Potential Reasons Tippers in Florida are Among the Worst in America, Per a Recent Study

L. Cane

Tipping for good service is not limited to Florida. Consumers all over the world tip service people - like wait staff and barbers - to show appreciation for a job well done.

However, a food service website believes their data shows that the generosity among tippers varies throughout the United States. And Florida was shown to be among the stingiest tippers in America.

Below is information on what the data showed as well as theories as to why Floridians might be a little more careful with their money than other states.

What was the Data and What Did it Show?: The food service website Toast looked at tipping for two different categories of services and took an average of the two for every state in America to determine which states were most generous to service workers.

The site looked at tips from the fourth quarter of 2022 in both quick-service restaurants (like Starbucks, McDonald's, and Chick-Fil-a) and full-service restaurants where you sit down and are waited on (like Cracker Barrel.) It published data from both categories and then averaged the two to obtain a raw score for each state.

Among the Worst: Using this raw score, Florida ranked 48th out of 50th, with an average tip rate of just over 18%. Only Washington and California scored lower.

Why Might Floridians Tip Less Than Other States?: It's likely impossible to quantify exactly why those in Florida may tip a little less than people who reside in other states. However, data arguably points to some possible reasons, as follows:

Some Florida Cities Have the Highest Inflation Rates in the Nation: All of the United States has been hit by inflation. But some cities in Florida appear to have been hit particularly hard.

While the national inflation rate was around 6.4% as of February of 2023, Tampa's was 8.9% and it was closely followed by Miami's. These two Florida cities lead the nation in inflation.

Florida's Cost of Living is Higher than the National Average while the Average Salary is Well Below the National Average: Recent data shows that the cost of living in Florida is 1% above the national average, while Florida's median household income is about $9,000 below the national average - at around $69,717 per year, according to census data.

Staffing Shortages and Cost Cutting for Some Florida Businesses has Meant More Self-Service: After the pandemic, some businesses had difficulty with staffing. Plus, inflation has also hit businesses, which in turn have had to make difficult decisions in order to cut costs.

As a result, some Florida restaurants have initiated self-service options. Many Floridians have found that when they go to quick-service restaurants like McDonald's, they are required to step up to a kiosk and place their order rather than having personal service.

Even some Florida restaurants that used to offer sit-down service - such as Steak n Shake - now have customers ordering at a kiosk or counter instead of having someone take their order at the table.

Needless to say, this can lead to confusion regarding tipping, as consumers may feel as if they have mostly served themselves.

Confusion About Tipped Versus Paid Hourly Employees at Food Quick-Service Establishments: Toast used tipping for both quick and full-service establishments in its data. Yet, some consumers may not be sure about tipping in quick-service situations.

For example, baristas at Starbucks are paid hourly and start at $15 per hour, according to USA Today. That's a different situation from a Florida waitress (earning $7.98 per hour plus tips) who works at a sit-down restaurant and comes to your table, takes your order, delivers your food, and continues to make sure you have what you need.

Of course, whether Floridians should tip more despite these issues is up for debate, but these are some potential reasons for Florida's low tipping rate.

The Rest of the List: It is always interesting to see how other states did. Here is Toast's list in its entirety. The states that tipped best are listed first. The number by each state is the average tip rate.

  1. Delaware: 21.8%
  2. Indiana: 20.8%
  3. Wyoming: 20.8%
  4. Kentucky: 20.7%
  5. West Virginia: 20.6%
  6. Ohio: 20.6%
  7. New Hampshire: 20.6%
  8. South Carolina: 20.4%
  9. Wisconsin: 20.3%
  10. Pennsylvania: 20.3%
  11. Maine: 20.3%
  12. Michigan: 20.2%
  13. Missouri: 20.1%
  14. Rhode Island: 20.1%
  15. Montana: 20.1%
  16. Iowa: 20.0%
  17. Colorado: 19.9%
  18. Kansas: 19.9%
  19. Nebraska: 19.9%
  20. Maryland: 19.7%
  21. North Dakota: 19.7%
  22. North Carolina: 19.6%
  23. Idaho: 19.6%
  24. Alaska: 19.6%
  25. Tennessee: 19.5%
  26. Vermont: 19.5%
  27. Virginia: 19.5%
  28. Massachusetts: 19.4%
  29. South Dakota: 19.4%
  30. Oregon: 19.4%
  31. Alabama: 19.4%
  32. Arizona: 19.3%
  33. Connecticut: 19.3%
  34. Illinois: 19.3%
  35. Georgia: 19.3%
  36. Utah: 19.2%
  37. Oklahoma: 19.2%
  38. Minnesota: 19.2%
  39. Mississippi: 19.1%
  40. Arkansas: 19.0%
  41. New Jersey: 19.0%
  42. New Mexico: 18.9%
  43. Texas: 18.9%
  44. Louisiana: 18.8%
  45. New York: 18.7%
  46. Hawaii: 18.7%
  47. Nevada: 18.4%
  48. Florida: 18.3%
  49. Washington: 18.2%
  50. California: 17.5%

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