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Tipping frustration reaches the boiling point: Is there a solution?

A new survey found nearly 59% of adults in the U.S. said they have negative views on tipping, and 35% say tipping culture is "out of control."
tipping
Posted at 8:39 AM, Jun 05, 2024

Tipping is popping up almost everywhere nowadays.

Dinner out? Need to tip. Coffee on the go? The shop requests a tip. Gatorade at a convenience store? There's even a tip jar for that.

And in some places, it's gone from customary to controversial.

A just-released survey from Bankrate found that negative views of tipping are now widespread, while a growing number of people now say it's out of control and are tipping less in some places.

We all love dining out on a beautiful day, but several people we spoke with enjoying an outdoor lunch said tipping has become too much.

"When the price of the meal goes up the tip goes up too," one diner said.

A tip jar on a counter

Money

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Scripps News Staff
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Chris Breeden owns a 100-year-old restaurant, Arnold's Bar and Grill, and said every night he sees cash-strapped diners struggle with the cost of leaving servers a generous tip.

"You try to explain it," Breeden said, "but people just want cheaper, especially when they are struggling with money themselves. It is not that they don't care, they just can't afford the meal plus a tip."

The Bankrate survey finds:

  • 59% of adults in the U.S. said they have negative views on tipping.
  • 35% say tipping culture is "out of control."
  • And 34% say they're especially annoyed by pre-entered tip screens on an iPad that give you specific options, often starting at an 18% tip, and going up to 25%.

Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, said: "Some of it is because businesses don't want to raise prices any more than they already have. They're sensitive to that."
The survey goes on to find:

  • The number of people who say they always tip at sit-down restaurants is down from 75% in 2021 to 67% in 2024.
  • For food delivery, the percentage giving a tip has dropped from 59% to 51%.
  • And when picking up takeout, where 17% tipped three years ago, just 11% tip now.
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Hospitality management professor David Corsun, of the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver, predicts an end to tipping in the years ahead.

He said some restaurants are already replacing tips with service charges "so that they can pay everybody in the front of the house and the back of the house a living wage and provide benefits.

"There's no way to do that in a tipped environment," he said.

Allegra Tinmore has been a hostess and waitress, and reminds us that restaurant workers rely on your tips to survive.

"They are getting paid something like $3 an hour and the rest is all tips," she said.

So help those servers as best you can, and that way you don't waste your money.

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