Inflation could turn Americans grumpy this holiday season, new data suggests.
In a survey of 1,000 consumers and 165 restaurant owners and operators across the United States this month, only 43% of consumers now tip their servers 20% or more, a significant drop from to 56% of customers last year. That’s according to a recent survey by restaurant technology company Popmenu, first reported by MarketWatch.
A separate survey by PlayUSA, an online gambling site, polled 1,006 people and found that 17% of Americans tip less due to rising costs, while 60% of Americans said they wanted to ditch tips altogether. tips.
Big Apple restaurant owners say the penny pinch is real.
“Everyone is afraid to spend money in this bad economy,” Sam Muscovic, owner of the new American tapas restaurant Sojourn Social on the Upper East Side, told the Post. “A lot of people tip 15% now.”
Before the pandemic, Muscovic automatically added 20% gratuity to the bill for parties of six or more, but in recent months, due to inflation, he said he lowered it to 18% and increased it. the price of dishes on the menu of $1.
“We had no choice. Otherwise, we cannot meet our obligations and pay salaries and rent,” he said.
Stathis Antonakopoulos, owner and chef of the Carnegie Diner & Cafe in Midtown, has also noticed a decrease in tips. Average consumer tips hover around 16%, down 3 percentage points from before the pandemic, when he said customers typically tip 19%.
Like many restaurants, the restaurant in Antonakopoulos offered and calculated tips of 15%, 18% and 20% on the bill. In October, they increased the suggested figures to 18%, 20% and 22%, to encourage higher tipping. But many still opt for less than 18%, Antonakopoulos said.
Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at Lending Tree, an online lending marketplace, said inflation has made it harder for Americans to give generously.
“Rising prices have reduced Americans’ margin of financial error to virtually zero. When that happens, people have to cut spending to make ends meet, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to tip less,” Schulz said.
But he noted that being a bad tip has moral implications.
“A few dollars here and there might not make too much of a difference in our own lives, but for the men and women who rely on tips to survive, it really matters a lot when people tip less,” did he declare.
And when it comes to eating out, if you can’t afford to tip 20%, he thinks you shouldn’t go to a restaurant to begin with.
“I understand people’s reluctance to tip when you get coffee or takeout, but chances are 20% won’t make a difference in your life.”
As the holidays approach and service workers rely on their annual tips, Schulz said cash-strapped Americans should prioritize those with whom they have longstanding relationships, whether your building staff, a barista or a hairdresser.
“We all know times are tough, so it may be necessary to budget,” he said. And, “even though we can’t give as much as we sometimes do, it’s still important to do something to show your appreciation.”