Dec 17, 2021 - News

How Austinites tip for the holidays

How much do you tip?
Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

We got more than 50 responses to our tipping survey, and readers have, as you might expect a range of opinions.

Driving the news: It's the holidays — traditionally a time for end-of-year gratuities.

Some of you have a very distinct system: "Cash to housekeepers, candy to postal workers, book or wine to hairdresser," SJ writes.

  • In a follow-up interview, SJ explained her logic: "I have a long relationship with my hairdresser, and I know she loves both good wine and books and that she does not need the cash. I know my housekeepers are low-income, and cash is the best way to honor their service and give them a bit of a holiday boost. … I leave candy for the postal worker because I do not want to leave cash out in the mailbox."

"I tie my ability to tip to whether and how much of an end of year bonus I receive," Michael M. says.

Dean W. writes that he always tips the trash collectors: "It's tough, because you have to watch out for when they come by, as you can't just leave money on your trash can."

  • He gives $20 each.

"I only tip people with whom I have a personal connection," wrote one anonymous reader.

"Societies that don't tip are better because workers are just paid a good wage," wrote another reader who didn't give a name. "But not tipping in our society is wrong."

By the numbers: Axios Austin readers are generally more generous, on average, than Axios readers in other parts of the country that ran similar surveys.

  • We tip child care workers $100, for example. Whereas, the median average tip in eight cities, ranging from Chicago to Tampa, was $50.
  • Austin was generally higher in median tipping average in every category, except tipping household cleaners, where the median tip nationally was also $100.
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