WASHINGTON - D.C. is the seventh most generous city for restaurant tipping, according to a new study by Popmenu.
Popmenu, a leader in cloud-based restaurant tech, surveyed 1,000 consumers and 165 restaurant owners and operators across the U.S. in November 2022. They found that as inflation and economic uncertainty hits consumers, the number of people who tip 20% or higher is trending downward, with only 43% of consumers tipping 20% or more. Still, 41% of consumers report tipping more this year than last year.
By analyzing a shamble of over a million online food orders placed in the last 180 days, Popmenu found that 28% of orders had tips of 20% or more. Coming in at number 1 on the list is San Francisco, where 34% of orders tipped 20% or more.
As the holidays approach, data shows that consumers expect to spread a little extra cheer, with 33% expecting to tip restaurant staff 25% or more during the holiday season. 61% expect to tip 20% or more during the holidays.
But will tipping culture in D.C. change? Voters on election day passed Initiative 82, which will require D.C. employers to pay $16.10 an hour to tipped employees regardless of how much they earn in gratuity. Some say the increased minimum wage for restaurant workers will mean they'll tip less.
"If they have a living wage then I think yeah then, the argument for having a tip of 20% would probably be a bit much," said Alar Olljum.
But some D.C. residents say their tipping habits won't change as Initiative 82 is phased in over the next few years.
"I think I would at least give 20% tips to waiters regardless of what they’re making because they work a very hard job," Dimtri Korolev said.
Employers will have to pay the full minimum wage to employees by 2027.