Why Businesses Can’t Stop Asking for Tips
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,599,192 (-0.51%)       Melbourne $986,501 (-0.24%)       Brisbane $938,846 (+0.04%)       Adelaide $864,470 (+0.79%)       Perth $822,991 (-0.13%)       Hobart $755,620 (-0.26%)       Darwin $665,693 (-0.13%)       Canberra $994,740 (+0.67%)       National $1,027,820 (-0.13%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $746,448 (+0.19%)       Melbourne $495,247 (+0.53%)       Brisbane $534,081 (+1.16%)       Adelaide $409,697 (-2.19%)       Perth $437,258 (+0.97%)       Hobart $531,961 (+0.68%)       Darwin $367,399 (0%)       Canberra $499,766 (0%)       National $525,746 (+0.31%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,586 (+169)       Melbourne 15,093 (+456)       Brisbane 7,795 (+246)       Adelaide 2,488 (+77)       Perth 6,274 (+65)       Hobart 1,315 (+13)       Darwin 255 (+4)       Canberra 1,037 (+17)       National 44,843 (+1,047)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,675 (+47)       Melbourne 7,961 (+171)       Brisbane 1,636 (+24)       Adelaide 462 (+20)       Perth 1,749 (+2)       Hobart 206 (+4)       Darwin 384 (+2)       Canberra 914 (+19)       National 21,987 (+289)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $770 (-$10)       Melbourne $590 (-$5)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $595 (-$5)       Perth $650 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $700 ($0)       Canberra $700 ($0)       National $654 (-$3)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $730 (+$10)       Melbourne $580 ($0)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $470 ($0)       Perth $600 ($0)       Hobart $460 (-$10)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $560 (-$5)       National $583 (+$1)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,253 (-65)       Melbourne 5,429 (+1)       Brisbane 3,933 (-4)       Adelaide 1,178 (+17)       Perth 1,685 ($0)       Hobart 393 (+25)       Darwin 144 (+6)       Canberra 575 (-22)       National 18,590 (-42)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,894 (-176)       Melbourne 4,572 (-79)       Brisbane 1,991 (+1)       Adelaide 377 (+6)       Perth 590 (+3)       Hobart 152 (+6)       Darwin 266 (+10)       Canberra 525 (+8)       National 15,367 (-221)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 2.50% (↓)       Melbourne 3.11% (↓)       Brisbane 3.43% (↓)       Adelaide 3.58% (↓)     Perth 4.11% (↑)      Hobart 3.78% (↑)      Darwin 5.47% (↑)        Canberra 3.66% (↓)       National 3.31% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.09% (↑)        Melbourne 6.09% (↓)       Brisbane 6.04% (↓)     Adelaide 5.97% (↑)        Perth 7.14% (↓)       Hobart 4.50% (↓)       Darwin 7.78% (↓)       Canberra 5.83% (↓)       National 5.76% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.7% (↑)      Melbourne 0.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.4% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 1.2% (↑)      Hobart 0.6% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.7% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.4% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.3% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 1.5% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)        National 0.9% (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 28.7 (↓)       Melbourne 30.7 (↓)       Brisbane 31.0 (↓)       Adelaide 25.4 (↓)       Perth 34.0 (↓)       Hobart 34.8 (↓)       Darwin 35.1 (↓)       Canberra 28.5 (↓)       National 31.0 (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 25.8 (↓)       Melbourne 30.2 (↓)       Brisbane 27.6 (↓)       Adelaide 21.8 (↓)       Perth 37.8 (↓)       Hobart 25.2 (↓)       Darwin 24.8 (↓)       Canberra 41.1 (↓)       National 29.3 (↓)           
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Why Businesses Can’t Stop Asking for Tips

Employers far beyond restaurants rely on the practice to avoid paying higher wages; testing customer limits

Mon, Jul 24, 2023 8:39amGrey Clock 5 min

American businesses have gotten hooked on tipping.

Tip requests have spread far beyond the restaurants and bars that have long relied on them to supplement employee wages. Juice shops, appliance-repair firms and even plant stores are among the service businesses now asking customers to hand over some extra money to their workers.

