CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Whether you are dining in or carrying out, experts said the old standard of leaving a 15% tip no longer applies.
Jordan Keigler has been a server at Town & Country Cafe for a little over a year. He said suggested tip percentages are going up because of shortages in workers, and with inflation, food prices are going up.
“After the pandemic, everyone has had to raise the prices. So, if the price increases, tips usually increase as an effect of the prices,” said Keigler.
Keigler said at his restaurant, prices have gone up a few cents to a dollar on some items across the menu over a year.
“I know drinks, a couple of plates, just to keep up with the economy because everything is always rising,” said Keigler.
According to CNBC and creditcards.com reports, Americans are slightly worse tippers now than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic started. Now, inflation is cutting into their purchasing and tipping power.
The same report shows restaurant goers who always tip servers or waitstaff at sit-down restaurants have been decreasing. From 2019 to 2021, it dropped from 77 to 75%; in 2022, it went down to 73%.
“Here at Town & Country, we are kind of a staple in Corpus Christi. We get business all the time,” said Keigler.
Tipping can also vary by age. Creditcard.com also found 52% of Gen Zers and 60% of millennials said they always tip restaurant servers. Compare that to 77% of Gen Xers and 87% of baby boomers.
Keigler said folks eating in usually leave a tip between 15 to 18%.
“So, like, we have our slow months like everywhere, but for the most part we are busy every day. Especially on weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, we could have up to a 30 to 45-minute wait,” said Keigler.
If you are unsure of how much to give, Keigler said tip for the service you’re getting.
“I think if the server is doing good, they should get a decent tip,” said Keigler.
Creditcards.com said when eating at a sit-down restaurant, you generally want to tip a minimum of 15 to 20% or more for exceptional service. You can see its list of suggested tips for other sections of the service industry here.