Who are the best tippers? Survey of customers finds out

Survey examined behavior at restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and hair salons

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Monday, July 10, 2017
Money

AUSTIN, Texas (WLS) -- A new survey examined behavior at restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and hair salons.

The best tippers are men, Republicans and northeasterners, according to a new report.

All of those groups tip a median of 20 percent when dining at a restaurant, according to CreditCards.com.

At the other end of the spectrum, women tip a median of 16 percent, while Democrats and southerners tip a median of 15 percent, the survey found.

One in five sit-down restaurant goers doesn't leave any gratuity at all occasionally. The sweet spot is a tip of 16-20 percent; about half of those who tip restaurant servers typically fall within this range. Between 11-15 percent is a distant second, the survey found.

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

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

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

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

While men tend to be more generous restaurant tippers than women, that doesn't apply to the other three categories. Women are more likely than men to tip:

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

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

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

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. PSRAI said they obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (500) and cell phone (502, including 329 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from June 22-25, 2017.

*Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.