DAVE Portnoy has confessed he has succumbed to the pressure of the self-checkout tipping trend as he is “deathly afraid” of being caught dodging it.
The millionaire and founder of Barstool Sports said he was terrified of being branded a “cheapskate” if he doesn’t cough up the cash.
He then blasted the bizarre new policy being rolled out across the United States encouraging Americans to tip self-checkout machines.
It has already sparked fury among shoppers who slammed firms for making them feel guilty if they don’t leave any gratuity.
Customers are greeted by a digital prompt after completing their transaction pressuring them to add a tip on top of their bill.
But the scheme has been criticized as people feel awkwardly obligated to offer some money – despite ringing up their groceries without any human assistance.
The self-checkouts asking for tips are cropping up in stores, airports, stadiums and cafes across the country.
And it seems even the Massachusetts-born media mogul Dave has been affected by the social pressures of the demands for gratuity.
During an appearance on Fox‘s Varney and Co., the 46-year-old says he becomes overwhelmed by the fear of being spotted refusing to tip at the self-checkouts.
He told host Stuart Varney: “I tend to tip all the time, even if it’s at a kiosk, and I’ll tell you why. I don’t do it to be a nice guy, Stuart.
“I’m deathly afraid of somebody seeing me not tip and them be like, ‘Dave Portnoy is a cheapskate who doesn’t tip.’
“So that, I live in fear of, and it forces me to tip at all times,” Dave said during the brief chat on Wednesday.
Many Americans have been left questioning where the extra money they hand over is actually going.
Consumers are already feeling the squeeze on their finances as inflation continues to skyrocket.
But businesses are said to be using the new policy to boost their employees’ pay outside of their salaries, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal.
William Michael Lynn, a consumer behavior and tip culture professor at Cornell University’s Nolan School of Hotel Administration, said firms “are taking advantage of an opportunity.”
He added: “Who wouldn’t want to get extra money at very little cost if you could?”
However, people pointed out they are doing all the donkey work themselves when shopping and often encounter problems with self-checkout machines.
Experts and labor advocates believe that self-checkout prompts are a way for employers to put the burden of employee pay on the customer rather than raising wages.
They questioned whether huge conglomerates deserved to tack on extra costs without offering any reward.
Others called for the return of cashiers instead of relying on machines to improve the experience for customers.
Square, the company whose technology operates many of the iPad point-of-sale (POS) machines, said that tips went up by 17 percent each year at full-service restaurants and 16 percent at quick-service restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2022.
However, many believe that the amount of kiosks asking for tips has become unbearable – especially at airports where items are more expensive than usual.
Garrett Bemiller, a PR worker from New York City, said that he was caught off-guard when he purchased a bottle of water at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey a few weeks ago.
After making his purchase, Bemiller was given the option to tip between 10 to 20 percent for his $6 water – which he declined.
“Just the prompt in general is a bit of emotional blackmail,” he said.
Warren Williamson had a similar experience at the George Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas.
“I thought maybe I was going crazy,” he said, also declining to tip.
OTG, the gift shop where both men had the experiences – albeit at different airports – said through a spokesperson that all money is collected as a tip and paid to employees.
“It is always our goal to create valuable experiences for our guests while taking care of our crew members, and the option to leave a tip if you have received assistance allows us to do both,” the spokesperson said.