Survey: American Tipping Lulls Despite Pandemic Promises

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Back in 2020, when the world took a collective pause on dining out, more than a third of Americans vowed to never take the service industry for granted again— tipping appropriately to show gratitude. But according to a recent survey from, that sentiment didn't last long, as the percentage for tipping at sit-down restaurants in the United States continues to drop.

The number of restaurant guests who always tip servers or waitstaff has decreased from 75 percent in 2021 to 73 percent this year, the survey says. Looking at those numbers alone, it would appear Americans are worse tippers now than before the pandemic.

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WBZ's Drew Moholland spoke to server Chris Fitz-Grace in Salem about the drop-off in gratuity, and asked if he felt compensation had improved at any point after the COVID-19 pandemic or not.

"Last year— definitely. It's calmed down a little bit, a lot of people still think that 15 percent is for good service, but it's still just 20 percent," Fitz-Grace said.

Among generations, the survey shows 52 percent of Gen Z (ages 18 to 25) tip when they go to sit-down restaurants, while older guests are more likely to tip. According to, 60 percent of millennials (ages 26 to 41) always tip, as do 77 percent of Gen X (ages 42 to 57) and 87 percent of baby boomers (ages 58 to 76).

"20 percent if you like your waiter or waitress— 15 percent just isn't good anymore," Fitz-Grace said.

WBZ's Drew Moholland (@DrewWBZ) reports.

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