Question of the Day: What is the most common tipping percentage in the U.S.?

How much do most people leave as a tip for the hard-working people who serve their food?

 

Answer: 18-21.9%

 

 

 

Questions:

  • What is your tipping policy? Is it consistent or does it depend on certain circumstances? 
  • Have you ever worked at a job where part of your compensation was based on tips? Did it affect how you treated customers? 
  • What do you think are the factors that impact how much people tip? How do you think income, gender or age influence tipping practices?
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    Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

     

    Behind the numbers (Finder):

    "If you work for tips, I’ve got both good and bad news. About two-fifths (43%) of the adult population tip their wait staff between 18% and 21.9% on average. A further 15% say they leave an average 22% to 26% of the bill as a gratuity, and another roughly 6% say they leave a tip of more than 26%. So, that’s 64% of the population being decent about acknowledging good service — or about 163 million Americans.

    And yet, there’s still 36% of the population out there leaving less than 18%, representing about 91.5 million Americans. If you’re waiting tables, it means you’ve got about a 1 in 3 chance of providing service to someone that’s less than generous with their tipping to the tune of less than 18% of the bill.

    Of those who tip under 18% on average, 17% say they leave between 14% and 17.9%, 10% say they drop 10% to 13.9% and nearly 2% saying they leave less than 10%. Remarkably, a little over 7% of American adults say they don’t tip at all — almost 19 million people."

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    On the subject of tips, can you make any as an Uber driver? Try this Uber driver simulation in the NGPF Arcade and find out.

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    Want to learn more about the rationale behind our financial decision making? Check out NGPF's Behavioral Economics unit.

    Question of the Day: What is the most common tipping percentage in the U.S.?