Let me begin this post with a confession: I don't tip at Sonic. Call it cheap, call it frugal, call it down-right rude, but I just DON'T do it. If someone is serving me food in a sit-down setting, takes my order, asks me if my food is right, cleans up my mess, and has to refill my Coke three times, then a tip is in order. However, someone who drops a sack of food in my window, which may (or may not) be what and how I ordered, does not, in my opinion, deserve a tip.
My grandma is one who always says, "Keep that change, honey." Even if it's only three cents. I, myself, find a ten cent tip more insulting than none at all, but maybe that's just me. I usually use my debit or MySonic card, which eliminates the tip-awkwardness altogether. But, on the rare occasion I pay with cash, I'm finding a little stronger effort to get a tip out of me.
A few years back I recall a trend among car-hops in which they would (oh so politely) say, "And would you like your change back?" To which I ALWAYS replied, "Yes, thank you." I mean. Really. Didn't she just basically say, "Can I have a four cent tip?" I'm sure the girls appreciate a tip for their trip, but to ask for one seems a little crass to me.
That trend, I have found out recently, has gone by the wayside. Now when I pay with cash and my total is over 80 cents, I don't get my change. The car-hop simply says, "Thank you!" She smiles and darts for the door. I sit, dumbfounded, wondering if that girl just stole twenty cents from me.
I'm not trying to be a Scrooge. I'm not saying the girls don't DESERVE a tip. I'm a single, struggling mom who treats her daughter to Sonic on the rare occasion an extra five bucks come up. I save my loose change and actually wrap and spend it. I feel like that is my twenty cents, or two cents, and if I CHOOSE to give it to someone I will, but I don't like having my change stolen from me little by little.
I haven't had the nerve yet, but I'd like to push the button one day and say, "Your car-hop just stole seven cents from me!" The manager, however, might not get my humor.
So for now, I make sure I have a dollar's worth of change in my car if I'm headed to Sonic. Just yesterday I dug up 87 cents in change to avoid breaking a dollar and losing 13. Am I going a little over the top here? Maybe. But I do belive this is America and I should have the right NOT to tip :)