Millennials are often more averse to spending their money than other generations. It turns out that's also true when it comes to leaving tips in restaurants.
When dining out, millennials, defined broadly in this case as those aged 18-37, leave a 15 percent tip on average, according to a new survey of 1,000 Americans by CreditCards.com. That's less than the median of 18 percent the survey finds others of different generations give. (It's worth noting that Pew Research Center defines millennials as those born between 1980 and 1996, or those currently aged 22 to 38, which means CreditCards.com's definition of millennials includes several years of Generation Z.)
Even worse, about 1 in 10 younger adults say they usually leave no tip whatsoever. "It's one thing to be stingy but another to leave nothing at all," senior analyst Matt Schulz tells CNBC Make It. "The system is built around those tips, and if you don't tip that waiter, you're potentially taking food off their table."
In some respects, it's not surprising that millennials tip less than older generations: They typically have less money to spend. But millennials are also the most likely to have recently worked or be currently working in those sorts of roles, so you might expect them to tip more, Schulz says.
When it comes to tipping after a sit-down meal, the etiquette experts at the Emily Post Institute say 15 percent is the minimum you should leave and 18-20 percent is generally considered standard, especially in more expensive cities. Yet 63 percent of millennials generally leave less than 20 percent, compared with less than half of those older than age 38, the survey finds.
Even with newer payment systems through which the tip options are entered in advance, millennials are still tight-fisted. About 14 percent of millennials usually pick the lowest suggested tip amount. Older generations tend to be more generous, with roughly 9 percent of Gen-Xers and 5 percent of Baby Boomers picking the cheapest option.
The survey shows that, across the U.S., those in the South and West tend to tip less than those from the Midwest and the Northeast. Being a good tipper, it turns out, "doesn't necessarily correspond to cost of living and where you live," says Schulz.
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