“The U.S. economy is more tip-reliant than it’s ever been,” said Scheherezade Rehman, an economist and professor of international finance at George Washington University. “But there’s a growing sense that these requests are getting out of control and that corporate America is dumping the responsibility for employee pay onto the customer.”

Some businesses that are new to tipping said they have turned to the practice to try to retain workers in a competitive job market while also keeping their prices low. Asking for tips allows them to increase worker pay without raising their wages.

Consumers seeing tip prompts at every turn say they are overwhelmed—and that worker wages should be business owners’ responsibility, not theirs.

Sixteen percent of the 517 small businesses surveyed by employee-management software company Homebase for The Wall Street Journal ask customers to leave a tip at checkout, up from 6.2% in 2019.

Payroll company Paychex, which provides software for thousands of businesses in leisure, hospitality, retail and other service industries, said more employees are receiving tips as a portion of their pay than at any time since the company started tracking tipping in 2010. As of May, 6.3% of workers whose employers used the software earned tips, compared with 5.6% in 2020. The number remained relatively flat between 2016 and 2020.

As of June, service-sector workers in non-restaurant leisure and hospitality jobs made $1.35 an hour in tips, on average, up 30% from the $1.04 an hour they made in 2019, according to an analysis of 300,000 small and midsize businesses by payroll provider Gusto.

Tips now increase wages for service workers by an average of 25%, compared with 20% between 2019 and 2020, according to Gusto. In May, the average hourly service-industry worker earned $16.64 an hour in base wages and $4.23 an hour in tips.

During pandemic lockdowns, customers of many service businesses began tipping to acknowledge workers who put themselves at risk. Rehman said that made businesses reliant on the practice. Employers with already tight margins say there’s no going back.

“With businesses still preparing for the possibility of a recession, they don’t want to lock into higher wages,” said Jonathan Morduch, a professor of public policy and economics at New York University. “Tipping gives them more flexibility.” He said the practice pushes the financial risk that employers would ordinarily shoulder onto workers.

“Businesses are happy to let workers earn more from tips, especially when there’s no pressure to raise the tipped minimum,” he said, referring to the $2.13 an hour plus tips many bar and restaurant workers across the country earn.

Holding on to workers has been especially difficult in the services sector, particularly since the pandemic. Lodging and food service have had the highest quit rate for workers since July 2021, consistently above 4.9% per three months, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a May 2023 report. The quit rate for the retail trade industry isn’t far behind, around 3.3% so far in 2023. In May 2023, the overall quit rate for workers was 2.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dan Moreno, founder of Miami-based Flamingo Appliance Service, decided in 2020 to add an option for customers to tip his employees, reasoning that his home-repair technicians were taking health risks by entering customers’ homes during the pandemic.

About one-third of customers now leave a tip of between 10% and 20%, Moreno said. The requests add an average of $650 a year to his 182 technicians’ salaries, about 1% of their total yearly income.

Rising costs, he said, persuaded him to retain the option after the pandemic abated.

“You wouldn’t believe the margins we operate with,” he said. Competition for workers is fierce. Were he to eliminate the gratuity prompt, he said, he would have to raise prices beyond the 18% he already has, on average, since 2019—likely costing him clients.

He knows the requests might turn off some customers, but as the son of a repair technician and a former technician himself, he said, he tries to do as much as he can for his workers.

Within the food-service industry, tips as a share of compensation are rising faster at limited-service establishments such as bakeries and coffee shops than at full-service ones, according to Gusto.

At the Main Squeeze Juice Co. in Mandeville, La., tips add $3 to $5 to workers’ hourly pay, which starts at $10. Owner Zachary Cheaney said he added the option when he opened the location in 2020.

“We can’t just say, ‘Oh, we’re going to charge $2 extra’ instead of having tips, because we have a duty to our customers to have a very fair price point,” said Cheaney, who also consults for Main Squeeze’s corporate office. If customers think the price is too high, he said, they won’t return. Asking them to tip, he said, is different because it’s optional.

“If customers completely stopped tipping, we would be forced to pay employees more, and it would be hard on us as business operators in this crazy environment of rising costs,” he said.

The juice bar’s general manager, Tiffany Naquin, said tips make up about one-tenth of her $46,000 annual pay. Workers like tips, she said, “in all industries. It’s that little extra.” Knowing a customer will see a gratuity screen at the end motivates employees, she said. “If you give employees incentives, they are going to give you better work,” she said.

