Here are the cities that tip the best, study finds

FILE-A waitress prepares a patron's bill at a restaurant. (Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Restaurant serving can be a challenging job for some, given the uncertainty of the tip amount a worker may receive from a patron.

But a new study finds that certain cities are more generous when rewarding these workers for their efforts through tipping.

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A new report from Toast, a cloud-based, digital technology platform for the restaurant industry, conducted a ranking of cities with the best tippers.

To collect the data, Toast calculated the average tip percentages in 12 U.S. cities, including Cleveland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Chicago, New Orleans, and Phoenix, across transactions where a tip was added to a food order through a credit card or digital payment. 

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Based on their findings, Cleveland claimed the top spot with an average tip rate of 20.6%, followed by Denver at 19.8%, Salt Lake City at 19.6%, and Phoenix at 19.5%. San Francisco ranked last with an average tip rate of 17%.

Best cities for tipping 

  1. Cleveland (20.6% average tip rate)
  2. Denver (19.8% average tip rate)
  3. Salt Lake City (19.6% average tip rate)
  4. Phoenix (19.5% average tip rate)
  5. Richmond (19.3% average tip rate)
  6. Chicago (19.3% average tip rate)
  7. New Orleans (19% average tip rate)
  8. New York (18.7% average tip rate)
  9. Washington, D.C. (18.6% average tip rate)
  10. Seattle (18% average tip rate)
  11. Los Angeles (17.5% average tip rate)
  12. San Francisco (17% average tip rate)

According to Toast, approximately 48% of transactions at restaurants on the Toast platform included a tip in the form of a card or digital payment in quarter four in 2022. That’s up approximately 11% since quarter one in 2020.

Toast also ranked the best states for tipping, and Delaware ranked first, with the highest average tip percentage at 21.8%, while California came in last place, with an average tip percentage of 17.5%.

Delaware earning the top spot marks the first time Indiana was bumped from number one since Toast began tracking tipping on its website, the company noted.

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.