Food Industry and Service Workers, Listen Up! – Upgraded Points Releases New Study on the Best and Worst Tippers in the U.S., State by State

Where should you be working if you want to routinely earn a 30% tip for your services?

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Upgraded Points revealed the results of its latest data study that reveals where people are tipping the highest for goods and services in the U.S. – along with breakdowns about why Americans do/do-not tip and the differences between tippers in various generations. Whether Americans are visiting restaurants or bars, using delivery and driving services, or frequenting other businesses that provide one-on-one service – the study found that tips can vary wildly depending on the state. And the best tipping percentages are not always found in the states most workers would assume. Upgraded Points is a trusted travel company that regularly provides similar studies of interest to both its customers and general travelers.

"The income of service employees depends on tipping in America," said Alex Miller, Founder of Upgraded Points. "This is especially true in restaurants, but also in delivery services and other service industries like beauty salons and Uber, DoorDash®, and others. Our study revealed some surprising facts about this practice in the U.S. – for instance, it is not always those living in the wealthiest states who tip the most."

Analysis Methodology

Upgraded Points surveyed 3,500 people across the U.S. for a week. The study asked participants questions about their tipping habits and emotional responses towards tipping to determine which states tip the most and the least. It also asked how the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns affected tipping. Some states and respondents were far more forthcoming about their tipping habits than others, so due to a lack of responses in certain states, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming are not included in this study.

State by State – Some Tipping/Wage Facts

Making a decent wage in the service industry can be a daily struggle. The standard tipper is expected to leave between 15-20% as a tip – an average that service employees have come to rely on especially since many states are not required to pay these workers a minimum wage. The gap between the minimum wage and what people tip in their respective states is often surprising. Federal Labor Law allows workers to be paid a lower wage as long as their total earnings, including tips, add up to at least the minimum wage. If the federal minimum of $2.13 per hour plus the employer’s tips do not add up to the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. This is the law in theory – but does not always reflect practice.

State by State – Tipping Averages

By far, the stingiest tipping state in the U.S. is California, with 74.5% of residents tipping their servers 15% or below – followed by Oregon in second place. Similarly, Idaho, Maryland, and Wisconsin report that 52% of people tip 15% or less. On the surface, it would seem that these states may not be the best place to work as a tipped employee. But federal minimum wage for tipped employees can be amended by state law. And in California and Oregon, the state minimum for tipped employees is far above the national average – $14/hour and $12.75/hour. The most generous tippers by state include Alabama, Ohio, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

Which Generation Tips the Most and Why?

The study also looked into why people were tipping and the ages/generations of those who tipped. 87.8% reported that they always tip no matter what, while a whopping 71.1% report that they never tip on takeout if they have to pick it up themselves. And good news for delivery and rideshare drivers: over 90% of those surveyed reported they tip on deliveries, while over 70% tip rideshare drivers. Who are the best tippers? Probably Gen Zers – who use delivery services more often and are more likely to tip in cash.

To see the complete results, along with state-by-state tipping practice and detailed percentage breakdowns, please visit the full study HERE.

About Upgraded Points LLC

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Upgraded Points is a travel company that provides insider strategies on maximizing travel points and rewards. Launched in 2016 by Alex Miller, Upgraded Points uses targeted research efforts and in-depth studies to give travelers, as well as those looking to travel, a real understanding of how to maximize their points and miles. Learn more at:

Media Contact:
Alex Miller, Founder

SOURCE Upgraded Points LLC