One evening this week, I was scrolling through my Facebook to see what my friends were up to, what their day was like, what their kids accomplished when one post in particular caught my eye.  One of my FB friends was disheartened by something that happened at a convenience store drive-thru.  She had said that the cashier didn't offer her change back, but asked her if she wanted her change back.  In essence, panhandling out of a business.

So this piqued my interest.  I know some businesses ask patrons to donate their extra change to charity, but in this instance it wasn't about donating it to charity.    I decided to ask the world of Facebook if this was happening and where it was happening.

So after all the responses I received,  I decided to call the corporate offices of the two businesses that were mentioned the most, Toot 'n Totum and Sonic.

When I called to Toot 'n Totum I spoke with Melinda Batchelor.  She said that is definitely not the policy of Toot 'n Totum to have their cashiers ask the customers, if they want their change back.  I asked Melinda if their cashiers are allowed to take tips and she said no.  She also told me that when something like this happens then they want to know about it.

"We love to hear when we are doing right and when we are doing wrong.  The most important things are our guests, they deserve courtesy and respect."

In fact, she said that when you do have an issue like this come up then contact them by email at, or call their corporate offices at 806-373-4351.

"We expect our policies to be followed at all times"

TSM Amarillo

After speaking with Melinda, I called the corporate offices of our local Sonics and spoke with Corporate Manager Cammie Boone.  She told me that this isn't the policy of Sonic.  If they do receive a complaint they will address the issue. The car hops are not supposed to ask or just assume you don't want your change.  However, they do expect their car hops to receive tips if they give you good service.

I understand that in some cases, some of the businesses mentioned to me in my research are a business where it is allowed to tip your server.  However, the server should never assume you don't want your change or even ask if you do want it.  It should be up to the person paying if they want to give their change.

My Facebook friend Toni had a great response:

I support several organizations but this issue has NOTHING to do with is all about "them" EXPECTING to keep my change. It is up to me to tip them for their is up to them to give service that supports my tip. Want a better tip then earn it by giving service. I am a good tipper but will not tip for #1 bad attitude or #2 poor service and I dang sure won't support anyone panhandling my change over a counter or out my car window and that is what this amounts to.....panhandling for change from behind a counter or through the window of an employer. I am not convinced that employers are not aware or don't support this since the practice is becoming so common. If an employer doesn't know it is happening in their business then that is a whole other issue.

Have you had this happen to you at a local business?

Even before I made the phone calls to Toot 'n Totum and Sonic, I already knew that they would tell me that is was definitely not there policy for their employees to do something like this while working for them.

However, with that said, if the company doesn't know about it how can they fix it?  So if you run into something like this in the future then let the company know.  They cannot fix it if they do not know it is happening.

On another note, I learned something new when I spoke with Sonic.  I always knew that you could tip the Car Hop at Sonic which I'll fully admit I don't because I thought they were paid hourly like everyone else.  What I didn't know is that the car hops are paid tipped wage like a server in a restaurant.  Which means they only get so much per hour and tips fill in the gap.

Remember that the next time you go to Sonic, if you receive exceptional service then tip your car hop.  If you have an instance of a car hop, asking if you want your change back then bring it to the attention of the manager and or the  local corporate offices.