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Diamonds, oil, paper towels, Applebee’s… what will the ravenous millennial monster kill next? Well, according to CreditCards.com, the answer is tipping etiquette.
They polled a group aged 18 and older on their tipping habits and found that millennials are the cheapest tippers out of every age group. Bashing millennials is an easy-catch all for many underlying business issues these days but the survey does find some interesting data points. I was raised in a standard Midwestern household where giving anywhere between 15-20 percent based on the quality of service and experience was acceptable, regardless of your age. The benchmark for an average tip in this survey is 20 percent, so I’m not taking all of the conclusions they infer from the data as gospel.
Let’s break down a few of the biggest findings, per The Chicago Tribune.
10% of Millennials Don’t tip at All During a Dining Experience
In a civilized tip-friendly society, this number should be hovering around 0%. The only possible reason I can think of for you not to tip is if you get berated by a server, get a saliva-infused burger, or the restaurant has adapted the outlandish “European” style of including gratuity in the overall cost. There are very few times where this is the case. Yeah, this doesn’t look good for the 18 to 27-year-old crew, especially compared to the only 3 percent of older generations who blank on their bill. The only wiggle room I can see here is if someone bellies up for the bar for a liquid dinner and forgets to tip afterward or decides to tip in cash after tabbing out. Still, that’s a slippery slope.
Verdict: C’mon, folks.
Millennials Leave An Average Of 15% Gratuity
Knowing that the quantified age range of a Millennial in the survey ranges from teenager to seasoned PGPer, this average really isn’t that bad. I have vivid memories of raiding Applebee’s for half-priced apps following a high school football game. We ate like kings off deliciously dry boneless wings and excessively salty cheese dip, but we probably tipped like peasants. Mostly because we would tip based on the final bill total where everything was half-priced, not taking into account the full menu prices. Am I ashamed about that? Hell no. If an 18-year-old or college underclassmen is going to put down a fair and honest 15 percent tip, I don’t think there’s much to scoff at given their presumed limited finances. Now, once you get into post-grad life, the range of 18-20 percent is more acceptable, but balances out with the younger folks. Of course, Baby Boomers are “more generous,” dolling out 18-20 percent on average. I would be too if I had guaranteed Social Security and Medicaid coming my way.
Verdict: I can live with this.
Millennials Should Tip Better Because The Typical Restaurant Worker Is A Millennial
Okay, this one kind of got to me. The CreditCards.com guy even went as far to call it “self-defeating,” because apparently, millennials exist in a completely isolated economy from the rest of the American population where only millennials pay and charge millennials for goods and services. I can guarantee you I don’t care what the age of my waiter is, as long as they provide decent service, they’ll get a good tip. Saying that millennials should be guilted into tipping more because they should presume that the guy with the curled mustache serving them IPAs all night might be 24 instead of 34 doesn’t seem like the right approach to me. This is just a lazy argument that helps feed the “America’s youth are cheap scoundrels” narrative.
Verdict: I don’t buy it.
Yes, we could probably tip better at some occasions – I’m not excluding myself. But being over a certain age range doesn’t guarantee a good tip. It should be based on the service and dining experience, and you should tip accordingly – free of guilt. .
[via The Chicago Tribune]