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Cheesecake Factory Sparks Discussion With Its Optional 18% Tipping Policy

The menu and other restaurant policies highlight that customers are always free to choose how much to tip.
Cover Image Source: The Cheesecake Factory’s tipping policy | Vivid_Papaya2422 | Reddit
Cover Image Source: The Cheesecake Factory’s tipping policy | Vivid_Papaya2422 | Reddit

A recent discussion on Reddit's r/EndTipping topic has drawn attention to The Cheesecake Factory, not because of its wide menu selection, but because of how it handles tipping. Reddit user @Vivid_Papaya2422 posted an image of The Cheesecake Factory's menu. Tipping is explicitly stated as entirely at the discretion of the visitor. However, a suggested tip of 18% is included in the bill for the convenience of bigger groups (8 or more persons). However, it's not required to pay this recommended sum. The menu and other restaurant policies highlight that customers are always free to choose how much to tip.

Image Source: Cheesecake Factory Instagram
Cheesecake | Cheesecake Factory | Instagram

The user stated how happy they were to see this policy listed on the menu. Although they usually don't mind tipping, they liked that the automatic 18% tip is indicated as optional. This points to a possible change in the customs surrounding tipping in the hospitality sector. Many members of the community were moved by the factory's take on tipping, which promotes eliminating the need for incentives for American workers, and shared their thoughts on the topic.

One well-known commenter put it like this: "This is good. Tipping should be a choice, not a requirement."  This opinion is in line with a rising belief among American customers that although tipping is conventional, it shouldn't be required. Another person noted that they appreciated this policy, saying: "It's kind of refreshing." However, not everyone was convinced by what could be seen as a surface-level change by Cheesecake Factory Corporate.

Image Source : Vivid_Papaya2422 | Reddit
Image Source: Vivid_Papaya2422 | Reddit

Another person looked at the situation more closely and said, "I want to believe this is a positive change, but in some ways, it might be worse than a mandatory 18% tip. The company can look good while knowing that hardly anyone would dare not tip in a large group."

Image Source: Vivid_Papaya2422 | Reddit

This discussion happened because The Cheesecake Factory has been getting negative attention lately. Over 60 janitors filed a lawsuit claiming they were paid too little. The company's new tipping policy might be an attempt to win back customers or change the conversation. A recent study revealed that over 75% of Americans think tipping has become too common, with requests for tips popping up in almost every transaction, from small stores to vape shops and any business with a payment system.

Reddit users are cautiously hopeful about this change, but many aren't expecting too much. As one person said, "Why not just let people choose every time? More customers mean more money, especially since larger groups often spend more, especially for celebrations." However, some still think that the small print shows improvement in tipping culture. One commenter said, "I like that they clearly say it can be removed, even though it puts the customer in an uncomfortable spot (on purpose) because it acknowledges that it's the customer's choice. More language like this would quickly inform consumers about their rights and make it clear they don't have to tip a specific rate or amount. It's a step in the right direction."