Tipping is a widely accepted part of our culture. We realized recently just how much we actually spend on goods and services when we have to add on a tip. It got us wondering – what motivates people to tip? Our most recent survey showed that the motivations behind leaving a tip are service quality and economic conditions.
Nearly one-third (32 percent) of U.S. adults said they haven’t left a tip after receiving less than average service. In addition, more than one-in-five (21 percent) tippers report they tip less when the economy is down.
Regardless of economic conditions, restaurant staff members are the most likely to receive tips. When asked which types of the following people or services they typically feel obligated to leave a tip, U.S. adults said the following:
- Restaurant staff (including wait staff, take out coordinator, maitre d’)– 87 percent
- Hairstylist – 68 percent
- Bartender – 59 percent
- Taxi, car or limo driver – 55 percent
- Valet – 51 percent
- Bellhop – 50 percent
- Beauty treatment provider (manicures, pedicures, waxing,
etc…) – 40 percent
- Spa treatment provider (massages, facials, skin treatments, etc…) – 33 percent
- Restroom attendant – 21 percent
- Home delivery (new furniture, appliances, etc…) – 19 percent
When it comes to how much people tip in restaurants, many report leaving gratuity above the old standby of 15 percent. More than half (51 percent) said they typically tip 16 percent or higher for average service in a restaurant. Seven percent said they tip 21 percent or higher.
Do you typically leave less when a server spills on you, forgets an order or generally gives bad service? On the flip side, nearly one-third (32 percent) said they tip between 11 percent and 15 percent for average service. Thirteen percent said they tip 10 percent or less for average service.
Many U.S. adults who tip admitted that tipping has been a burden to their finances. In fact, 46 percent report that they have tipped, even when they couldn’t afford it, because they felt pressure to do so.
While tipping is often expected for services rendered, U.S. adults shared reasons why they tip, including:
- Want to give a reward for good work – 62 percent
- Because I feel I have to – 20 percent
- Want to receive good service in the future – 7 percent
- Other – 9 percent
Whether you’re at a restaurant or receiving services from other professionals, factor the tip into the overall cost. It’s easy to forget that the tip could push you over your budget, so plan accordingly. Take the time to add in the tip ahead of time and if it exceeds your budget, seek out less expensive services or make alternative plans.
In what situations do you tip and how much do you typically leave?