Is ‘Tipping Fatigue’ a Myth? Americans Tip 10% More Despite Inflation

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In recent months, conversation around “tip fatigue” has been heating up, with some restaurateurs and waitstaff saying that consumers are tipping less than they did during the height of the pandemic. But new research from Toast, a restaurant management software company, has suggested that tip fatigue might not be happening after all.

See: ‘Tipping Fatigue’ Is Real — Tips for Takeout and Delivery on the Decline
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According to its most recent restaurant Trends Report, the tipping percentage during Q2 2022 was strong in both full-service restaurants (average tip: 19.6%) and in quick-serve establishments (average tip: 16.9%).

Considering the impact that inflation is having on our wallets — and the way it’s changing our dining habits, causing many to cut back on the splurge of eating out — it’s somewhat surprising that Americans are still tipping in the ballpark of what etiquette experts recommend (between 18% and 20% for restaurant servers).

Even more surprising is the fact that, according to this data, Americans are tipping 10% more than they were this time last year.

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How much a consumer tips varies by state. Below is a breakdown of how much each state tips on average, according to the Toast report. Interestingly, some of the poorest states like West Virginia tip the most. Meanwhile, states with higher earners like California round out the bottom of the list.

  • Indiana: 21.0% 
  • West Virginia: 20.8% 
  • Ohio: 20.7% 
  • Delaware: 20.7% 
  • Kentucky: 20.7%
  • Wyoming: 20.5% 
  • New Hampshire: 20.4% 
  • Wisconsin: 20.3% 
  • South Carolina: 20.3% 
  • Pennsylvania: 20.2%
  • Michigan: 20.2% 
  • New Mexico: 20.1% 
  • Maine: 20.0% 
  • Montana: 19.9% 
  • Iowa: 19.9% 
  • Missouri: 19.8% 
  • Colorado: 19.8%
  • Kansas: 19.8% 
  • Rhode Island: 19.8% 
  • North Dakota: 19.7% 
  • Idaho: 19.7% 
  • Virginia: 19.7%
  • Nebraska: 19.6% 
  • Alabama: 19.6% 
  • Maryland: 19.6% 
  • Tennessee: 19.5% 
  • Georgia: 19.5% 
  • North Carolina: 19.5% 
  • Arizona: 19.5% 
  • Oklahoma: 19.4% 
  • South Dakota: 19.4% 
  • Illinois: 19.3% 
  • Oregon: 19.3% 
  • Alaska: 19.3% 
  • Mississippi: 19.3% 
  • Massachusetts: 19.2% 
  • Vermont: 19.2% 
  • Connecticut: 19.1% 
  • Minnesota: 19.0% 
  • Utah: 19.0% 
  • Arkansas: 18.9% 
  • New Jersey: 18.9%
  • Louisiana: 18.9% 
  • Nevada: 18.8% 
  • Texas: 18.8% 
  • Hawaii: 18.8% 
  • New York: 18.5%
  • Florida: 18.5% 
  • Washington: 18.3%
  • California: 17.5%

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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