Who tips more: men or women?

Who tips more: men or women? modern money etiquette unrecognizable coffee shop customer using tip jar picture id938547524

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If you ask people who work in the service industry whether men or women tip better, you’re likely to get a variety of answers.

“Men”, “other people who work in the service industry” and “smokers” were some of the responses to this question when it was recently posed on social media.

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“When I was younger, I would have said men, because men earn more than women,” said Amee Shepard, who worked as a waitress in Seattle for more than a decade before quitting during the pandemic. “But actually, that’s not true. It just depends on a lot of different things.”

Based on data from a recent survey conducted by GOBankingRates in partnership with PureSpectrum, it turns out that Shepard is basically right.

When it comes to tips, there really isn’t much difference between men and women. However, habits may be more nuanced, depending on the circumstances and the service being provided.

Take a closer look at how tips are split when it comes to men and women.

How much to tip for men and women

When service is good, 42% of women and 40% of men said they tip the standard 20%. A slightly higher number of men, 28%, said they tipped 25% or more for good service, compared to 26% of women.

When it comes to poor service, both men and women tend to tip 20% or send a message by tipping too little. Twenty-eight percent of women and 27% of men said they tip 20%. Twenty-eight percent of men and women said they tip only 10% or less.

The next largest segment of respondents (21% of women and 23% of men) reduce their tip to 15% for poor service. Eight percent of women and 7% of men tip 18%. And some don’t tip at all. Sixteen percent of women and men said they don’t tip if the service is poor.

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Elaine Swann, a San Diego-based etiquette expert, said she wouldn’t expect there to be a big difference in the way men and women tip. But she is not surprised by the difference in perception.

“People would probably assume that men would tip more because we recognize in society that men tend to get paid more than women, so maybe they have more money to tip,” she said. “However, if we dig a little deeper, for women, we have that empathic gene in us that recognizes that people provide us with a service, and we make sure to show our gratitude.”

patricia rossia Florida-based etiquette expert said the proper amount to tip, even if the service was poor, is at least 20%.

“You were already set up to do it and it affects the whole line,” he said, adding that many restaurants and service providers split tips equally between wait staff and kitchen staff. “Just because someone didn’t do their best doesn’t mean it should affect someone else. I just throw a lot of sunlight instead of embarrassment. Especially today, given what everyone has been going through in the service industry, people are working really hard and they deserve it.”

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But do they both regularly tip all workers?

Men and women were also asked which service providers they regularly tip.

The survey results showed that restaurant servers and bartenders might not see a significant difference between the sexes and tips. The numbers were mostly consistent when it came to tipping restaurant servers, with 95% of men and women regularly tipping these workers. The percentage of respondents who regularly tip bartenders was significantly lower but still about the same, at 58% for women and 57% for men.

In other service industry sectors, men reported regularly tipping 3 to 6 percentage points more than women. This segment included taxi and rideshare drivers, valet drivers, bellhops, hotel cleaners, and room service.

The biggest difference between the habits of women and men was for spa and salon workers. 60% of women said they regularly tip for salon and spa services, but only 34% of men do.

Swann attributes this difference to the fact that salon services for women tend to be priced higher than those for men. “When men go to get their hair cut, they are in and out in 20 minutes. The amount of effort put into it doesn’t feel that heavy, and they may or may not tip,” Swann said.

As for what the label dictates, it doesn’t matter. “Whether you’re going to a barber or a good salon, you should always tip your supplier,” Swann said.

What about splitting the check?

Men and women also revealed different habits when it comes to splitting the bill when dining out with a large group.

Forty-three percent of women said they split the bill based on what each person ordered, compared to 38% of men. Swann attributes this to women’s tendency to be strong communicators.

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“Having that conversation is a challenging position for many people when they go out to dinner. Men don’t want trouble,” she said. “But I definitely see the difference here in terms of women being able to communicate a little bit more effectively.”

42% of women and 41% of men said they split the check equally, regardless of what everyone ordered. However, a greater number of men said they would foot everyone’s meal bill. Twenty percent of men said they take turns covering the entire check, compared to 16% of women.

What is the most appropriate thing to do?

Rossi said the best approach is to split it evenly, for the sake of your fellow eaters and yours truly. “You don’t want to run your server to the limit, having them fetch 10 different checks,” he said. “If someone has one more snack or one more drink, who cares? My main goal is to honor respect so that you don’t be picky with your friends.”

And if someone picks up the whole check, Rossi said, “just make sure you bring it back and do it next time.”

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About the Author

Cody Bay is an award-winning writer, editor, and media ace based in Seattle, WA. With a focus on good social storytelling and content strategy, he recently led the Microsoft News for Good initiative at MSN, creating content experiences to inform and empower readers to take action on the causes they care about. He has contributed to a wide variety of local and national publications, including Microsoft’s IT Showcase, The Seattle Times, Seattle Magazine, The Travel Channel and the Puget Sound Business Journal, and was previously a multimedia editor at The Associate Press in New York.