By Katherine Wiles
Members of Generation Z are most likely to tip service providers especially well during the holiday season — and they have good reason.
Fifty-one percent of Gen Zers said they give larger tips to their regular service providers, like waiters and hairstylists, during the holiday season, a new survey from CreditCards.com shows . That’s compared with 48% of millennials, 43% of Gen Xers and 42% of boomers.
That’s not surprising, Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, told MarketWatch. CreditCards.com has done other research that shows people who work in tip-based jobs tend to tip better, he said.
“It does happen that, nowadays, most service-industry workers are Gen Zers and millennials. So I do think that there is some element of they know what it’s like, maybe they work in a tip job themselves or they have recently,” Rossman said. “They’re kind of watching out for their own there.”
Overall, respondents were most likely to give increased tips to restaurant waitstaff (27%), hairstylists or barbers (19%), food delivery people (16%), bartenders (10%) and coffee-shop baristas (9%).
As for giving year-end tips to service workers that don’t typically receive tips throughout the year, people plan to tip their housekeepers more than any other service provider (47%).
Those surveyed plan to tip a median of $20 to mail carriers and trash collectors, $25 to teachers, $30 to landscapers, and $50 to housekeepers and childcare providers.
“It’s great to reward these hard-working people who help us throughout the year,” Rossman said. “Now more than most years, too, a lot of these people have struggled through the pandemic — either losing money or just having to get up and go to work every day and do important jobs when maybe some of us were able to work from home. So it is a nice thing to do if you can.”
And if you don’t have extra cash in your budget this year, Rossman suggests cashing in rewards points from credit cards for either cash-back or gift cards to give.
If money is still tight, you can show your appreciation in other ways. Maybe you can leave out prepackaged snacks or baked goods and drinks for delivery drivers. You can write a nice note to your kid’s teacher or go in on a gift with other parents, Rossman said. “It is the thought that counts, right?”
In a similar vein, the survey also found that 87% of U.S. adults believe it’s important to shop locally to support small businesses. In a reversal of the tipping trend, older adults are more likely to say supporting small businesses is important, with 93% of boomers and 88% of Gen Xers compared with 82% of millennials and 80% of Gen Zers.
But Rossman said to take these results with a grain of salt, as people might think shopping small and local is the right thing to do, but it’s not what they always end up doing.
“I would say though, that when push comes to shove I do wonder if a lot of people will end up buying online and buying from the big stores just because they often have lower prices. They often have better e-commerce structures,” Rossmand said. “They’re better equipped to solve the supply-chain crisis this year, because they just have a lot more scale to do things like chartering their own freight ships and maybe absorbing some of these higher cost pressures.”
But it’s not all bad news for small businesses: Small Business Saturday was a success this year, with American Express /zigman2/quotes/203805826/composite AXP -1.95% reporting that spending was up 18% from 2020 .
Still, Rossman worries about small businesses, considering everything they’ve faced during the pandemic. “So to the extent that people can live up to this and help them with their holiday shopping, that would be great.”