A third of Americans say tipping culture is out of control: Survey

(KARAH RUCKER)

MORE AND MORE AMERICANS ARE STARTING TO THINK TIPPING CULTURE IS GETTING OUT OF CONTROL, ACCORDING TO A NEW SURVEY. THAT SAME SURVEY ALSO FOUND PEOPLE ARE GETTING STINGIER WHEN IT COMES TO TIPPING FOR CERTAIN SERVICES.

THE SURVEY BY FINANCE COMPARISON SITE BANKRATE LOOKED AT MULTIPLE CATEGORIES, INCLUDING TIPPING RESTAURANT WAITSTAFF, RIDESHARE AND TAXI DRIVERS, HAIRDRESSERS, AND FOOD DELIVERERS. IT FOUND TIPPING FREQUENCY ACROSS ALL CATEGORIES HAS DECLINED OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS.

BANKRATE FOUND THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS WHO THINK TIPPING CULTURE HAS GOTTEN OUT OF CONTROL IS UP 5% FROM LAST YEAR, TO 35 PERCENT. IT ALSO FOUND A LITTLE LESS THAN TWO-THIRDS HAVE SOME NEGATIVE PERCEPTION OF TIPPING.

OLDER GENERATIONS LIKE BABY BOOMERS AND GEN XERS HAVE MORE NEGATIVE ATTITUDES ABOUT TIPPING. BANKRATE FOUND 72% OF BABY BOOMERS AND 62% OF GEN XERS REPORTED HAVING AT LEAST ONE NEGATIVE VIEW ON THE MATTER.

IT WAS LOWER FOR YOUNGER GENERATIONS—WITH 51% OF MILLENNIALS AND 45% OF GEN ZERS REPORTING AT LEAST ONE NEGATIVE TAKE.

AND WHILE THE SURVEY FOUND THE PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS TIP FOR SERVICES LIKE A HAIRCUT, EATING AT A SIT-DOWN RESTAURANT, OR TAKING A TAXI RIDE ALL INCREASED SLIGHTLY COMPARED TO LAST YEAR—EACH IS DOWN AT LEAST 7% COMPARED TO 20-21.

THE SURVEY ALSO FOUND QUALITY OF SERVICE IS STILL THE BIGGEST FACTOR FOR MOST TIPPERS. SIXTY-FOUR PERCENT OF PEOPLE SAID THE AMOUNT THEY TIP IS BASED ON SERVICE. HOWEVER, 10 PERCENT SAID THEY ALWAYS TIP THE SAME AMOUNT, REGARDLESS OF SERVICE QUALITY.

A BIG DRIVING SOURCE BEHIND THE TIPPING BURNOUT COULD BE “TIPFLATION”– WIDESPREAD EXPANSION OF GRATUITY TO MORE INDUSTRIES. THINK ABOUT IT: IN RECENT YEARS, MORE OFTEN WHEN YOU USE A CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD TO MAKE A PURCHASE, YOU’RE ASKED IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE A TIP—EVEN IF YOU HAVE MINIMAL OR NO CONTACT WITH AN ACTUAL PERSON FACILITATING THE TRANSACTION.

IN FACT, 34% OF RESPONDENTS TO BANKRATE’S SURVEY SAID THEY WERE ANNOYED BY PRE-ENTERED TIP SCREENS. IT ALSO FOUND THOSE SCREENS CAN RESULT IN A SMALLER TIP.

JUST 14% OF PEOPLE SAID THEY TIP MORE WHEN GIVEN A PRE-ENTERED TIP SCREEN, WHILE 25% OF PEOPLE SAID THEY TIP LESS OR NOT AT ALL WHEN GIVEN ONE. IN FACT, THE SURVEY FOUND TIPPING FOR COFFEE SHOP BARISTAS, FURNITURE/APPLIANCE DELIVERY WORKERS, AND TAKEOUT FOOD WORKERS IS DOWN FROM 2023.

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