If you’re prompted to tip, you’ll tip
Point-of-sale systems that prompt customers with options for gratuity — you know, the cashier flips the touch screen toward you after you insert your plastic card — result in better tips for workers, according to new data from Skift. It seems guilting people into tipping may be the best way to get them to actually tip. “There is an option to say, ‘No, thank you,’” one restaurant owner in Massachussetts tells Skift. “But c’mon, these kids are making a fraction of what their guests are making.” In Charleston, South Carolina, the owner of a coffee shop says his employees are seeing their take-home pay double from $10 to roughly $20 per hour, thanks to the screens.
However, if a restaurateur wants better tips for their workers but doesn’t want to use these new POS systems, they can just blast Abba over the sound system, per Extra Crispy.
“Woo hoo, witchy Frappuccino”
Starbucks will continue to release seasonal, gimmicky Frappuccinos, sales figures be damned. The coffee giant has introduced a “witch’s brew” Frapp just in time for Halloween, reports Bloomberg. People have been turning away from the ‘Bucks’s signature beverages because of their high sugar content, but this new concoction falls a little more in the health zone — it contains chia seeds, which are reportedly being marketed as “bat warts.” The beverage, which is meant to taste like an orange Creamsicle, checks in at 390 calories for a grande.
Bad news for chocolate lovers
Hershey is raising prices on its line of Kisses and Reese’s products next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company has been facing high shipping costs, and it reportedly plans to pass those along to the customer by increasing prices by about 2.5 percent. Hershey’s year-over-year sales jumped 2.3 percent to $2.08 billion in the most recent fiscal quarter, per the WSJ, but its profit margin slipped to 44 percent, which just isn’t good enough for investors and shareholders.
And in other food news ...
- Fabulous Food Network icon Ina Garten stopped by the Late Show Wednesday night and made chocolate meringue and daiquiris with host Stephen Colbert. [Late Show/YouTube]
- Eater San Francisco has a profile of Omnivore Books on Food, which is deemed to be the Bay Area’s best cookbook store. The store is celebrating its 10th birthday in spite of prevailing market forces. “When I started in 2008 it was the bottom of the recession, so there was nowhere to go but up, and Amazon was already well in play, so I thought of how to work around what was working for them to be different from them,” owner Celia Sack says. “I was lucky since I wasn’t already in business, I didn’t have to pivot.” [ESF]
- A daring bandit in the United Kingdom is wanted for stealing beer from a restaurant in Blackpool, England, and he looks exactly like Ross from Friends. Actor David Schwimmer, who played Ross (duh), is having some fun with the incident on Instagram. [NYP]
- Rest in peace, Dorcas Reilly. The inventor of the green bean casserole, an American comfort classic, died on October 15 at the age of 92. [AP]
- MaiselHeads, your long wait for the return of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will come to an end just in time for the holiday season. Season 2 premieres on Amazon Prime Video Wednesday, December 5. Take a look at this fresh trailer to get a sneak peek at Midge’s forthcoming adventures in the nightclubs, cafes, and restaurants of 1950s New York City. [Deadline]
- Finally, everyone please salute this good dog, who has been scamming McDonald’s customers into giving her free burgers by convincing them she is a stray. Good dog. [The Cut]