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Forbes Survey Gauges Americans’ Current Tipping Practices


How do Americans currently feel about tipping at hotels? A new survey by Forbes Advisor revealed that 22 percent of Americans do not think they should have to tip hotel employees. That is just one of the findings about tipping from the survey of 2,000 Americans by market research company OnePoll. Some additional findings:

  • Sit-down restaurants is where people tip the most (58 percent). For hotel services: 24 percent.
  • A vast majority of respondents (64 percent) reported leaving a tip at least 11 percent higher when they tip digitally compared with tipping in cash. It’s possible that buyers don’t feel the impact of a tip as much when selecting a tip amount on a screen versus pulling cash out of their wallet. Or they might simply be restrained to the amount of cash they have on hand when tipping in cash.
  • The increased awareness in recent years around working conditions and pay for service workers has likely impacted how some people feel about tipping. About a third (32 percent) of respondents reported tipping more now than before the Covid-19 pandemic. Another 28 percent tip less and 37 percent tip about the same now as before the pandemic.
  • The annual inflation rate of 8.2 percent in 2022 hit Americans hard in a lot of areas, but they’re split on whether it’s affected their tipping habits. About a third (32 percent) of respondents reported tipping less now than they did before recent price increases, while 27 percent tip more and 37 percent tip the same as before.
  • In general, customers aren’t leaving service workers hanging. Most people reported always tipping, and 95 percent of people report tipping at least sometimes.
  • Age makes a difference. People aged 59 and older were the most likely to report that they always tip. Over 60 percent of people aged 59 to 77 reported always tipping, compared to only 33 percent of respondents aged 27 to 42. However, respondents 27 to 42 were the most likely of any age group to report tipping more than 25 percent.
  • Male respondents were slightly more likely to report always tipping—45 percent compared with 39 percent of female respondents.
  • Over 70 percent of respondents reported that the quality of service they receive impacts how much they choose to tip. Respondents’ personal budgets, wait times and level of complexity of the order make up most other factors.