As etiquette expectations shift, here’s what to know about tipping this season

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

The number of Americans tipping the standard rate is dropping

When dining out, tipping etiquette experts say 20% is the standard. However, between inflation, elevated pandemic tipping rates and businesses that aren’t primarily service-oriented requiring customers to opt out of tipping at checkout, more and more Americans are reaching tipping fatigue. This can be seen in fewer and fewer individuals tipping the standard rate. How does this affect holiday tipping? And how does it affect office gifting?

Why do people tip?

While the general notion behind why Americans tip might be rooted in getting better service or rewarding excellent service, that rarely holds true today. Many people tip out of a sense of obligation. People draw this conclusion because the quality of service doesn’t accurately translate to higher tipping rates. Many Americans tip simply because they are expected to tip. Additionally, with more businesses slipping in tipping at checkout, consumers are increasingly pressured to tip for very basic services.

Who do people tip for the holidays?

Generally, if someone provides you with regular service throughout the year, tipping is an acceptable means of showing them your appreciation. These professions include but are not limited to, a babysitter, a hairstylist, a fitness instructor, a server, a bus driver, a landscaper, a handyperson, a coach, a bartender, a teacher, a nail technician, a tutor, barista, a cleaning service, day care staff, a dog walker, a garage attendant and more. 

How have expectations affected holiday office gifting?

Remote workers might only rarely (or never) physically enter the company office space. For this reason, more companies have been turning to practices such as Secret Santa gifts rather than White Elephant gifts. When partaking in a Secret Santa program, it is important to put “Secret Santa” on the address line so people know they shouldn’t open the package early. Also, remember to include a gift receipt and keep items general, fun or practical without getting too personal. This year, we’ve seen people focusing on office accessories, coffee mugs, and small home products.

Secret Santa and workforce gift ideas

Best Apple MagSafe Charger

Apple MagSafe Charger

This wireless iPhone charger makes powering up your phone as easy as putting it down. It is a Qi-compatible charger that works at speeds up to 15 watts.

Sold by AmazonBest Buy and Target

Best Himalayan Glow Salt Lamp

Himalayan Glow Salt Lamp

This beautiful salt lamp is made from hand-mined Himalayan salt crystals. It glows with a warm amber color that will create an atmosphere in any room.

Sold by Amazon

Best Anker Soundcore Mini

Anker Soundcore Mini

The Anker Soundcore Mini is a compact Bluetooth speaker that lets you stream music for up to 15 hours. It also features Micro SD support and AUX capability for versatility.

Sold by Amazon

Best Moleskine 2023 Weekly Notebook Planner

Moleskine 2023 Weekly Notebook Planner

This weekly planner has 144 pages, rounded corners and a bright yellow cover. The book opens flat to make writing easier.

Sold by Amazon

Best Conference Call Bingo Mouse Pad

Conference Call Bingo Mouse Pad

The next time you are engaged in a conference call, spice things up with a bingo mouse pad. For additional fun, you can personalize this item.

Sold by Amazon

Best Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

At under 5 inches wide, this Keurig can fit nearly anywhere. It makes a 6- to 12-ounce cup of coffee in just a few minutes.

Sold by AmazonBest Buy and Target

Best NBC The Office Worlds Best Boss Dunder Mifflin Ceramic Mug

NBC The Office “World’s Best Boss” Dunder Mifflin Ceramic Mug

This is the official “World’s Best Boss” mug that the NBC Store sells. This design was made popular by the widely loved TV show, “The Office.” It holds 15 ounces and features a large, easy-grip handle.

Sold by Amazon

Best MaxGear Mesh Desk Organizer

MaxGear Mesh Desk Organizer

The innovative design of this desk organizer lets you conveniently store pens, pencils, markers, erasers, paper clips, rubber bands, tape, sticky notes, cards, and more.

Sold by Amazon

Best Zulay Original Milk Frother

Zulay Original Milk Frother

A milk frother is a fun gadget you need to make foam for a cappuccino, a frappe, a matcha, a mug of hot chocolate and more.

Sold by AmazonHome Depot and Target

Best Costa Farms Mini Money Tree

Costa Farms Mini Money Tree

This tree ships at roughly 10 inches tall in a small 4-inch ceramic planter. It is an easy-to-care-for houseplant that helps purify the air. It is also said to bring good luck and prosperity to the owner.

Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


© 1998 - 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation