Enrichment Arts & Culture

Americans leaving big tips despite inflation: report

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Story at a glance


  • Tipping percentages held strong nationwide for in-person dining at an average of 19.7 percent. 

  • But the percentages were substantially lower among those who ordered carryout or delivery.

  • Consumers in California tip the least at full-service restaurants.

American consumers continued leaving big tips at restaurants this spring even amid rising costs, according to a new report.  

Numbers from a Quarter 2 report from Toast, a cloud-based restaurant software management company, contradict the notion consumers are tired of the big tips that become popular early in the coronavirus pandemic.  

Tipping percentages held strong nationwide for in-person dining at an average of 19.7 percent. But the percentages were substantially lower among those who ordered carryout or delivery with the average customers doling out a 14.5 percent gratuity. 

Delivery and carryout percentages have slowly declined since peaking at more than 16 percent near the onset of pandemic.  

Traditional tipping etiquette dictates that customers give their servers an extra 15 to 20 percent, before tax, in addition to the price of their meal, according to etiquette site Emily Post

Toast’s trends report shows Indiana consumers are tipping the most when dining out, averaging 21 percent. West Virginia trailed slightly behind Indiana, with tips averaging 20.8 percent. Ohio, Delaware and Kentucky rounded out the highest tipping states, each averaging 20.7 percent gratuities.  

Consumers in California tip the least at full-service restaurants, where the average customer tacks on 17.5 percent.  

America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news. 

Previous surveys indicated Americans’ pandemic-era tipping habits were fading. A survey from CreditCards.com released in June revealed that tipping in several categories fell below pre-pandemic levels.  

The number of customers surveyed who said they always tip fell by 4 percentage points from 77 percent in 2019 to 73 percent in 2022. Four percent said they never tip.   

“Inflation is cutting into consumers’ purchasing power and a tight labor market has left many service industry businesses understaffed and struggling to provide top-notch customer experiences,” Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, said at the time.