The United States of Tipping

Gratuity is a highly-debated aspect of the service industry. The problem is that the flexibility of the system means that one person’s interpretation of a good tip is completely different than another’s. Beyond that, there are always going to be some people who look at tipping as optional and simply choose not to do it. The internet is littered with articles where food service professionals rail against bad tippers. Of course, gratuity is meant to guarantee good service and the idea is that if you don’t have a good experience, you don’t tip. But the thing that many people tend to forget is that service workers are paid below minimum wage and in many cases, poor service is outside of their control.

Map showing the states that leave the best and worst tips

The standard tipping percentage for service is 15%, and service workers everywhere will be happy to know that even the states that tipped the worst on average still did so above the so-called “standard”. Idaho had the lowest average tipping percentage with 16.71%, which is still technically above the respectable standard.

However, out of 2,500 people from across the United States, most people agree that 20% gratuity is a “good” tip, and only 2 states tipped above 20% on average. Apparently, if you’re going to be working in the service industry, you should head to the Northeast! New Hampshire and Vermont both had the highest average tipping percentages, and Massachusetts came in third at 19.58% tips on average.

Chart displaying where women leave the best and worst tips

We also looked into whether gender played a role in tipping habits. New Hampshire still had the highest tipping average for women at 20.52% followed by 20.46% in Indiana. Arkansas had the lowest average tip percentage from women at just above the acceptable percentage of 15%, and Utah, Idaho, Alabama and Oklahoma all came in at an average of within 16% tips.

Graph identifying where men leave the best and worst tips

Based exclusively on this data sample, men tip better than women on average. The lowest average tip percentage for men came from Idaho, and it was still above the acceptable percentage, albeit, only by 1.59%. Meanwhile, men in Vermont are the only people who tip 21% on average in the US.

If you’re wondering how your state stacks up for average tipping habits, check out the map below! It’s got the averages by generation and gender and overall state averages.

Creating an environment where your customers get the best possible experience is so important. Here at Moneypenny, we focus on delighting your customers through calls and live chat so that they receive the perfect first impression of your business – they’d leave a tip if they could! If you ever wondered how you can boost your customer service and make their overall experience better, get in touch to find our more about our phone answering service! We’ve got all of the right experience, knowledge and people to help you achieve this.