To tip or not to tip? A new survey shows more Americans are tipping on carryout orders now than since before the pandemic, and it may be because they feel too guilty not to.
Researchers set out to find whether people are feeling pressured to tip more after many picked up the habit of leaving tips when getting food to go during the stretch of the pandemic that saw many restaurants struggle.
Time2Play posed the question, “Now that restaurants are back in full swing for dine-in and takeout orders, are consumers being pressured to maintain tipping standards established during the economic downturn?”
In September, Time2Play polled 2,030 people throughout the U.S. who pick up takeout food at least twice per month.
Of the people surveyed, 24.2% said they tipped on takeout before the pandemic. The number more than doubled to 53.4% now. People said their average takeout tip was 13.8% of the bill.
When using electronic systems to pay, many times we’re prompted whether we want to leave a tip by the point-of-sale system. “When polled, 67.7% of our respondents said they feel pressured to tip if the point-of-sale system prompts them to,” wrote Time2Play.
Nearly half of people who do tip on takeout (44.8%) said they would not tip if the point-of-sale system didn’t ask them to.
When sitting down to dine, the average tip before the pandemic was 17.1%. The average tip now is 22.8%, according to the poll.
The survey also looked at how people were paying for their to-go order. It found 47.7% prefer to use a mobile wallet, with Apple Pay being the most popular method. Android Pay and PayPal were a distant second and third place.