Young People Want to Ban Tipping but Most Americans Are Not Ready

A new study finds that most consumers are not ready to ban tipping, but that millennials are most likely to support it

Even though many restaurateurs are turning their backs on tipping policies, most of us aren’t ready to take that leap.

Tom Colicchio, Danny Meyer, Daniel Humm, and Joe’s Crab Shack are just a few of the big names and brands in the restaurant world that are taking the big “no tipping” leap. But just because multiple restaurants are following this trend that might guarantee a livable wage for their employees, it doesn’t mean consumers are comfortable with a change in their restaurant bill.

According to a new study from Horizon Media, 81 percent of adult restaurant-goers are not yet ready for built-in gratuity. But the group that is most likely to support a tipping ban is, unsurprisingly, millennials. Almost one-third of people surveyed between the ages of 18-34 feel that tipping is an unfair and outdated practice. Conversely, the older the consumer, the more likely he or she is to feel that tipping offers them a sense of control over the dining experience.

“There are real economic and life stage realities at play for the younger crowd,” said Kirk Olson, vice president, TrendSights at Horizon Media. “Many Millennials still face underemployment and Gen Z-ers who’ve begun working are often working service jobs dependent on tips. They’re also more global and connected. They know ‘service included’ is the way it’s done elsewhere and think it would be better for the U.S., even if they’re not convinced it will become a reality any time soon.”


The research also suggests that Millennials believe that the status quo won’t change any time soon: 70 percent of Gen Y and Gen Z-ers think that tipping will still be the norm in five years, along with 57 percent of consumers older than 35.