These U.S. Cities Have the Most Generous Tippers, According to New Survey

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When it comes to tipping on a restaurant bill, some cities simply have more generous tippers than others. Local etiquette, personal beliefs, and quality of service can affect the size of diners’ gratuity.

San Francisco consumers reportedly tip the highest on online restaurant orders, according to a new survey by restaurant tech company Popmenu. Some 34 percent of online orders from this Californian city added a tip over 20 percent, according to a Nov. 15 press release.

To reach this number, online ordering platform Popmenu aggregated data from 1.1 million online food orders from the past 180 days. It compiled a list of the highest-tipping cities, sorted by the percentage of orders that tipped over 20 percent:

  1. San Francisco (34 percent)
  2. Austin (32 percent)
  3. Columbus, Ohio (31 percent)
  4. Louisville, Ky. (30 percent)
  5. Nashville (30 percent)
  6. Seattle (29 percent)
  7. Washington, D.C. (28 percent)
  8. Denver (27 percent)
  9. Boston (27 percent)
  10. Dallas (27 percent)
  11. Chicago (27 percent)
  12. Atlanta (27 percent)

In light of recent economic uncertainty, Popmenu also explored changes in tipping amounts. The company anonymously surveyed 1,000 individuals and 165 restaurant owners and operators across the United States in November 2022.

The responses revealed that consumers are tipping less than last year; 43 percent of consumers report tipping 20 percent or more, compared to 56 percent of respondents in 2021. However, the survey states that 60 percent of consumers plan to tip 20 percent or more during the upcoming holiday season.

“Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows how hard the everyday hustle can be and how much tips matter,” Popmenu CEO and Co-founder Brendan Sweeney states in the release. “Tipping behavior may fluctuate depending on market conditions, but the intent to support restaurants remains strong and gratuity, in general, leans toward higher percentages today. Half of restaurateurs recommend that guests tip a minimum of 20 percent, and many consumers are more than happy to oblige, especially over the holidays.”

A full list of survey results can be found in the press release from Popmenu. When in doubt, it’s always better to go the generous route on gratuity.