At Least 66% of Americans Don't Like Tipping, 41% Expect Businesses To Pay Their Employees Better: Survey

At Least 66% of Americans Don't Like Tipping, 41% Expect Businesses To Pay Their Employees Better: Survey
Cover Image Source: Tipping | Photo by Karolina Grabowska |Pexels

Tipping in the US is a bit of a puzzle—there's no set rule, and most Americans have some gripe about it. A Bankrate survey found that 66 percent of adults don't like tipping. Some wish businesses paid employees better (41 percent), others find pre-entered tip screens annoying (32 percent), some think tipping has gone too far (30 percent), and others are just confused about when and how much to tip (15 percent). Despite these complaints, people still tip, especially at sit-down restaurants where 44 percent typically tip at least 20 percent. But for services like haircuts, food delivery, and taxis, everyone has their own take on tipping in 2024.

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Image Source: Photo by Jack Sparrow  |Pexels
Is tipping for services necessary? (representational image) Pexels | Photo by Jack Sparrow

Waitstaff often gets tips, but fewer people tip each year. In 2023, 65% of U.S. adults always tip at sit-down restaurants, down from 73% in 2022 and 75% in 2021.

Home repair workers receive tips less frequently, with only 10% of U.S. adults always tipping, a decrease from 12% in 2022.

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Women are more likely to tip, with 60% always tipping their hair stylist, compared to 46% of men.

Tipping increases with age; baby boomers tip the most frequently, while only 24% of Gen Z, 40% of millennials, and 67% of Gen X always tip their hairdresser.

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Tipped workers earn a federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, expecting to supplement it with tips. 41% of all U.S. adults believe businesses should pay better, rather than relying on customer tips.

Image Source: Photo by Adrienn |Pexels
41% of U.S. adults believe businesses should pay better, rather than relying on customer tips (representational image) | Photo by Adrienn |Pexels

Gen Zers and men tip the least among demographics. The frequency of U.S. adults tipping has decreased since 2019. In 2023, fewer people tipped workers in various categories. Among tipped services, sit-down restaurant servers (65%) and hair stylists (50%) are most likely to always receive tips. In contrast, fewer people tip for food delivery services.

People who use home services, pick up takeout food, and receive furniture/appliance delivery are the least likely to always tip: 10% for home services, 17% for furniture/appliance delivery, and 13% for takeout.

Tipping tendencies vary by demographics. Men, in general, tip less than women:

Waiters at sit-down restaurants: 70% women, 60% men

Hair stylists/barbers: 60% women, 46% men

Food delivery workers: 54% women, 45% men

Taxi/rideshare drivers: 45% women, 36% men

Tipping frequency increases with age. Gen Z is least likely to always tip, while baby boomers are most likely. The generational difference is most significant for hair stylists, where only 24% of Gen Z always tip compared to 70% of baby boomers.

An exception is home services; Gen Z is the most likely (15%) to always tip, while only 6% of baby boomers do so.

Image Source: Photo by Helena Lopes |Pexels
Gen Z is the most likely to tip for home services (representational image) | Photo by Helena Lopes |Pexels

In 2023, Americans were often unsure about tipping, with 30% feeling that tipping culture had become overwhelming. Older generations, especially Gen X and baby boomers, shared this sentiment more than younger ones. Overall, 66% of people have at least one negative feeling about tipping, with 32% annoyed by pre-entered tipping suggestions. Economic uncertainties make Americans more conservative about tipping despite increased tipping invitations.

Interestingly, 16% are willing to pay higher prices to eliminate tipping, with younger Americans more open to this idea. Pain points also include confusion about tipping (15%) and a 9% decrease in tipping since COVID-19.

However, not all Americans view tipping negatively; nearly 44% who dine at sit-down restaurants typically tip at least 20%. About 35% feel good leaving a generous tip, and 14% report tipping more since the pandemic.

Image Source: Photo by RDNE Stock project |Pexels
Nearly 44% who dine at sit-down restaurants typically tip at least 20% (representational image) | Pexels | Photo by RDNE Stock project

Tipping can be confusing, but here are quick tips:

1. For personalized services, tip each worker individually.

2. For inexpensive services (around $5 or less), leaving a dollar or spare change is usually enough.

3. Keep some cash for services like valet parking or hotel housekeeping. If tipping isn't possible, ask about using apps like Venmo or Zelle. Always check company policies on tipping.

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