In the U.S., it’s tough to know when you’re supposed to tip at all, let alone how much you should give. The Pew Research Center recently created an interactive, illustrated survey to help you see how your tipping habits compare to the rest of the country’s.
Basically, over the course of a hypothetical day in a hypothetical town, you get a haircut; take a taxi; grab coffee at a café and drinks at a bar; dine at a nice sit-down restaurant and a fast-casual spot; and order takeout. Every time you do something, you answer how often you’d typically leave a tip for that service—always, often, sometimes, rarely, or never—and then find out what percentage of other survey participants do the same.
At any point, you can click “go to results” to see the full breakdown of responses. (It’ll show you which percentage bracket each of your answers falls into, but you can also skip the interactive component and just see the breakdown without your own answers reflected.) Restaurant servers are the most popular people to tip: 81 percent of respondents said they always tip them, compared to 65 percent who always tip after getting a haircut and 59 percent who always tip after getting food delivered. People tip least frequently at restaurants with no servers: Only 7 percent always tip there, and 45 percent never do.
The data comes from a Pew Research Center survey of almost 12,000 adults in the U.S. conducted in August 2023. It doesn’t cover every kind of worker that might deserve a tip, nor will it tell you exactly how much money to tip in different scenarios. (Participants were asked how much they tip servers, and 57 percent said their going rate is 15 percent of the bill or less.) But the report is a very comprehensive analysis of how tipping culture functions in the U.S., covering everything from how Americans feel about tipping to what factors affect their tipping behavior.