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Tipping has been all over the news in the last few months, in the wake of NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer’s announcement that tipping would be eliminated from all of his restaurants. As many other fine dining restaurants follow suit, a question comes to mind: what makes for a good tip? And does the so-called “standard” tip of 15-20% hold for larger purchases, like ordering catering for an entire office?
We took a look at our nationwide ordering data to answer a couple questions: Which states and industries are the most generous tippers? And how does order size impact tip percentage?
As we looked at catering orders placed by business customers across 2015, we found that some areas of the country had tighter purse strings than others. Montana (with an average tip of 11.9%), West Virginia (10.8%), and North Dakota (10.5%) were the most generous tippers. Delaware (6.6%), Alaska (7.6%), and Vermont (7.7%) were the least generous in the country.
When we looked at orders on a city-by-city basis, we found that Denver (10.7%), Atlanta (10.2%), and Chicago (9.8%) were the biggest tippers overall. San Francisco (7.5%), San Jose (7.7%), and Boston (7.9%) tipped the least.
At this point, you might be wondering why these percentages are so much lower than the 15-20% we’re used to hearing about. There’s a simple (but important) reason: order size.
When you order a couple pizzas to your house on a Saturday night, tipping in the 15-20% range is probably manageable. As the cost of an order grows by 10 or 20 times that amount, though, our data suggests that the consensus is different.
Tips on orders under $50 were consistent with the range we’re used to, with an average tip of 13.4%. As the order size crept upward, the average tip percentage dipped. $100 orders received a 10.2% tip on average, and $200 orders received an average tip of 9%.
Interestingly enough, as the order size hit $400, the average tip percentage started to level out at about 7.9%. Here’s the good news for delivery drivers: even catering orders that cost many thousands of dollars held firm at a tip just below 8%.
There were also noticeable trends in average tip percentage by industry. Staffing agencies (11.5%), engineering firms (11.1%), and insurance agencies (10.7%) were the biggest tippers overall. Pharmaceutical companies (7.9%), brokerage firms (8.0%), and telecomm companies (8.8%) gave the smallest tips.
While there are a number of factors that go into a person’s decision to tip (and how much to tip), one thing’s for sure: if you’re on your way to deliver a catering order to a staffing agency in Montana, you’re in luck.
How does your office tip? Let us know in the comments below.