Which generation is worst at tipping in America?

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Have you ever wondered which American generation is the worst at tipping in restaurants? Neither have we. But, one study conducted this week showed just which generation is most likely to give a bad tip for service, no matter how good or bad it was.

According to CreditCards.com research, there’s a clear winner in the tipping department. Is it budget-conscious boomers? Uptight millennials? Inexperienced GenZ’ers?

Millennial and Generation Z consumers are less likely to tip everyone from the barista at a corner coffee shop to the Uber driver taking them to the airport, and the pandemic hasn’t increased the percentage of service users who say they always tip, a new CreditCards.com tipping survey found.

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Of all the tipping scenarios presented in the June 2021 online survey of 2,573 U.S. adults, sit-down dining is most likely to garner a tip. About 75% of customers who eat in sit-down restaurants say they always tip, and only 5% say they never tip, according to the survey


The likelihood of tipping servers at sit-down restaurants increases with age. For example, only 49% of Gen Z consumers claim to always tip, compared to 84% of baby boomers.

It’s also interesting to note that 82% of Gen Zers got their first work experience in a restaurant, according to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. National etiquette expert Diane Gottsman teaches college students who tell her their service work experience has made them better tippers.

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It seems many Americans at least had plans to tip more generously due to empathy for the difficulties faced by service workers and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey found that more than two out of three (67%) U.S. adults want to help businesses and workers who lost money during the pandemic. In fact, 35% say they plan to tip service providers more generously while others say they plan to patronize local businesses more frequently (44%) or pay extra for existing services or pay for unused services (13%).

“While it’s encouraging that many say they will increase their tips, even more people projected that last summer, and our data suggests that didn’t end up happening,” Rossman said.

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