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Debate raging regarding tipping culture in the US

New technology and new habits have renewed the debate around tipping workers in this country.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Usually, a big tip means great service. A bad tip ... not so much. But some people say the so-called "tipping culture" has gotten more convoluted and confusing than ever before. 

So why is there a debate raging about when and how much you should tip in the U.S.?

Let's connect the dots.

New technology and new habits have renewed the debate around tipping workers in this country. That's because almost everywhere you go, there's a screen with a suggested tip at the end of your transaction. 

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Food businesses of all types — everything from food trucks to bakeries — are prompting customers for tips. Even businesses that don't offer food are getting in on the act with customers reporting places like movie theaters suggesting tips. 

In recent years it has become customary to leave at least a 20% tip at a sit-down restaurant. That's because tips are literally built into the pay structure for servers.

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The bigger debate now rages around fast-casual restaurants and take-out orders. Both have surged in popularity in recent years but should you tip if no one is waiting on you in the traditional sense?

Some experts say to treat those places like a tip jar, you can contribute if you want, but aren't obligated.

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