If you find yourself experiencing tip fatigue, you’re not alone. Two-thirds of adults have a negative view of tipping, according to a recent study from Bankrate. The study, which questioned 2,437 U.S. adults from May 3-5, found that there’s been a steady decline in how often Americans are tipping for a number of services.
Bankrate found that in 2023, although most individuals (65%) who dine at sit-down restaurants still always tip their server, this is down from 73% in 2022, 75% in 2021 and 77% in 2019. So while people are still leaving tips - a Forbes study determined that 95% of people report tipping at least sometimes - who they tip, and how much, depends on a number of factors, including quality of service, complexity of order and service and wait times. According to Bankrate, 53% of adults always leave a tip or gratuity for hair stylists, compared to only 22% for baristas and 13% when picking up take-out.
“Inflation and general economic unease seem to be making Americans stingier with their tipping habits, yet we’re confronted with more invitations to tip than ever. It’s a fascinating issue with few clear answers. There is one apparent certainty, though: Tipping doesn’t seem likely to leave American society anytime soon.” says Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.
Negative views on tipping
Overall, Americans view tipping negatively for a number of reasons. Mark Hamrick, Bankrate senior economic analyst told Kiplinger: “In the past couple of years, consumers across all categories have been slammed by high and sustained inflation. In some cases, individuals may be deciding to be more or less generous with their tips as they try to manage through these financial headwinds.”
Here’s a breakdown of why people view tipping in a negative light, according to Bankrate.
- 41% feeling like businesses should pay their employees better rather than relying so much on tips
- 32% feeling annoyed about pre-entered tip screens
- 30% feeling that tipping culture has gotten out of control
- 16% saying they would be willing to pay higher prices if we could do away with tipping
- 15% being confused about who and how much to tip
Out of the 30% who feel that “tipping culture” has gotten out of control, this is mostly a view held among older generations, with 33% of baby boomers and 33% of Gen X agreeing with the sentiment, compared to only 22% of Gen Z and 27% of millennials. Despite this, however, baby boomers and Gen X aren’t the worst tippers.
Who are the worst tippers?
The study found that the worst tippers across multiple service categories were Gen Zers (ages 18-26), millennials (ages 27-42), and men.
“Those who are just starting out with their personal financial journeys, including careers, very often have less resources and flexibility with their money. By contrast, very broadly speaking, those who are more senior tend to have more established careers as well as more savings both for emergencies and retirement,” Hamrick told Kiplinger.
Baby boomers are the most likely to always leave a tip, while Gen Z is the least likely. Women are also more likely than men to leave a tip. The study also found that those in the Midwest were 16% more likely to always tip at a sit-down restaurant than Southerners or Westerners.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Gen Zers||Baby Boomers||Men||Women|
|Hairdresser, hair stylist or barber||24%||70%||46%||60%|
|Servers or waitstaff at a sit-down restaurant||35%||83%||60%||70%|
|Taxis or rideshares||22%||56%||36%||45%|
Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.
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