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Millennials Make For The Worst Tippers

Millennials have it tough. They get blamed for a lot of things, from killing off many industries, to not saving enough for their retirements, to killing the institution of marriage. They’ve heard it all. They’ve been accused to being miserly and not wanting to spend money. And to add to this painfully long list of accusations, here’s a new one: ‘The millennial generation (aged 18 to 37) are cheap when it comes to tipping servers at restaurants’. Well, at least a May 2018 survey by of 1000 participants says so.  This really isn’t great news for the waitstaff serving any millennials.

What the survey found

When it’s the question of tipping the servers after a sit down meal (where your food is brought to the table by a server), the etiquette gurus usually suggest that you leave a standard 18-20% of the meal’s value as a tip expressing gratitude to the servers. When millennials dine out, they leave a 15 percent tip on an average. To add to this, about 1 in 10 younger adults said that they usually leave no tip whatsoever.  The survey also said that 63% of the millennials generally left lower than 20% as a tip, compared to less than the half of the tippers who were older than 38.

Even with the latest payment systems in which the tipping options are already entered and pre-fed into the system, the millennials remained reluctant to part with their money. Around 14% of the millennials mostly picked the lowest among the suggested tipping amount. The average tip, which a millennial left their server, was about 15%, which is lesser than the overall average of the tippers at 18%.

Ditch the Millennial

The survey report went on to say that the good folks who were above 38 years tended to be more free-handed, with little over half of them (51% to be precise) choosing to leave behind a 20% tip. Older generations were revealed to be more benevolent, with only 9% of the Gen-X tippers and 5% of Baby Boomers choosing to go with the cheapest option available.

What’s interesting is that the millennials said they would much rather spend more money on their food when dining out, instead of dishing out a tip. More than one-quarters of the millennials surveyed, (27%) said that they would pay more. That number is even higher among the younger millennials, aged 18 to 27, with 30% of the respondents saying that they’d pay more for their food and do away with the tip.

Why are the Millennials averse to tipping?

When you think bout it, it’s not entirely surprising that the millennial generation tips lesser than the older generations: They generally have lesser money to spend. However, millennials are also most likely to have been recently employed or currently working in waitstaff roles, so one might expect them to tip more.

To be fair, people have jobs, but may not be getting sufficient rasies, and of course life is expensive for someone who may be trying to pay off a student loan or any kind of debt. On the other hand, the data reveals that millennials are usually conservative with their money, which makes a lot of sense when we understand that they came of age around the ‘Great Recession’, which might have impacted their saving and spending habits, strongly.

A new tipping style

The young generation has suggested that they would like to see changes in the way America tips, as many sided with a more European approach to dining out. Around 27% of millennials said that they would prefer paying higher prices for their food and foot the bill which includes the service charge, thus cutting out the tipping component entirely.

Meanwhile, the older generation prefers the traditional tipping system, with only 1 in 4 Gen Xers, (aged 38 to 53), and only 13% of Baby Boomers, (aged 54 to 72), saying that they would not pay for higher food prices in place of tipping.

The problem in tipping less

It’s one thing to be stingy and leave a small tip, but another to leave no tip at all. Especially when in industries such as the food, transportation and other services, people need those tips to keep afloat. You not tipping a waiter could potentially mean that you’re taking food off of their tables, which is not just a question of following good etiquettes anymore.

If you’re reliant on tips, the survey results suggest you would want to serve the older Americans and women. Close to 55% of the people aged 65+ said they leave behind 20% or more as tips, while the average tip from the ladies is 20%, as compared to the lesser 16% by the gentlemen.

Even if you’re a millennial or not, it really wouldn’t hurt to part with a few extra bucks just to ensure that someone else is able to run their house, eat dinner or pay off their student loans.

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