Americans might be done with tipping

Paul HiebertData Journalist
September 05, 2017, 5:00 PM GMT+0

44% of US adults think we should drop tipping and boost wages, while 36% prefer the current system

Perhaps it's the growing prevalence of tip jars placed next to cash registers, but Americans seem to be souring on the practice of tipping. And it's not because they're becoming increasingly cheap, either.

A new YouGov poll shows that while 36% of US adults are fine with the current custom of tipping workers such as wait staff, hotel staff, and taxi drivers, an even greater percentage (44%) favor paying these workers a higher wage and doing away with tips altogether.

This sentiment, however, wasn't the case four years ago, when a YouGov survey found that 36% of people supported the idea of replacing tips with higher wages, compared to 40% who thought the current system should remain in place.

When it comes to tipping a server at a restaurant, 32% of respondents said they always tip at a set percentage, regardless of the food or service, while 49% generally leave a tip that reflects the quality of food and service. If the experience was terrible, for example, the latter group say that they would walk away without leaving a cent.

Additional data explores which professions Americans think are most deserving of a tip. At 71%, US adults are most likely to think restaurant servers should get a little something extra for their efforts. This is followed by food delivery persons (62%), bartenders (56%), and hotel bellhops (55%). At the bottom of the list are tailors (6%), flight attendants (4%), and grocery store cashiers (3%).

Further numbers suggest that over a third of US adults feel it's unclear when they're supposed to leave a tip after receiving a service if they aren't prompted to do so. At the same time, nearly one in five said they feel uncomfortable when leaving a tip in general.

See full 2017 results here

See full 2013 results here