“First time seeing this at restaurants…,” posted Mrs Monroe, “way to guilt customers to spend more”.
Commenters added: “tipping is a sham”, “servers don’t really get that money”, “I hate seeing this at…”. Some suggested subterfuge, a special and spiteful $0.01.
It’s too bad, and a chance for good copy.
There are many restaurants because there are many restaurant jobs: fast, casual, formal, status, and so on. Diners want to feel good.
Broadly, businesses like restaurants, sell two things: steak and sizzle. The tangible, measurable, structural aspects are the steak: how fast, how good, how much. The intangible, spiritual, and attitude components are the sizzle: how nice, how friendly, how fun. Intangibles can be measured, though not as easily (so we often don’t).
Part of a place’s sizzle is their copywriting, even when it’s time to pay.
The good. ‘Good’, ‘Great’, ‘Wow!’. Translating feelings (this service was good) into actions (tip 15%) helps customers. People, like rivers, follow the least resistance. Make it easy. Also good are the calculated tips.
The bad. (1) Misuse leads to dislike. One commenter claims their local Taco Bell uses this same interface – tips and all. That’s fine, I guess, but doesn’t jive with the TB strategy. Hence the frustration.
Also interesting is why Mrs. Monroe feels guilty. Was this a serve-yourself place? Family style? Buffet? There’s a disconnect between her expectations and experiences.
(2) People like choices. There’s technically thousands of tip amounts, but we only see six. Especially with money, people do not like to be told what to do. Better would be a slider like for a phone’s brightness, or a knob like for a stereo’s volume.
(3) ‘Best Service Ever!’ is a twenty-five percent tip? Whoever programmed that has not (or forgot about) eating out with kids. Best ever deserves more. Setting this upper amount also frames the range a customer sees.
(4) ‘Skip’ could be ‘Skip and speak with the manager’. This forces diners to match their words and actions. Was it bad, or just a bad mood?
The confusing. None.
This image lacks context: the quality, service, and kind of meal, the representativeness of the commenters, the individual’s profile. None of what’s written may be a solution. But thinking through the options might get to one.