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Americans tip less than before the COVID-19 pandemic: Survey

Americans are skipping out on tipping more than they used to. In 2020 and 2021, more than a third of Americans pledged to become better tippers, but it appears that sentiment is gone, according to a new survey from CreditCards.com.

Blame a combination of inflation limiting customers' purchasing power and short-staffed businesses struggling to provide "top-notch" experiences, said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

The survey found the amount of Americans who "always tip" decreased in 2022 compared to 2019 levels for all of the following service industry employees: sit-down restaurants, food delivery people, taxi and rideshare drivers, hotel housekeepers and coffee shop baristas.

In 2022, the amount of Americans that always tipped restaurant servers was 73%, followed by food delivery people, 57%, taxi and rideshare drivers, 43%, hotel housekeepers, 27% and coffee shop baristas, 22%.

Meanwhile in 2019, 77% of Americans "always" tipped restaurant servers followed by food delivery workers, 63%, taxi and rideshare drivers, 49%, hotel housekeepers saw the same amount as 2022, 27% and coffee shop baristas, 24%.

The one bright spot — hairstylists and barbers. In this category, two thirds of Americans (66%) say they always tip, compared to 63% in 2019 and 2021.

However, there was a stark difference for leaving tips when it comes to self-pickup for takeout food. In 2021, as restaurants were struggling to recover, 17% Americans always left a tip, compared to 13% this year so far.

Age, gender, total income impacts tipping

NEWPORT BEACH, CA - May 04: A waitress talks with customers at OEB Breakfast Co. in Newport Beach, CA on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. This is the second OEB in the U.S. after one in Scottsdale, Arizona. The menu is by classically trained chef and OEB founder Mauro Martina. (Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - May 04: A waitress talks with customers at OEB Breakfast Co. in Newport Beach, CA on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. This is the second OEB in the U.S. after one in Scottsdale, Arizona. The menu is by classically trained chef and OEB founder Mauro Martina. (Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

It turns out Gen Zers are more generous with tips compared to millennials. Gen Zers typically leave a 26% tip, while millennials leave 24%. Gen Xers and boomers are a bit more frugal. Gen Xers leave an average tip of 20%, and boomers give 19% on average.

The survey also found that more than four in 10, 43% of combined Gen Z and millennial restaurant goers "leave nothing at least some of the time."

And it turns out that men are are a tad more generous. The median tip for both genders is 20% at restaurants. However, men typically give 22%, while women typically give 20%. However, men are more likely to leave nothing.

Those making more income, the amount of their tip typically is more. For those with an annual household income of $50,000, the average tip is 20%, which then increases to 21% between $50,000 and $79,999, to 22% between $80,000 and $99,999 and 26% at $100,000+.

Recommendations prompt bigger tips
Apps and tipping suggestions inspire some Americans to tip more often. While 62% think their tipping habits are the same when provided with amounts, 26% are inspired to tip more, though 12% are actually inclined to tip less. Gen Zers are most inclined to use the recommend tips, while Boomers are least inclined.

The survey, commissioned by YouGov, was conducted among 2,610 U.S. adults between May 11 to 13, 2022.

Brooke DiPalma is a producer and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.

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