WAIKIKI, Hawaii (KHON2) — Are locals tipped out?

Many establishments like coffee houses and takeout restaurants have an electronic payment system that gives customers the option to leave a tip after paying with their card.

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“Yeah, I’ve been seeing them everywhere now. It seems like every place is starting to have them nowadays,” said Robby El-Hourani.

At the end of a transaction, the cashier may prompt their customer with a screen that lets them choose the percentage of a tip that they would like to leave or no tip at all.

“When you see that pop up on the screen, though, it makes you think twice, like, wow was this service exceptional? Should I just leave that person a 10% or just a few dollars? That’s an option, but it’s not mandatory,” said Sheryl Matsuoka, Hawaii Restaurant Association executive director.

The owner of Kuhio Food Hall in International Marketplace agreed.

“I encourage people to tip when you get good service. Don’t just tip because you feel guilty. Like, the person is standing there and you feel obligated to tip,” Mike Palmer said.

The perception could be a little different on the customer side of things, however.

“Well, you know, you don’t want to be that guy that doesn’t leave a tip at all; so, you know, you always try to give ’em a little something even though it’s only a couple dollars.”

Robby Al-Hourani

Palmer mentioned something interesting; The cashier behind the counter does not see whatever tip selection the customer makes.

“A customer sees this part of the screen, and they’re looking at something different on their end. And, I believe most payment systems are set up that way,” Palmer said. “We’ve even scolded people that ask for a tip; things like that that’s absolutely a no-no.”

The Restaurant Association said 80% to 85% of local transactions in restaurants are done through card, including tipping.

“Whether it’s your hairdresser or whether it’s a valet,” Matsuoka said, “”Similar to a restaurant. When you go to the counter and you order takeout, it’s the service that they gave you. Did they smile at you? Did they ask you if you wanted utensils?”

Customers told KHON2 that even for takeout, it is about the experience.

“Since I’m not being served, I mean, as long as they’re friendly and they’re very nice, I’ll just give ’em a tip, even if it’s a couple dollars,” Al-Hourani said.

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“I think they deserve it ’cause, like, they take their time to serve. Although we don’t really see their service, they’re doing it behind,” said Lisa Hosomi. “So, I think they do deserve a tip.”