Unrecognizable female customer leaving the tips at the tip jar

miodrag ignjatovic/istockphoto

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Tired of seeing an option to leave a tip ... pretty much everywhere? While customers were feeling generous toward service workers during the pandemic, three years on it seems purse strings are getting tighter while tipping attitudes are reaching levels of resentment.

According to a survey by restaurant management software company Toast, the average tip at quick service restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 15.9%, dropping from 16.4% the same time the previous year. Full-service restaurant workers also saw a dip, making 19.6% in tips, down from 19.8%. Delivery or takeout workers were tipped about 14.3%. Every tipping category saw a drop year-over-year, with the total average tip falling to 19% at the end of 2022 from 19.2%.

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So, what happened? While delivery people and food service employees were once grouped in the essential workers' category (and tipped accordingly), now that most people are heading to restaurants, they may not feel as grateful. Inflation has made those who are still getting meals out less generous, plus general exhaustion at seeing "add a tip" on more transactions has resulted in burnout

Related: Should You Tip For Takeout? Here's What Frugal Redditors Say

Of course, leaving a gratuity of some percentage is still appreciated — and happening, at least if the transaction is digital. More people are choosing to tip with a card or digital payment at quick service restaurants, with roughly 48% of transactions on the Toast platform including a tip — up approximately 11% since the first quarter of 2020. Contactless transactions have more perks, it seems, than simply being germ-free.

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