Recent survey shows change in restaurant tipping habits

Tipping can be a touchy subject.

Originally meant to be a way to acknowledge standout service, nowadays it’s the virtual tip jar that seems to be everywhere.

While there was a push to help the restaurant industry during the pandemic, a recent survey shows tipping has started to drop.

“We probably eat out three or four nights a week,” said Dave Ferguson. “For me, I think just the same — I always do 20% unless it’s really bad.”

Some people feel differently when it comes to tipping outside of a full-service restaurant.

“You didn’t do anything, I just walked up to the window and bought it, but you did turn it around for me to leave you a tip,” said Leslie Gray.

Some say they feel pressured when the kiosk is turned around, asking if they’d like to leave a tip.

“I almost feel like I’m suckered in. Like I got to give something,” said Vershion Butler. “I’m under pressure a little bit.”

A recent survey shows tipping for takeout food peaked at the height of the pandemic. It has since lowered, but it’s still up from 2019.

“With the pandemic, everything changed,” said Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Texas. “What were meant to be temporary fixes are now standards, so there is a gratuity that is often expected that goes along with that.”

On average, Americans tip nearly 20% for sit-down meals. Gratuities drop about 14% on other goods and services.