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More Americans say they don't always tip their server, survey finds

Virus Outbreak Seasonal Workers
Posted at 7:18 AM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 14:57:20-04

Americans are tipping worse now than before the pandemic, according to new data from creditcards.com.

The number of people who report always tipping at sit-down restaurants dropped from 77% in 2019 to 73% in 2022.

Food delivery and ride share driver tips both went down 6%. Now, 57% said they tip their delivery driver, while 43% said they always tip their rideshare driver.

Although the survey didn't ask why experts said they have a pretty good explanation.

I think inflation is definitely a big part of it because people have less money to go around,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst with creditcards.com.

There are also fewer workers in the service industry, which could make people feel less inclined to tip.

“Sometimes, the fact that you waited a long time for a table or maybe the food wasn't quite right,” Rossman said. “I mean, that's not the server's fault restaurants, and other service industry businesses have had a hard time attracting workers.

"Now this is a little bit self-fulfilling in a way maybe because a lot of people left the service industry during the pandemic because of the virus, but also because it doesn't pay that well typically."

Rossman said young adults who have worked in the service industry are usually the best tippers, but it's also the same generation most likely to say the US should do away with tipping even if it means higher prices.

In reality, that hasn't really played out though,” Rossman said. “There have been some restaurants like Danny Meyer, for example who runs a bunch of restaurants in New York City, and he was one of the founders of Shake Shack, he tried to do away with tipping at his restaurants, and it was really not received well by customers and by staff.”

CreditCards.com found that hairstylists and barbers were the one exception to the decrease in tips. In 2019, 63% of Americans said they always tipped; now, it is 66%.