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To tip or not to tip? NBC poll finds young people are more generous

Joan Raymond
Brand New Images | Getty Images

Who cares about cold food or even slightly surly service: A good percentage of us say we'll tip wait staff no matter what.

Nearly 40 percent of participants in the NBC News online State of Kindness poll conducted by SurveyMonkey tip 15 percent to wait staff even when the service is subpar—and young people were even more likely.

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Tipping etiquette has made headlines recently as receipts with both generous tips and no tips have made the rounds of social media. High-end restaurants and the national chain Joe's Crab Shack are experimenting with ending the practice.

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Maybe it's because they are closer to their wait-staff memories (who didn't wait tables in high school or college?) but about 2 in 10 participants age 18-24 say they would tip 20 percent or more for indifferent service, and 62 percent were willing to tip at least 15 percent, the highest of any age group.

While 15 percent seems to be the going rate for tips (no matter what part of the country you live in), 35% of participants say they would tip 10 percent or less for indifferent service, while 8 percent say they aren't giving that wait staff person a dime. And you better watch out: 4 percent of participants say they would not only tip zero bucks, they would tell the manager you stink, too.

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This story is part of NBCUniversal's Season of Kindness. Together we can grow the good this holiday season. #ShareKindness. Hannah Hartig, Stephanie Psyllos, John Lapinski, Allison Kopicki and Josh Clinton contributed reporting.

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