How Has Tipping Changed Since 2019?

A new study explores the changing ways we tip

How do you rank your own tipping?
Kenny Eliason/Unsplash

Do you consider yourself a good tipper? According to a new survey on tipping — both in theory and in practice — 86% of all Americans believe themselves to be good tippers. A deeper dive into the results turns up some interesting clarifications on that, however — including the idea that 39% of those surveyed don’t tip at coffee shops.

The survey, from PlayUSA (via VinePair), offers a lot of data to ponder, with one of the primary takeaways being that the pandemic has changed tipping habits in a number of ways. In some cases, that relates to the amount being tipped — 26% say they’ve been tipping more since the pandemic began, while 8% say they’ve been tipping less over the same amount of time.

Another change in practices that roughly lines up with the pandemic is the increased number of tablets used in restaurants for paying a bill. This phenomenon has also led to some changes — including 51% saying that the use of tablets makes them pay more than they would have otherwise.

Looking even more deeply into the survey, it seems that perception goes a long way in informing how people tip. Of those surveyed, 49% tipped at local coffee shops, while only 27% do so at chains.

The pandemic isn’t the only widespread event to have left its mark on the tipping practices of Americans. Inflation has also had an impact there, with 17% of those interviewed saying that it’s gotten them to tip less. However, 10% of respondents said that they were now tipping more as a result of inflation. Where do your own tipping practices fit in here? There’s a lot more information where that came from.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.