Polls / October 10, 2012

Do you tip more in restaurants when you are travelling?

More than half (54%) tip more in restaurants when travelling, according to the latest eZonomics online poll.

Give as expected
There are many reasons why we tip as we do. The eZonomics blog post, While travelling, how do I dine out without feeling a fool when it comes time to tip? outlines some factors affecting the amount we tip. Amongst these, research by Matt Parrett, Bridgewater State University academic, explains that tipping increases in line with expectations. His study showed those who thought the gratuity norm was 15% rather than 10% gave more generously. It is possible that, when travelling, the desire to avoid causing offence by not tipping according to the local norm may bias our decisions towards greater generosity.

Merry generosity
Alcohol also seems to play a role. Research by Michael Lynn, academic from Ohio State University, highlights that the amount tipped increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. It is possible that one of the reasons the majority tip more when travelling is that travel is often associated with holidays. When on holiday it’s easy to imagine the wine could flow more freely when dining out.

Treating yourself
It’s also common for travellers to overspend when abroad. Another eZonomics poll mentions the “I’m on holiday effect”. With 56% saying they spend more than expected, eating out in pricier eateries and more often may offer yet another reason why travellers tip more when abroad.


eZonomics team
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