As you may know, I am running my own, small-scale, tipping and tipout survey every three months. Q3′s numbers were delayed due to late arriving surveys (I had to chase down quite a few, there’s a little bit of research fatigue going on in the industry) so I am merging those two, will move to bi-annual surveys, and call this one 2012.2 instead of 2012.4.
This is a preview version, I will add more data and analysis as I find time.
Overall, tipping is once again up a little bit. Not a surprise per se but it poses the question as to the influence of an overall down economy on tipping. I do not have NRA numbers on non-chain dining to correlate overall per-head expenses for non-chain food so those might have to be factored in later.
Tipping in states with lower overall incomes and lower minimum wages is up more than tipping in higher income states. NYC and the Silicon Valley Bay Area actually saw a slight decline in tip percentages, the largest increases were in Ohio, Texas, and Alabama. It would be interesting to see how, if any, the constant presence of camera and news teams, pollsters, and political operatives on expense accounts influenced tipping in battleground states.
More fascinating than the overall rise in tipping, however, are the numbers on new average tip percentages. I feel confident at this point to set the new “average” tip at 20 percent.
|Casual Sit In||19.6%||+0.2%|
|Fine Dining ($35pp/food only)||19.9%||-0.1%|
“Other” includes all undeclared and other dining establishments, including catering (sample size: 6, all CA), event management (sample: 4, 2NYC, 1CA, 1WA), and hotel room service (NV2, CA1, OK2, MS1).
Methodology: Collected from the cover reports and personal employee statements of 246 restaurants these numbers represent a small sample of the general dining landscape. No effort is made to compensate for population bias or location bias. Self-reported numbers are sanity checked as well as I can, outliers are eliminated on analysis. This is not a scientific study, it’s a survey done for my own records and presented here as a service to my readers.