t help.
Senior leadership needs to think like their employees. Would an employee be happy to find out that a customer wanted to tip them more, and the boss said no? Of course not. This type of decision shows policymakers aren’t thinking like drivers.
But what about fraud prevention?
Several Twitter users pointed out that this could be a way to launder money.
Entirely possible, except for a few things. Because the customer pays through electronic means, the money already has to be in some bank or bank equivalent. If a customer wants to hand the driver $500 in cash, no app can prevent that. But for electronic transfers, it’s already tracked.
Additionally, there’s another solution to fraud prevention: go ahead and set a tip limit and give a phone number for the customer to call to verify their identity and the fact that they want to go above this limit.
It’s doubtful that the local drug kingpin will launder $1 million one burrito at a time.
Chipotle isn’t the only company that’s caused tip drama.
An Arkansas restaurant terminated a waitress after a group gave a $4000 tip. The restaurant denies the tip has anything to do with it, but it doesn’t look great for them. On the flip side, a Florida restaurant required customers to pay 20 percent in tips–regardless of service level.
Tipping is always controversial, but if Chipotle or any other restaurant wants to control tips, then increase the price of your food, increase salaries accordingly, and announce a no-tipping policy. The waitstaff would know what they signed up for and not expect tips.
But, to be fair, I and many others will still offer tips when someone brings food to our houses in bad weather. And no company should stop that.