Tipping Less Than 20% Will Make You Seem Cheap

When it comes to tipping waiters, 15% no longer cuts it.

That’s according to a new study from data provider PayScale, which finds that the typical American leaves tips of more than 19% for wait staff. The finding largely holds true across generations, regions, income brackets, and genders, suggesting that bigger tips are part of a widespread cultural shift.

“It’s something that has been evolving over time, that the standard of 15% has been changing,” said Katie Bardaro, lead economist for PayScale. “It seems to be an overall migration.”

Here’s a quick breakdown of the data:

Both men and women tip waiters generously, at nearly 20%.

Most income brackets tip generously as well, though people making less than $US25,000 still stick closer to 15%.

Of the regions in the U.S. that are defined by the Census, New England tips the most. The West South Central region (that’s Arkansas, Lousiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) tips the least.

It’s important to keep in mind that the tips waiters get make up the bulk of their income. According to PayScale’s data, waiters make 62.71% of their hourly income from tips. That’s second only to gaming dealers.

“When you don’t tip your waiter, you’re actually costing them a large portion of their take-home pay,” Bardaro says.

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