Is 30 percent the new tipping standard?

By: Christy Dimond Email
By: Christy Dimond Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)--If you plan to dine out this weekend, a new study shows you might want to think about how much you're tipping. Findings from the New York Post suggests that 25 and 30 percent may be the new tipping standards.

Many Grand Valley servers said they've seen their tips increasing over the last year-- but not quite to the "New York 30 percent."

Kaitlin Lubeley, who's been serving and bar-tending at Kannah Creek for five years, said when she started in the business, tips above 20 percent were rare. Now, she frequently sees 20-plus tips.

"Here at Kannah, we have really good customers and really good regulars, so we see a lot of people who are tipping 25 to 30 percent, and sometimes even more," Lubeley said.

Lubeley said 20 percent has become the new standard.

"I know if servers get anything less that that they feel like they didn't give great service or maybe didn't do as much as they should've if they get 15 percent, and 10 percent is pretty rough on us," she said.

Many servers in Colorado earn $4.62 per hour-- minimum wage for tipped employees. The majority of their income is based off of tips.

"If I go home with good tips, it's a nice feeling because we do work hard," said Bin 707 server Ralph Swansen.

Bin 707 server Shannon Pilcher said she is more likely to see a 30 percent tip from younger diners.

"Guests with ages 20 to 35 tend to tip that percentage more consistently than say those of boomer age or senior age," Pilcher said. "It used to be 15 percent 15 or 20 years ago, and it's moved up a little bit, but some are still fixed with that 15 percent."

Many restaurant-goers said their tipping percentage varies depending on service. For diner George Saffa though, 20 percent or higher is what he considers a "fair amount."

"I believe that they work for a living and that's a major way that they make their money and if they deserve it, they should get it," Saffa said. "If the service is worth it, 30 percent is OK."

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