‘Your Wallet’: Lincoln workers and businesses give tips on tipping

LINCOLN, Neb (KLKN) – With all the different ways you can tip workers nowadays, it can be a little confusing trying to decide where to put your money.

Tipping electronically with apps like Venmo or Zelle is getting more and more popular.

Sometimes you’ll even be prompted for a tip by a machine without ever interacting with an employee.

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Taylor Gilliand is an esthetician who’s been running Taylor Made Lashes in Lincoln for the past year.

She said she doesn’t expect tips but is thankful for them.

“My clients come back every other week, and so I know them very well, they know me very well,” Gilliand said. “And I feel like the more I get to know them, the more they tip me.”

She said good old-fashioned cash is a more personal way to show your appreciation for someone’s work.

“I feel like if I was in fast food, like working at Starbucks or somewhere, and I just gave them a little card reader and asked them to tip, I feel like they wouldn’t be more inclined to tip because they didn’t have a conversation with me, they don’t know me as a person.”

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Josh Planos with the Better Business Bureau of Nebraska said that over the past few years, and particularly during the pandemic, many businesses started asking for tips electronically.

He said it spans across the board, from restaurants and bars to retail stores and pet care.

Many businesses like electronic tipping because it’s more efficient.

But Planos said sometimes an electronic tip will go up to management or even to the company that made the machine.

He said it’s confusing for people when you don’t know where your money is actually going.

“There are some of these tipping systems that do not pool the money for the actual associate who has helped you,” Planos said. “I don’t know about you, but when I’m tipping, I’m absolutely not thinking about my money going to support the creator of the technology. My money is being spent on the experience I just had.”

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Cesar Sotelo, a server in Lincoln, said he makes most of his money off tips.

He said direct cash tips are better for keeping track of how much he’s made and is a better incentive for workers to do a good job.

“You kind of have to have a connection, and then it keeps them coming back,” Sotelo said. “So whenever they come back, you know you’re going to get a good tip or you’re going to have somebody you already know, you kind of build a good relationship with your customers, and they become regulars.”

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Planos predicts that the automation process for tipping isn’t going away anytime soon.

So if you’re ever confused, it’s best to ask employees where your money is going, just to be sure.

“Ask questions,” he said. “If you don’t know definitively that that money is going to go to your server or to your point of contact, then I have a hard time thinking you’ll want to provide that tip in the first place.”

Editor’s note: This report is part of a weekly series Channel 8 is airing called “Your Wallet.”  We’ll be looking into any topics that deal with your money. The reports air every Monday during the Channel 8 News at 6 p.m.

Categories: Lancaster, Money, News, Top Stories