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Consumer Trends

Diners say they're tipping better than before the pandemic

More than half of restaurant guests say they usually tip workers at least 20%, according to new research from Popmenu.
Customer tipping a server
Photograph: Shutterstock

A majority of restaurant-goers say they are giving workers bigger tips than they were before the pandemic.

Nearly six in 10 customers said they have increased the amount they tip servers and delivery drivers during the pandemic, according to a survey of 1,000 people by online ordering provider Popmenu.

Thirty percent said they are tipping the same, 6% said they are tipping less, and 6% said they usually don't leave a tip.

The increased generosity is good news for both workers and restaurants, which have faced hiring challenges and rising labor costs coming out of the pandemic.

"The pandemic has created a more giving America when it comes to tipping restaurant staff," said Brendan Sweeney, CEO and co-founder of Popmenu, in a statement. "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."

Among survey respondents, 56% said they typically tip servers 20% or more. One in five said they usually go higher than that, to 25% or more.

Respondents reported tipping delivery drivers less than servers. More than 60% said they tip drivers at least 15%, while 38% give them 20% or more. 

Tipping behavior also differed by geography. Customers in Seattle, Nashville and Austin tended to give the best tips: 38% of online orders in those cities included tips of 20% or more, according to Popmenu's analysis of about 450,000 online orders placed over the past six months.

Rounding out the top 10 were Detroit, where 34% of customers tipped 20% or more, Denver (33%), Washington, D.C. (32%), Omaha, Neb. (30%), and Dallas (30%).

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