There is no surer waterslide right into the boiling pot of the internet’s contempt than being a lousy tipper. Whether it’s tech bros playing games with waitstaff or just people refusing to kick in a few bucks at all, tipping is an archaic practice almost everybody hates — but it’s still part of our society.
Today, a new study is stirring the pot by arguing Millennials are the worst tippers. But they have reason, it turns out. According to CreditCards.com, which ran the survey, Millennials reported on their own tipping behavior and they do not, as a cohort, look great:
Ten percent of Americans ages 18 to 37 say they routinely leave no tip. Nearly one in three leaves less than a 15 percent tip at restaurants… When presented with a variety of suggested tipping options…about one in six millennials say they regularly choose the lowest option, and nearly one in five gives no tip – the highest figures of any age group.
Millennials also think tipping should be done away with and the cost of labor just worked into the price of services. And despite the headline, the site goes on to note that nuance emerges from the data. Namely, people with more money are more likely to tip, and because Millennials are flat broke, they simply can’t afford a better tip, or in some cases a tip at all. Which isn’t great, but which is probably better than getting a political polemic with your tips. We’d also like to note that this is a self-report survey, and while older participants claimed they tip more… well, let’s just say there’s anecdotal data that hints otherwise.
At its root, tipping is always going to be controversial because it offers the customer a degree of control that the service worker ultimately just has to put up with (which includes sexual harassment, racism, and general grossness). If millennials would rather service workers get paid properly and not have to worry about their income for the day getting trashed by some jerk’s antics, it’s hard to fault them — but until the system changes, they may have to skip going out unless they can afford to leave a tip.