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Tipping Less Than 20% Will Make You Seem Cheap

When it comes to tipping waiters, 15% no longer cuts it.

That's according to a new study from data provider PayScale, which finds that the typical American leaves tips of more than 19% for wait staff. The finding largely holds true across generations, regions, income brackets, and genders, suggesting that bigger tips are part of a widespread cultural shift.

"It's something that has been evolving over time, that the standard of 15% has been changing," said Katie Bardaro, lead economist for PayScale. "It seems to be an overall migration."

Here's a quick breakdown of the data:

Both men and women tip waiters generously, at nearly 20%.

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Most income brackets tip generously as well, though people making less than $25,000 still stick closer to 15%.

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Of the regions in the U.S. that are defined by the Census, New England tips the most. The West South Central region (that's Arkansas, Lousiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) tips the least.

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It's important to keep in mind that the tips waiters get make up the bulk of their income. According to PayScale's data, waiters make 62.71% of their hourly income from tips. That's second only to gaming dealers.

"When you don't tip your waiter, you're actually costing them a large portion of their take-home pay," Bardaro says.



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