Tipping Trends: Millennials and Gen X Top Tippers

Jun 24, 2024

The way we tip in America is changing. A new survey by SpotOn, a software and payments company for restaurants, dives into how restaurant workers view tipping habits across generations. Here are the key takeaways:

Generational Generosity:

  • Restaurant workers crown Millennials and Gen X as the most generous tippers, with Gen Z and Baby Boomers following behind.
  • Interestingly, restaurant workers say they’re big tippers, with most reporting they tip 20% or more when dining out. The youngest servers (18-24) are slightly less likely to tip as high.

Cash vs. Tech:

  • Cash remains king, especially for older servers (65+). However, younger workers (18-34) embrace technology like pre-set tip options on kiosks. They see this as a way to increase their tips and improve service speed, allowing them to serve more customers.

Technology for a Smoother Experience:

  • Diners, particularly Gen Z, seek a tech-driven experience, even at fast-food restaurants. This includes features like QR code menus and handheld ordering devices.
  • Restaurant workers see these technologies as a win-win. They believe it enhances the guest experience and creates opportunities for higher tips through faster service.

Going the Extra Mile:

  • Restaurant workers agree that good customer service is critical to getting good tips regardless of age. Making guests feel valued, using their names, and even handwritten notes can make a difference.
  • Interestingly, younger servers (18-24) are likelier to believe that their appearance influences tips, reporting they might change their hairstyle, makeup, or outfit for work.


The Future of Tipping:

  • Technology is here to stay and will likely play an even bigger role in tipping. Pre-set options, handheld devices, and other point-of-sale features can streamline service and boost server income.
  • More companies will focus on creating user-friendly technology to improve the restaurant experience for diners and staff.


Tipping trends are evolving. While some still prefer cash, younger generations are comfortable tipping through technology. Ultimately, good service and a smooth experience lead to happy customers and better tips for restaurant workers.