TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — From most to least, California is home to the worst tippers in the country, according to a new survey by Toast. However, while the cultures are different while still diverse, Florida isn’t far behind, ranked the third least generous state for showing appreciation to restaurant workers in the U.S.
The market is already giving everyday Americans a hard time. Wages are not rising as fast as inflation, and the dollar is having less of an impact in terms of what they can buy due to those higher prices. Restaurant workers in the U.S. are now stuck between customers with less generosity, and bigger bills to handle when it comes to electricity, groceries, and even the gas in their cars to get to work.
Common food items for at-home and in restaurants have all gotten more and more expensive as America’s record-high inflation increased over the past months. Products like meat, chicken, eggs, and coffee, as well as gasoline, have pinched the wallets of everyday spenders and workers alike. To that end, it’s affected how much it costs to eat out.
The Toast study examined which states had better tippers and better wages for restaurant workers, now that the U.S. is rebounding from the business restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the number restaurant goers and delivery diners both increased, those visiting the shops in person went up much higher than those using services such as Waitr, Uber Eats, GrubHub, or Door Dash, among others. What did not increase to the same extent were the tips, due to the advent of delivery food and to-go orders.
According to Toast’s data, in-person dining increased 22% from the first three months of 2022 to the most recent quarter, while delivery users increased by 6%.
“Toast observed that diners are less likely to tip as much when they don’t eat inside an establishment. In Q2 2022, in-person diners dished out an average tip of 19.7%, while those who got delivery or takeout tipped an average of 14.5%,” the company reported. Still, the report said “consumers generally tipped well, even with inflation.”
On average, tipping in the second quarter averaged 16.9% for quick-service spots, while full-service restaurants had tips average 19.6%.
State-by-state, the most generous diners live in Indiana, while the least are in California.
The top five best states for tips were:
- West Virginia
When it comes to least generous tippers, these states were the worst:
- New York
Florida tippers only give 18.5% in tips, on average, according to Toast.
The impact on dining service workers is somewhat different in each state. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that while the state of Florida requires tipped workers make $6.98 per hour, California requires workers make between $14 and $15, dependent on how old they are. Employees 25-years-old or younger make less than those 26 and older, before tips.
For Floridian restaurant staff, state laws boosted some of the wages, but workers still rely on tipping to pay the bills. Nowhere in the U.S. has a guaranteed higher wage for workers that matches how inflation has hit costs of living for rent, food, and transport, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In Indiana, where tippers are most generous, no state laws boost wages for restaurant workers, so they’re only guaranteed $2.13 per hour. Tips must account for the remaining $5.12 per hour to hit the federal minimum wage of $7.25.