Millennials Love Food, But Don’t Love Tipping

The Lempert Report
July 08, 2014

About one in three Millennials admit they usually tip less than 15% when dining out!

According to a new Harris Poll online survey for global restaurant reviewer Michelin Maps and Guides, about one in three Millennials admit they usually tip less than 15% when dining out!  

So, according to the research that means Millennials are twice as likely as adults 35 and up to be lousy tippers. Only 16% of adults in the older age group tip less than 15%.

BUT, it’s certainly not because they have no love for food!  Data showed that when it comes to dishing out for restaurant meals, these same Millennials are willing to spend way more than any other age group. When asked what they'd spend on a once-in-a-lifetime meal experience (food and drink) at a famous, gourmet restaurant, Millennials said they'd be open to shelling out an average $213.

So what’s up the low tips?

According to Tony Fouladpour, a spokesman for Michelin Maps and Guides, you can clock it up to a simple lack of experience.  "They're simply not aware of the norms that most older adults are aware of” he says. 

And let’s not forget that by and large, Millennials lack the disposable income of older adults, he adds, and the current economic and current employment picture come into play. "This is an age group that's have difficulty finding work in their professions," Fouladpour says.

But what’s key to remember here is that, to this group, good food matters but also good value.  When supermarkets look to appeal to the millenials through the digital world and social media, they should also make a point to push prepared foods. For this age group having the option for quality, fresh, and unique prepared food options where tipping and service charges are not an added cost,  is an appealing one.