Americans are Fed Up With Tipping: What’s Causing the Change in Attitudes?

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Is America getting sick of tipping? Recently-released data seems to show that people are being a bit more stingy with the contents of their wallets and purses. There are likely several reasons for the shift in attitudes towards the practice and it could become part of an overall debate over tipping in general.


Bankrate published the results of a survey showing that most Americans have a negative opinion of tipping:

Roughly two in three (66 percent) U.S. adults have a negative view about tipping, according to the survey. Americans said they believe businesses should pay employees better rather than relying so much on tips (41 percent), they’re annoyed about pre-entered tip screens (32 percent), they feel that tipping culture has gotten out of control (30 percent), they’re confused about who and how much to tip (15 percent), and they would be willing to pay higher prices if we could do away with tipping (16 percent).

Despite annoyances, people haven’t stopped tipping for everyday services. More than two-fifths (44 percent) of U.S. adults who dine at sit-down restaurants typically tip at least 20 percent. But when it comes to many tipped services, such as hair stylists, food delivery, taxis and more, everyone approaches tipping differently.

Adding to the negative opinions of tipping is the reality that the practice has become more complicated than in the past. Indeed, a significant chunk of the population believes tipping has “gotten out of control” according to the report:

Americans can be quite confused about when and how much to tip in 2023. Though more businesses, like coffee shops and food trucks, encourage tipping during payment, not everyone likes being encouraged to tip, especially if the suggestions are a high amount. Around one in three (30 percent) U.S. adults told Bankrate they think tipping culture has gotten out of control. Older Americans tend to think tipping culture has gotten out of control more frequently than younger generations:

Gen Z: 22 percent

Millennials: 27 percent

Gen X: 33 percent

Baby boomers: 33 percent


Much of the frustration seems to be centered on pre-entered tip screens, which appear when one is paying for various products and services. If you’re anything like me, you have likely felt pressured to tip when going to your favorite coffee shop and the cashier turns the screen toward you to choose whether you want to tip 18, 20, or 23 percent.

Of course, there is always the “no tip” option, but who wants to be the jerk who pushes that button?

“It’s not like I can just wait and that tip screen will go away,” Michael Lynn, a consumer behavior professor at Cornell University, said in an interview with Axios. “I have to actively say ‘no, I’m not going to tip.’ That is a harder thing to do than to passively let it go by or ignore it.”

The survey found that 32 percent of respondents indicated they are “annoyed about pre-entered tip screens” and 18 percent said they “tend to tip less” when presented with the screens. About 41 percent believed that “businesses should pay their employees better rather than relying so much on tips.”

I’ve had these discussions with other folks who have soured on the idea of tipping. One the biggest qualms I’ve seen people have with tipping nowadays are those damned tip screens. They are everywhere. When I go to grab a regular cup of coffee (not the fancy-shmancy espresso drinks), the cashier turns the screen toward me which seems to read “if you don’t enter a tip for the guy pouring your drink into a cup, you are a gigantic a-hole.”


Even if I go to buy a vape pen, that screen follows me, daring me not to tip the guy that handed me the product I’m already paying for. We simply cannot escape these things, can we?

I’ve never minded tipping at restaurants, car washes, and any other establishment where I am actually getting a service. In fact, even at coffee shops, when I do feel like ordering a fancy coffee drink that I will drink with my pinky raise, I think tipping is appropriate. But the fact that we are now expected to tip just for someone to hand us a product lends credibility to the notion that tipping has gotten out of control.

But, as the report indicated, the pre-entered tip screens are not likely to go away anytime soon. If companies want people to start tipping at previous levels, however, they better find a way to get tips without pressuring folks.


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