How Technology — and the Pandemic — Transformed Tipping

Generosity and gratuities in post-pandemic America

March 2022

Script

This video is part of our Kite & Key Shorts series—easy to understand...but hard to forget.

 

One positive effect of COVID: It seems to have made people more generous tippers.

Delivery drivers have gotten the lion’s share of this generosity. People now tip in 86% of remote transactions, compared to just 46% before the pandemic.i

That’s not the only way tipping has changed.

With automatically recommended tip amounts, the math is now easier than ever. And when companies increase the recommended gratuity … research has shown that customers tend to tip moreii (although raising it too high also increases the number of people who refuse to tip at all).

By the way, not all tippers are created equal.

The nation’s least generous customers are in Idaho, where they average a 16.77% gratuity.iii The most generous are in New Hampshire, where they tip 20.47% on average. Though, to be fair … New Hampshire also doesn’t have a sales tax.iv

The U.S. is actually an outlier when it comes to gratuities. Tipping is often unnecessary in Europe, where bills tend to already include a service charge.v And until recently, tipping was frowned on in China ... where it was seen as a feature of capitalism.

While most people are anxious to put the effects of COVID behind them … your servers would prefer to see pandemic-level tips hang around for good.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  1. People now tip in 86% of remote transactions, compared to just 46% before the pandemic.
  2. Research has shown that customers tend to tip more when companies increase the recommended gratuity.
  3. Idaho has the nation’s least generous tippers, while New Hampshire has the most generous.

Sources

  1. “Tipping Has Soared During the Pandemic” (Nathan Bomey)  Axios
  2. "The Effects of Tip Recommendations on Customer Tipping, Satisfaction, Repatronage, and Spending" (Damon Alexander, Christopher Boone, Michael Lynn) Management Science
  3. "The United States of Tipping" — Moneypenny 
  4. "Frequently Asked Questions" — New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration
  5. "A Traveler’s Guide to International Tipping" (John Mariani)  Forbes

Shownotes

SOUND: Smilesville (Dwayne Russell)

FOOTAGE: Sam Dun Truong (Unsplash

CITED SOURCES AND NEWS OUTLETS ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH AND HAVE NOT ENDORSED OR SPONSORED ANY PORTION OF THIS PRODUCTION.

Sources

  1. Axios
    “Tipping Has Soared During the Pandemic” (Nathan Bomey) 
  2. Management Science
    "The Effects of Tip Recommendations on Customer Tipping, Satisfaction, Repatronage, and Spending" (Damon Alexander, Christopher Boone, Michael Lynn) 
  3. Moneypenny
    "The United States of Tipping"
  4. New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration
    "Frequently Asked Questions" 
  5. Forbes
    "A Traveler’s Guide to International Tipping" (John Mariani) 

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