During quarantine, people confined to their homes made signs to thank health care workers for soldiering on. As the pandemic continued, the public began to expand its definition of “heroes,” to include bus drivers, store clerks, restaurant staff, and food delivery people—all the essential workers that are a central part of modern society.
The average tip on delivery and takeout peaked during the shutdown. Now, while still higher than the pre-pandemic levels, a New York Times survey of restaurant goers in the Big Apple suggests tipping is on the decline.
As the pandemic recedes—at least for now—how have consumer behaviors changed? How has the pandemic, along with an increase in the use of technology that reduces the need for contact, changed actions and expectations around tipping?