The cost of dining out rose by nearly 8% in July from a year before, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But even as menu prices keep climbing, Americans aren’t cutting back on tips for servers.

Toast, a digital platform for the restaurant industry, says in a new report that diners tipped an average 19.6% at full-service restaurants and 16.9% at quick-service outlets during the most recent quarter.

The average tip is 10% higher than a year earlier, when restaurant sales were still heavily impacted by the pandemic.

“Rising food costs, inflation and labor constraints are some challenges restaurants faced in Q2 of 2022,” the report says.

“Despite these hardships, restaurants are seeing strong demand and generosity from consumers with consistent tips and increased growth.”

To-go orders are a different matter, Toast found.

The report says “diners are less likely to tip as much when they don’t eat inside an establishment.”

Tipping has fluctuated since the early days of the coronavirus. As I reported in May, “tipping increased during the early days of the pandemic as consumers sought to reward the hard work — and risks — of restaurant servers and other service providers.”

Gratuities eased a bit earlier this year as inflation made itself felt on restaurant menus. You can see my two-part report here and here.

Interestingly, Toast found that California diners were the stingiest tippers in the second quarter. The average tip in the Golden State was 17.5%.

The best tippers, according to the report, could be found in Indiana (21%), West Virginia (20.8%) and Ohio (20.7%).

Economists say that because most restaurant patrons will tip 15% to 20% regardless of service quality, the custom is largely ineffective as a economic tool.

Nevertheless, most Americans like the practice. So don’t expect all-inclusive menu prices — a staple of most other countries — to arrive any time soon.