News Nov 13, 2023 12:01 AM EST

New Poll Shows More Than 57% Americans Are Not Tipping Enough

By April Fowell

According to a recent survey, a large number of Americans undertip their waiters.

The survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, with 12,000 participants, released on Thursday showed that 57 percent of American diners tip 15 percent or less for a standard sit-down lunch, with 2 percent of respondents saying they wouldn't give a tip at all. Only around 22 percent of respondents stated they would leave a tip of 20 percent or more.

Accordin to the survey, people's gratuity amounts vary according on their age, income, and other characteristics. Meanwhile, younger folks are somewhat more inclined to tip generously than older adults, who often behave more frugally with their money.

The location matters a lot to certain people. Just over 25 percent of Americans say they regularly or frequently tip at fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle and Sweetgreen, or at brief visits to coffee shops, according to Pew.

Higher Expectations Lead to a Growing Frustration

Frustration about the expectation to leave tips in an expanding number of circumstances outside of restaurants was one of the complaints expressed by those questioned.

Seventy-two percent of respondents to the survey stated that more locations now anticipate tips than they did five years ago. Merely around 33 percent of participants indicated that they have no trouble figuring out when and how much to tip for various services, such as pet sitting and meal delivery.

Many pubs and nightclubs now include a tip in the bill, usually ranging from 18 to 25 percent, to eliminate some guessing and guarantee that their personnel receives appropriate gratuities.

While most Americans know it's customary to tip when they eat at a restaurant, there appears to be some confusion over tipping in other contexts. A lot of individuals are unsure about whether and how much to tip for services like haircuts, ridesharing, and hotel stays.

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Inequities in the Hospitality Industry

Traditionally, tipping has been a customary practice, with patrons leaving a percentage of their bill as a gesture of appreciation for service. However, a growing movement is challenging this long-standing tradition, advocating for fair wages for restaurant staff and pushing for an end to the reliance on tips.

This movement, gaining momentum in various cities, underscores the inequities in the hospitality industry, where servers often depend on tips to make up for subpar base wages. Proponents argue that a fairer system would involve paying restaurant workers a livable wage, eliminating the need for customers to bridge the income gap through tipping. As conversations around income equality and fair labor practices continue to gain traction, the future of tipping in the American dining experience remains uncertain, prompting both diners and industry insiders to contemplate the implications of this potential paradigm shift.

As more establishments experiment with inclusive tipping models, the debate surrounding fair compensation for service workers is likely to intensify, urging both consumers and the industry to reevaluate the norms that have long governed tipping practices.

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