As etiquette expectations shift, here’s what to know about tipping this season –


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The number of Americans tipping the standard rate is dropping

When dining out, tipping etiquette experts say 20% is the standard. However, between inflation, elevated pandemic tipping rates and businesses that aren’t primarily service-oriented requiring customers to opt out of tipping at checkout, more and more Americans are reaching tipping fatigue. This can be seen in fewer and fewer individuals tipping the standard rate. How does this affect holiday tipping? And how does it affect office gifting?

Why do people tip?

While the general notion behind why Americans tip might be rooted in getting better service or rewarding excellent service, that rarely holds true today. Many people tip out of a sense of obligation. People draw this conclusion because the quality of service doesn’t accurately translate to higher tipping rates. Many Americans tip simply because they are expected to tip. Additionally, with more businesses slipping in tipping at checkout, consumers are increasingly pressured to tip for very basic services.

Who do people tip for the holidays?

Generally, if someone provides you with regular service throughout the year, tipping is an acceptable means of showing them your appreciation. These professions include but are not limited to, a babysitter, a hairstylist, a fitness instructor, a server, a bus driver, a landscaper, a handyperson, a coach, a bartender, a teacher, a nail technician, a tutor, barista, a cleaning service, day care staff, a dog walker, a garage attendant and more.

How have expectations affected holiday office gifting?

Remote workers might only rarely (or never) physically enter the company office space. For this reason, more companies have been turning to practices such as secret santa gifts rather than white elephant gifts. When partaking in a Secret Santa program, it is important to put “Secret Santa” on the address line so people know they shouldn’t open the package early. Also, remember to include a gift receipt and keep items general, fun or practical without getting too personal. This year, we’ve seen people focusing on office accessories, coffee mugs, and small home products.

Secret Santa and workforce gift ideas

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