Is tipping out of control? Americans divided on issue

Your Money

(NewsNation) — Did you leave a tip?

More specifically, should you leave a tip for service that you’re actually doing yourself?

NewsNation asked its Twitter followers if the pressure to tip has gotten out of control.

The results were close: 50.4% said yes, that we have to tip on everything these days, while 49.6% said that since the pandemic, people deserve tips more than ever.

According to a new CreditCards.com tipping survey, Americans are slightly worse tippers than they were before the pandemic.

“Inflation is cutting into consumers’ purchasing power and a tight labor market has left many service industry businesses understaffed and struggling to provide top-notch customer experiences,” said CreditCards.com senior industry analyst Ted Rossman.

These 2022 tipping trends revealed that millennial and Gen Z consumers are less likely to tip than older generations: 52% of Gen Z, 60% of millennials, 77% of Gen X, and 87% of baby boomers always tip restaurant servers.

NewsNation reached out to restaurant workers to get their perspective.

“They (Millennials/ Gen Z) tip less,” San Francisco chef and restaurant owner Elias Bikahi told NewsNation.

Bikahi has opened several restaurants across the San Francisco, Bay Area and has found that “old school” people tip all of the time, but the new generation doesn’t.

“I don’t agree that people are tipping less, but I think it has more to do with the amount of services that are asking for tips,” David Knoblauch, a server at a popular Greek restaurant in Chicago, told NewsNation.

Knoblauch says he pretty much always tips 20%, but he doesn’t completely agree that a tip is always necessary for every service.

“At my work, it’s pretty bizarre being the prices are so high. Casual guests seem to slowly be moving towards tipping less. On the other hand, we have mega-rich people who give out-of-this world tips. It isn’t uncommon to get $100 on a $40 tab just because a rich person likes us,” Knoblauch added.

NewsNation also spoke with 27-year-old Patrick Pfohl, who tips on everything.

“I tip all the time. I have a people-pleasing complex, so I just have to. At least 20%, no matter what I do,” Pfohl said.

“I don’t think tipping is out of control. I think companies should pay their employees more though, so it wasn’t as necessary. The only reason, if I am tipping more now than I did prior to COVID, is because I’m making more, so I feel like I have the ability to share generously,” Pfohl added.

Here’s what CreditCards.com found in regards to Americans tipping other service providers:

  • Taxi/rideshare drivers: 43% always tip, 23% tip most of the time, 21% tip sometimes and 13% never tip.
  • Hotel housekeepers: 27% always tip, 21% tip most of the time, 27% tip sometimes and 26% never tip.
  • Coffee shop baristas: 22% always tip, 22% tip most of the time, 33% tip sometimes and 22% never tip.
  • Furniture/appliance delivery workers: 17% always tip, 19% tip most of the time, 23% tip sometimes and 41% never tip.
  • When picking up takeout food: 13% always tip, 17% tip most of the time, 30% tip sometimes and 39% never tip.

The survey also revealed that women tip more generously than men; 78% of women but just 68% of men always tip restaurant servers.

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