(NEXSTAR) – From tip screens at self-serve airport kiosks to 30% suggested amounts at coffee shops, tipping in 2023 has a majority of Americans fed up, a new survey found.
A Bankrate survey of 2,437 U.S. adults, ages 18 to 77, found that people in the U.S. are, on average, tipping less for everyday services in 2023 than in years prior, with some even saying they don’t tip at all when it comes to haircuts, rideshares and even sit-down restaurants.
“Few topics elicit as many passionate opinions as tipping,” Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst Rossman said. “There’s so much confusion regarding who to tip, and if so, how much. A lot is changing, as technology makes it easier to tip some people and harder to tip others – as travelers who are short on cash can attest.”
While 66% of Americans have a negative view of tipping, according to the study, some are hitting “no tip” on the swivel tablet more than others. Men, Gen Zers, and millennials are the worst tippers, the study found.
Women and baby boomers are tipping the most, according to Bankrate, but even 17% of baby boomers said they don’t always leave a tip when they sit down to eat at a restaurant. At hair salons and barbershops, that number is much larger – nearly a third.
Rossman said that inflation and the ever-increasing cost of many common goods cannot be ignored, but money may not be the only reason for a refusal to tip suggested amounts, or at all.
“Young adults Gen Z and millennials both are the most likely to say they’d like to do away with tipping,” Rossman said. “I think there’s kind of a social justice angle for a lot of young adults to think like, hey, this whole thing is not fair. Let’s just do away with it.”
The worst part of tipping in 2023?
So what’s driving the backlash? The biggest complaint was a feeling that businesses should pay their workers more instead of relying on tips – 41% of those polled agreed.
Despite men generally being less generous tippers, they weren’t as likely (37%) as women (44%) to say that employers should pay their workers better instead of relying on customer tips, the study found.
“Suddenly, these screens are at every establishment we encounter. They’re popping up online as well for online orders. And I fear that there is no end,” etiquette expert Thomas Farley, who considers the whole thing somewhat of “an invasion,” told the Associated Press earlier this year.
As much as people may say they hate them, they appear to be effective. Payment processor Square told NBC News that there was a 17% jump in the frequency of gratuities at full-service restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2022, year over year. For quick-service locations like coffee shops, that number was 16%.
As it turns out, those pre-entered tip screens are the second most common gripe (32%), followed by a perceived “out-of-control tipping culture” (30%) and confusion over who and how much to tip (15%).
When it comes to the percentage of people who say they always tip, the biggest declines were for sit-down restaurants (73% to 65%), hair stylists/barbers (66% to 53%), food delivery people (57% to 50 percent) and hotel housekeepers (27% to 23%).
“I think that really one of the biggest themes is that a lot of people feel like tipping culture has gone too far, that … we’re being asked for more tips in more unconventional settings,” Rossman told Nexstar.
So what will tipping look like in the future? Rossman said he believes tipping will continue to get more digital in the U.S., but we’ll likely be stuck with those tipping screens in some form or another going forward.
“I just think as this gets more and more common, it’s going to be hard to put the genie back in the bottle,” Rossman said. “I mean I think that the more companies are doing this the less risk there is to standing out and being the only establishment that’s doing this.”