Workers Americans Usually Tip Survey 2023 — Bartenders, Waitpeople, & Food Delivery Drivers Top the List
We are now approaching the busy holiday travel season. Since it is the season of giving, we decided to create a survey that analyzes what situations Americans tip.
Which types of workers do Americans tip most? Which types of workers do Americans give gratuities least? Are there situations where Americans almost always tip? Please read below for answers to the tipping question and an analysis.
Table of Contents
When on vacation or at home, which of these people do you usually tip or would usually tip if you have not encountered it yet? (Check All that Apply.)
Respondents to our survey could select as many of these workers as they would generally tip. And the respondents were instructed to choose options they would tip even if they have yet to encounter them.
Note: Our survey only asks Americans to point out the types of workers they usually tip. The survey makes no inferences on how much they tip.
Here are the complete rankings of people Americans say they tip the most:
1. Bartenders. — 53.44%
2. Restaurant Dine-in Waitpeople. — 52.95%
3. Restaurant Delivery People. — 49.02%
4. Taxis and Rideshare Drivers like Uber and Lyft. — 44.20%
5. Hotel Housekeepers. — 39.00%
6. Baristas at Coffee Shops. — 35.95%
7. Valets. — 35.56%
8. Bellhops. — 34.18%
9. Shuttle Drivers. — 25.54%
10. Bathroom Attendants. — 23.28%
11. All-inclusive Vacation Employees. — 21.41%
12. Restaurant Takeout Staff. (call ahead or order in person) — 21.32%
13. Concierge. — 20.73%
14. Cruise Employees. — 20.63%
15. Buffet Servers. — 16.70%
16. Fast Food Employees. — 15.72%
Key Takeaways on the Employees Americans usually Tip Most
Bartenders are the most likely people for Americans to tip.
Bartenders are at the top of the list for American generosity regarding tipping. More than 53% of Americans said they usually tip their bartenders. The 53.44% of Americans that say they usually tip their bartender account for nearly 139 million people according to the latest census.
Restaurant Dine-in Waitpeople and Restaurant Delivery People come in second and third respectfully for people Americans are most likely to tip.
Restaurant Dine-in Waitpeople are the second most likely employees to be tipped at nearly 53%. The 52.95% equates to over 137 million people. Delivery employees (including DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats drivers) come in as the third most likely type of employee Americans will tip at 49.02%. This means more than 127 million American adults usually tip food delivery drivers.
Surprisingly, the top three people Americans usually tip are only at or slightly above 50%.
The most surprising takeaway for me is that the top three types of employees Americans usually tip are only at or slightly above 50%. I say this because I make an effort to always tip bartenders, waiters and waitresses, and food delivery drivers. Of course, there are some extreme instances where a tip may not be warranted. However, to say you don’t usually tip these people seems quite odd since their entire pay is typically based on tips.
More than 50% of American adults saying they don’t usually tip food delivery drivers means more than 132 million people are okay with ordering delivery from a restaurant and not tipping the driver. More than 122 million people are okay going to a sit-down restaurant and not tipping their waiter or waitress. And, nearly 121 million people are just fine with not tipping their bartenders. I understand times are tough with inflation and budget concerns. However, if Americans want the luxuries of eating out, food delivery, or going out for drinks, then they should remain generous. There can be a discussion of how much you should tip these three types of employees, but I don’t think there should be a discussion about if you should tip.
Fast Food Employees and Buffet Servers are the least likely people Americans usually give a gratuity on our list.
Tipping fast food employees and buffet servers is not something Americans usually do. Only 15.72% of Americans say they usually tip fast food employees. And, only 16.70% say they usually tip buffet servers. I might agree with fast food employees not being tipped since they typically do receive an hourly wage. However, I more often than not tip buffet servers since they usually also are the ones that clear your plates and will bring you any drinks you cannot serve yourself.
Women are more likely than men to say they always tip certain employees.
Women in our poll are significantly more likely to say they always tip than men. The biggest disparities in tipping for women vs men came in some of the most likely situations where Americans will always tip. 60.15% of women say they usually tip waiters and waitresses. However, only 44.75% of men say they do. 55.35% of women say they usually tip restaurant delivery people. However, only 41.81% of men say they do. 49.63% of American women say they usually tip taxis and rideshare drivers while only 38.03% of men say they do. The discussion about who usually tips more when they do tip is left for another survey.
The youngest generation of American adults aged 18-29 are the least likely to say they always tip certain employees.
American adults aged 18-29 are significantly less likely to say they always tip certain employees than other age groups. For example, only 35.65% of Americans aged 18-29 say they usually tip waiters or waitresses while 69.87% of American adults over age 60 say they usually do. Similarly, only 26.18% of Americans aged 18-29 usually tip hotel housekeepers while 50% of American adults over age 60 say they normally do. For shuttle drivers only 15.71% of Americans in the 18-29 age bracket usually tip while 32.05% of American adults over age 60 usually do. This trend continues for the majority of the other types of employees on our list as well. Again, the discussion about who usually tips more when they do tip is left for another survey.
The Vacationer Tipping Take
We at The Vacationer think tipping is important and we should take care of workers whenever possible. The Vacationer’s Phil Dengler has been known to throw down some particularly large tips. I think that tipping should always occur for tip-based employees such as waitpeople, delivery drivers, bartenders, and taxis or rideshare drivers. A few dollars likely won’t make a difference for you, but a few dollars from every customer can make a huge difference for these types of employees. If the tip makes or breaks your decision to use these services, maybe you should reconsider using them. Tip at your discretion for other hospitality employees that go out of the way for you such as valets, bellhops, and concierges. With that being said, never feel uncomfortable not tipping if you think it’s not right.
Tipping is certainly a very American concept as it’s usually expected more in America than anywhere else in the world. Since the pandemic began, the topic has become very polarizing with many different types of employees seeking more and larger tips. Many Americans are fed up and experiencing tipping fatigue with seeing tip screens pop up for every little thing they purchase now. I recently had a tip screen pop up to rent a bike in Virginia Beach! And, when these screens do pop up, some of the preselected tip options are for outrageous amounts. When I was in Bar Harbor, Maine getting ice cream, one of the tip options was for 100%! While it is certainly okay to tip 100% if you choose to do so, it likely should not be a preset tipping option for an ice cream cone.
This 2023 Americans Tipping Survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of The Vacationer. In total, 1,020 Americans over the age of 18 were polled on August 8. Of those surveyed, 46.76% were male and 53.24% were female. The age breakdown of participants included in this survey was 18.76% in the range 18-29, 28.88% in the range 30-44, 37.03% in the range 45-60, and 15.32% over 60. This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±3.134%. You can learn more about SurveyMonkey’s sampling method by clicking here.
The questions were chosen and the results were analyzed by the post author, Eric Jones, who is a Mathematics and Statistics Professor at Rowan College South Jersey.
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