What does Tipflation mean?

Increase in the amount of money given as tips

When you notice more businesses prompting you to tip or expecting a larger tip than before, you’re experiencing Tipflation. This term emerged in the wake of rising living costs in January 2023, and is also known as tip creep, causing tip fatigue among consumers.

Tipflation is rampant across various sectors, including food delivery, bartending, childcare services, and dining establishments. The word is a blend of ‘tip’ and ‘inflation’, aptly describing the situation.

While increased costs of living are the main instigators of tipflation, technology has also played a part in this growing trend. Many businesses now use digital card readers for transactions. These devices often suggest a tip amount, usually 20% of the total bill, to the customer.

What’s more, this tipping process is visible to others, creating a sense of social pressure to tip more to avoid appearing stingy. Tipflation, therefore, is not only a product of economic inflation but also of technological advancements and social dynamics.

Example for using ‘Tipflation’ in a conversation

Hey, have you noticed how much tipping has increased lately?

Yeah, it’s crazy! They’re always asking for tips everywhere now.

I know, right? It’s like tipflation is taking over.

Exactly! It’s becoming harder to know how much to tip without feeling judged.