Tipping Point

30th October 2023

Restaurant goers are tipping almost 40% less than a year ago as the cost-of-living crisis tightens its stranglehold on the economy.

SumUp, contactless payment device maker, has reported the average value of tips given to cafés, restaurants, hairdressers and other small businesses that use its payment system has plunged from £4.65 in August 2022 to just £2.85, year on year.

The contactless card readers made by SumUp come with a “smart tipping” feature allowing retailers to add a message on a device’s display that requests customers consider making tips of £1, £2 or £3 for transactions under £10. Overall, takings in gratuity using the company’s devices have fallen 39% in the last year, which it blames on financial pressures.

Luke Beavon, chief executive of SumUp, said: “Over the last year, the economic landscape has presented challenges for both the British public and hospitality merchants across the UK. As consumers grapple with reduced disposable income, their contributions to the local cafés and restaurants they frequent have significantly dwindled over the past year.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, added: “With the cost-of-living crisis affecting us all, it unfortunately comes as little surprise that customers are being more cautious with their spending and that this appears to be impacting tipping in venues. From the waiting and bar staff to chefs and kitchen teams, the people that work in hospitality are the core of what makes for a fantastic experience.”