When it comes to dining, tipping at least 15% to 20% is traditional etiquette, say experts.
It seems many Americans disagree.
Almost 1 in 5, 18%, of people tip less than 15% for an average meal at a sit-down restaurant — and an additional 2% tip nothing at all, according to a Pew Research Center survey, which polled 11,945 U.S. adults. More than a third, 37%, said 15% is their standard tip.
«That did surprise me,» Drew DeSilver, co-author of the study, said of finding that more than half of people, 57%, tip 15% or less.
«The U.S. has a more highly developed tipping culture than most other countries,» he added. «But there's such a lack of agreement about [it].»
Pew hasn't done historical polling on tips, so it's unclear how these shares have trended over time.
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Americans are more likely to tip for a sit-down meal than any other service: Two-thirds of U.S. adults always tip a server when they dine, according to Bankrate. The Pew survey found that 81% always tip for a restaurant meal, a higher percentage than tip for haircuts, food delivery, buying a drink at a bar or using a taxi or rideshare service, for example.
Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman recommends tipping 15% to 20% for sit-down restaurant service in 2023.
However, studies suggest "tip fatigue" has led tip amounts to decline recently. For example, the average nationwide tip at full-service restaurants fell to 19.4% of the total check in the second quarter of 2023 — the lowest amount since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Toast data.
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