California; Hayward — Gen Z’s tipping culture across generations reveals several interesting facts pertaining to young adults. According to a survey conducted by Bankrate, Gen Z is the least likely generation to tip service workers compared to Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers. The study found that tipping behavior correlates with age, with older generations being more inclined to tip.
Only 35% of Gen Z said they always tip at sit-down restaurants, whereas 83% of Baby Boomers surveyed reported always tipping. The trend continues when it comes to tipping hairdressers and barbers, with only 24% of Gen Z respondents adding gratuity compared to 70% of Baby Boomers. However, Gen Z folks are the most likely to tip for home services or repairs, with 15% reporting always tipping, while Baby Boomers are the least likely at 6%, according to the New York Post.
The responses also revealed differences in tipping behavior based on gender. Men were found to be less likely than women to tip service workers across various industries, particularly at salons and barbershops. Overall, the study noted a decline in tipping rates among Americans for all services. The percentage of adults who always leave a tip for restaurant servers, the most commonly tipped service, decreased by 10 percentage points in just two years, from 75% in 2021 to 65% in 2023. Similarly, the number of adults tipping hair stylists and barbers dropped from 63% to 53% during the same period.
The survey highlighted a perception among Americans that tipping culture has become excessive, with nearly 1 in 3 respondents believing it has gotten out of control in recent years. Older generations, despite being the best tippers, expressed the most frustration with the proliferation of tip screens in various establishments. Approximately 33% of Baby Boomers and Gen X people felt tipping culture had gone overboard, compared to 27% of Millennials and 22% of Gen Z people.
There was also the issue of minimum wage for tipped workers, which stands at just $2.13 per hour according to the US Department of Labor. Two in five adults surveyed believed that businesses should pay their employees better instead of relying on customers to bridge the gap with tips.
Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.
Edited by Nykeya Woods