WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

New survey reveals tipping habits of men and women

Posted July 10 Tipping Chart

A new survey from shows who tips the most and who tips the least.

They found that the best tippers are men, Republicans, northeasterners and credit/debit card users. All of these groups tip a median of 20% when dining at a restaurant.

The worst tippers? Women tip a median of 16% and Democrats, southerners and cash users tip a median of 15%.

The survey also examined Americans' tipping habits at hotels, coffee shops and hair salons/barber shops:

-- 27% of hotel customers always tip their housekeeper; 31% never do.

-- 29% who visit coffee shops always tip their barista; 30% never do.

-- 67% always tip their hair stylist/barber; 12% never do.

But, women are more likely than men to tip:

-- Hotel housekeepers (47% of women always/mostly do so, versus just 33% of men)

-- Baristas (47% of women always/mostly tip compared with 41% of men)

-- Hair stylists/barbers (79% of women always/mostly tip against 74% of men)

They also found that one in five sit-down restaurant goers doesn’t leave any gratuity at all, at least occasionally. The sweet spot is a tip of 16-20%; about half of those who tip restaurant servers typically fall within this range. Between 11-15% is a distant second.

“I was definitely surprised by how many people tip over 15%, but I was also surprised by how many people never tip at all at a restaurant,” said Matt Schulz,’s senior industry analyst. “How is that even possible? I’m guessing they don't get very good service on their next visit.”

The survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample adults living in the United States from June 22-25, 2017.

What do you usually tip at restaurants?

Do you tip your hair dresser, barista or hotel maid?

See more details about this survey at


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  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Jul 10, 12:44 p.m.

    Stephanie - Thanks for sharing your tipping habits. I also start at 20% for restaurants and go up and down from there depending on similar factors. And I love your car wash tipping remarks. Too funny!

  • senglish27529 Jul 10, 12:10 p.m.

    20% is my starting point at sit-down restaurants, and I adjust from there based on a variety of factors. My "favorite" waitress, who we visit with frequently, gets more... And while I almost always pay my check with a credit card, I tip in cash.

    When I traveled frequently for business, I got in the habit of remembering to tip my hotel maid, on multi-night stays especially. I somehow feel that they are more likely to respect my "stuff" if I do. :-)

    Now, the young men at the carwash who wipe down my baby after she goes through the wash tunnel get rewarded... Oh yeah, my car loves it when the college boys work their magic on her.