Do you live in one of the tip-top cities for top tippers?
A recent study of the country’s online-ordering habits has allegedly determined the cities with the most generous tippers, at least when it comes to food-service workers and delivery drivers.
The cities where gratuities were generally highest, according to the survey, were Seattle, Austin and Nashville, each of which boasted a 38% rate of tips exceeding 20%. Rounding out the top five were Detroit (34% of tippers left more than 20%) and Denver (33%).
The study, conducted by Popmenu, utilized data from approximately 450,000 online orders placed over the last six months to come to its findings. Cities with populations of less than 300,000 were excluded from the final results.
“The pandemic has created a more giving America when it comes to tipping restaurant staff,” posited Brendan Sweeney, CEO and co-founder of Popmenu, a tech company specializing in digital operations for restaurant owners.
“Consumers know this is an industry that has been hit hard and they want to support their favorite eateries, especially staples of their local community,” he added, per a media release detailing the study. “As discussions around compensation structure for restaurant workers continue throughout the industry, this is good news for a profession that is largely dependent upon the generosity of guests in recognition of great food and service.”
The 20 top-tipping cities, as determined by Popmenu, are listed as follows:
- Seattle – 38%
- Austin – 38%
- Nashville – 38%
- Detroit – 34%
- Denver – 33%
- Washington, DC – 32%
- Omaha – 30%
- Dallas – 30%
- Pittsburgh – 29%
- Columbus – 27%
- Fort Worth – 27%
- Raleigh – 27%
- Chicago – 27%
- Las Vegas – 25%
- New York – 25%
- Atlanta – 24%
- Tampa – 24%
- El Paso – 23%
- San Francisco – 23%
- Los Angeles – 23%
An accompanying survey of 1,000 consumers, also conducted by Popmenu, found that 58% considered themselves to be more generous with their tips amid the pandemic, while only 6% said they left smaller tips. One in five claimed to “typically” tip 25%.
Of course, the results of Popmenu’s survey relied on respondents to self-report their tipping habits. Other surveys, like those conducted by nonprofit group One Fair Wage together with UC Berkeley, indicated tips were declining for most service employees, partially as a result of having to enforce COVID safety protocol to sometimes “hostile” guests. A follow-up report published in Sept. 2021 suggested the problem had only gotten worse.
A separate survey, from CreditCards.com, came to roughly the same conclusion in June 2021.
Sonia Riggs, the president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association, says she’s heard reports from Colorado restaurants can attest to those findings.
“Tipping and customer behavior overall has seen a recent decline in generosity, unfortunately, due to possibly longer wait times at restaurants and with takeout service, but that’s due to the severe labor shortage the industry is facing right now,” Riggs told Nexstar in early October.
“Now is not the time to be more demanding when dining out or ordering takeout; it’s a time to be patient, empathetic, and kind as restaurant workers face increased demand with fewer colleagues,” Riggs said.