Tipping Trivia

Tipping is an integral part of the economy, and a constant when traveling.
Tips. Whether you live by tips yourself, or seem to be constantly leaving them, they're an inescapable part of daily life. Tipping is an integral part of the economy, and a constant when traveling. So here are a few facts about tipping taken from various university and market-research studies...

Fast Facts

1. Restaurant patrons in the United States fork over approximately $16 billion a year in tips.

2. Waiters and waitresses who kneel at the table receive significantly higher tips than those who don't.

3. Waitresses who add a "smiley" face to their bills see their tips increase about 5%. Men who do the same watch theirs DROP 3%.

4. Waiters or waitresses who write "thank you" on the bill get an average 2% more tip.

5. Older folks tip more than their younger peers.

6. 94% of Americans regularly tip when eating out (non-fast food).

7. Finally, women as a group are more likely to tip than men. But then, we all knew that, didn't we?

Group Rates

Americans dining alone generously tip an average 20% of the bill.
The same Americans eating with a friend tip... 17%.
In a group of five or more, sadly, the average drops to... 13.2%

Rainy Days

When receiving their breakfast trays, half of the guests at an Atlantic City hotel with no outside views were told it was sunny outside - they tipped an average 29%.

The other half, when told it was raining tipped... 19%.

Foreign Tipping Facts

1. Cabbies in Australia sometimes round fares DOWN.

2. There is no tipping in restaurants or bars in Japan - 10-20% is added as a "service charge."

3. Tipping in Singapore's airport, restaurants, and hotels is strictly prohibited - a 10% service charge is added to the bill instead... we don't recommend violating this law. Remember the caning incident?

4. Thinking of tipping at a restaurant in Iceland? Think again - it's an insult!

Tipping History

1. Well, sure you know what "tipping" is, but do you know where the word came from? The theory goes that in jolly ole England a couple hundred years ago, patrons in Tea Houses (the Starbucks of the 18th Century) were prompted to leave coins in a box labeled "To Insure Prompt Service" - hence, TIPS. Of course, that's an awful stretch, since signs at that time used pictures instead of words because so many were illiterate...

2. Did you know that before 1870 tipping was almost unheard of in America? It was considered undemocratic and un-American - it smelled of aristocrats and class snobbery... today, however, Americans are among the most generous tippers in the world.