Americans are tipping more than ever, but are you being guilted into it?

ATLANTA — The pressure is real. It seems everywhere you go cashiers are turning around that little screen asking how much you want to tip.

When it comes to tipping, the latest numbers show Americans are tipping more money and, in more places, than ever before.

But Channel 2 consumer adviser Clark Howard says you shouldn’t be guilted into it -- tip because you want to.

“It’s like quick places when you know that they’re not really doing too much and you’re like, ‘I feel awkward,’” said Madison Archer.

It’s being dubbed “guilt tipping” and it’s adding up quickly according to the digital payment company Square.


Tipping at full- and quick-service restaurants went up about 16% in 2022, compared to the 2021 timeframe.

“I mean in the typical restaurant scenario where you’re being served a meal obviously a tip is expected, and it would be pretty poor etiquette not to unless the service or food was just absolutely horrendous,” said Edgar Dworsky, founder of

Dworsky said what’s changing are the new opportunities to tip, where typically it wasn’t expected in the past.

“If you’re taking out food, someone takes food off the shelf, and they hand you the bag and then you’re asked to do a tip. I think people feel kind of put upon by that,” Dworsky said.

Howard says don’t feel the pressure. It’s not mandatory to tip. You should tip because it’s something you want to do, not because you feel you have to.

Howard says if you do tip, leave it in cash. That way, you know, it’s actually going to go to the employees and not be scarfed up by the manager or the owner of that location.