Aldi Employees Are Always On The Ball, But Are They Allowed To Take Tips?

Besides its weekly deals and budget-saving prices, Aldi has also garnered a reputation in the grocery industry for its quick checkouts and speedy cashiers. The grocery chain likes to pride itself on efficiency. Additionally, Aldi also has employees who deliver groceries via curbside delivery, making it unnecessary to even step foot inside the store. With so many of Aldi's employees always on the ball, you may be wondering if you're allowed to give them a tip for their service. Sadly, no, the chain does not allow tips. 

According to Aldi's website, the chain asks customers not to tip its employees. It states, "We appreciate the gesture, but please do not tip ALDI Curbside Shoppers. Tips are not accepted."

Likewise, a Redditor who claimed to be an Aldi employee explained their perspective, writing simply, "We cannot accept tips." Instead, the Redditor suggested there were other ways to make their jobs easier, writing, "Maybe try not to make a mess as you shop. Can't say how many times I've found spilt [sic] berries or other items that are just left laying there and stomped on by non caring [sic] customer feet or rolled over by carts." While this is a sound piece of advice, there actually is one exception to the rule no-tip rule. 

Aldi has tipping options for delivery

As mentioned above, Aldi doesn't allow customers to tip employees delivering groceries curbside. However, if you're ordering groceries through Aldi's delivery service, then there is an option to tip your delivery driver and personal shopper. The grocery chain offers several preset delivery tip options: Aldi states on its website, "The default tip is 10%, or it can be customized to the percentage you choose for your most recent order. For your convenience, preset amounts of 5%, 10%, or 15% can also be selected. Tipping is optional and the default tip may be adjusted at checkout. Tips are paid directly to the delivery driver and/or personal shopper."

Some savvy customers have also found a way to show their appreciation to Aldi's in-store employees without leaving a monetary tip. One Redditor explained, "I bought a bunch of candy (individually wrapped) and asked my cashier to put it in their break room. They totally deserve it." Another who claims to be an Aldi employee wrote that while they can't accept money, they are allowed to accept certain food offerings. While not officially given the green light by Aldi, this appears to be a workaround for some customers to share their thanks. 

Grocery stores generally don't allow tips

If you're wondering why Aldi doesn't allow customers to receive tips, then you should know that most grocery chains don't; it's not just something unique to Aldi. Big chains like Kroger and Walmart also don't allow customers to give employees a gratuity. Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert, told Yahoo News, "Most grocers don't allow their employees to accept gratuity. They pay them an hourly rate because they are not relying on tips to make an hourly wage."

The U.S. Department of Labor has a separate designation for employees who factor tips into their overall pay, receiving more than $30 in tips a month. Tipped employees often make less than standard employees, since tips are heavily factored into their wages. They're typically paid a base wage that's then lifted higher than minimum wage by the amount of tips they make, for example, waiters at restaurants and bartenders. Meanwhile, most grocery store employees make a regular wage that may be higher than the average minimum. According to Pay Scale, Aldi employees make between $12.47 to $23.55 an hour on average, which is well above minimum wage. While grocery chains like Aldi may not allow tips, remember you can help share your thanks by making the employee's job a little easier. Practice appropriate grocery store etiquette and don't be rude.