Among Americans, who are the most generous tippers? If you believe the results of a recent survey, if you’re in the service industry, you should hope that your next customer is a male Republican from the Northeast who’s a member of the Baby Boomer generation and pays on a credit card.
According to a telephone survey that CreditCards.com commissioned recently, people who belong to those groups say that they leave median tips of 20% in restaurants. Most other people leave tips of 15-16% in restaurants.
No tip, thanks
Those aren’t the only establishments where people expect to be tipped, though. The poll also asked people whether they tip at all in certain situations, and learned that around two-thirds of participants say that they always tip their hair stylists, 29% always tip coffee baristas, and 27% always tip the housekeeping staff in hotels.
Conversely, 12% said that they never tip their stylists, 30% never tip their baristas, and 31% never tip their housekeepers.
“I was definitely surprised by how many people tip over 15 percent, but I was also surprised by how many people never tip at all at a restaurant,” the site’s senior industry analyst said in a statement issued with the survey results. “I’m guessing they don’t get very good service on their next visit.”
Changing the norms
Some companies in the service industry have been trying to change the “default” tip in our heads, making the suggested amount on receipts begin at 17-18%. One TGI Friday’s receipt that a reader sent us a few years ago gave suggested tip amounts for 18%-25%, helpful for people who don’t want to do any math whatsoever.