Leaving a 15% tip on your restaurant bill was the standard for years, but that seems to be changing — and, for servers, it's a change for the better. Though a study by CreditCards.com, released last summer, found customers were less inclined to always tip (especially if they were Gen Z), a newly released study from Toast shows that only one state — California, the state with the least-generous tippers — has an average gratuity left by restaurant customers of 17.5%. No other state was below 18% — and across the 50 states, the average was 19.7%.
The trend toward 20%, however, doesn't apply to takeout or delivered orders. In those situations, tips averaged 14.5%. If you're wondering where diners are most generous, Indiana, West Virginia, Ohio, Delaware, and Kentucky are the states that hand out more than 20% of the dinner bill. And who's thriftiest? Beyond California, the stingiest tippers can be found in Washington, Florida, New York, and Hawaii.
Given that many servers saw the pandemic as a good time to leave the food-service industry, bigger tips aren't the only draw hoping to help restaurants staff up. Michigan courts boosted the wage for servers to $12 an hour plus tips, and minimum wage is now $15 an hour in New York, $13 an hour in Illinois, and $15 an hour in Massachusetts.