Checkouts that include a tip screen are more awkward for customers than for workers, she said. She understands if someone declines to tip, she said, and she wouldn’t let that affect the quality of service.

Morduch, the New York University economics professor, said that while most people tend to think of tips as steady income, many businesses fluctuate seasonally—which means employee pay goes up and down. Service workers who receive tips, he added, are often lower income and struggle to deal with such volatility.

Saru Jayaraman, a labor advocate and director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, said that boosting tips without increasing base pay is bad for workers. If customers stop tipping, she said, worker pay effectively declines, which it wouldn’t if employees got a raise.

“Employers think they’re being smart by using tipping instead of raising wages,” she said. “But really they’re risking losing staff, because it’s pissing consumers off and the employees are the ones who have to deal with it.”

A May survey of about 2,400 Americans by financial services company Bankrate found that consumers are tipping less often than they did at the height of the pandemic. Forty-one percent of respondents said businesses should pay their employees better rather than rely so much on tips. Roughly a third said tipping culture is out of hand.

Denver retiree Mary Medley, though, said she sees being a generous tipper as part of her economic responsibility. For her, it isn’t about how difficult a task was, but whether she can lighten someone else’s financial burden, even a little.

“It’s not my job to figure out where it goes or how it gets distributed,” she said. “But if they’re giving me the opportunity to participate in supporting a business in a tangible way, I’ll do so.”


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The Great Wealth Transfer: How rich millennials will invest the billions coming their way

The younger generation will bring a different mindset to how and where their newfound wealth is invested

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Mar 1, 2024 2 min

There is an enormous global wealth transfer in its beginning stages, whereby one of the largest generations in history – the baby boomers – will pass on their wealth to their millennial children. Knight Frank’s global research report, The Wealth Report 2024, estimates the wealth transfer set to take place over the next two decades in the United States alone will amount to US$90 trillion.

But it’s not just the size of the wealth transfer that is significant. It will also deliver billions of dollars in private capital into the hands of investors with a very different mindset.

Seismic change

Wealth managers say the young and rich have a higher social and environmental consciousness than older generations. After growing up in a world where economic inequality is rife and climate change has caused massive environmental damage, they are seeing their inherited wealth as a means of doing good.

Ben Whattam, co-founder of the Modern Affluence Exchange, describes it as a “seismic change”.

“Since World War II, Western economies have been driven by an overt focus on economic prosperity,” he says. “This has come at the expense of environmental prosperity and has arguably imposed social costs. The next generation is poised to inherit huge sums, and all the research we have commissioned confirms that they value societal and environmental wellbeing alongside economic gain and are unlikely to continue the relentless pursuit of growth at all costs.”

Investing with purpose

Mr Whattam said 66% of millennials wanted to invest with a purpose compared to 49% of Gen Xers. “Climate change is the number one concern for Gen Z and whether they’re rich or just affluent, they see it as their generational responsibility to fix what has been broken by their elders.”

Mike Pickett, director of Cazenove Capital, said millennial investors were less inclined to let a wealth manager make all the decisions.

“Overall, … there is a sense of the next generation wanting to be involved and engaged in the process of how their wealth is managed – for a firm to invest their money with them instead of for them,” he said.

Mr Pickett said another significant difference between millennials and older clients was their view on residential property investment. While property has generated immense wealth for baby boomers, particularly in Australia, younger investors did not necessarily see it as the best path.

“In particular, the low interest rate environment and impressive growth in house prices of the past 15 years is unlikely to be repeated in the next 15,” he said. “I also think there is some evidence that Gen Z may be happier to rent property or lease assets such as cars, and to adopt subscription-led lifestyles.”

Impact investing is a rising trend around the world, with more young entrepreneurs and activist investors proactively campaigning for change in the older companies they are invested in. Millennials are taking note of Gen X examples of entrepreneurs trying to force change. In 2022,  Australian billionaire tech mogul and major AGL shareholder, Mike Cannon-Brookes tried to buy the company so he could shut down its coal operations and turn it into a renewable energy giant. He described his takeover bid as “the world’s biggest decarbonisation project”.


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