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Philadelphians Are the Highest Tippers

The City of Brotherly Love is also the city with the most-tipping love. Based on Zagat's newly released Philadelphia survey, the city's residents leave a generous 19.6 percent tip on average, compared to the countrywide average of 19 percent. Diners in New York — long considered the most expensive place to live in the US — only tip equal to the countrywide average, while those in Los Angeles tip below average at 18.4 percent.

Do Philadelphians really possess more love for their fellow citymen? Or is it because of Philadelphia's large number of BYO restaurants? I'm most surprised by the fact that New Yorkers tip such a meager amount. When I lived in Manhattan more than five years ago, it was considered standard to tip 20 percent due to the high cost of living there, and the fact that so many New Yorkers make a living in the service industry. Do these numbers surprise you? Are they in line with what you would normally tip, given decent service?


Join The Conversation
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 8 years
Philadelphia has Stephen Starr restaurants popping up all of the time, and you really can't eat at them without tipping well. I'm a regular at a few Center City restaurants and the service is consistent, timely, and friendly. They don't have the theatrics of NYC , but I've always enjoyed my dining out experience in Philly more than anywhere else.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I'm a 20% and up tipper if the service was decent or more. I don't think I've ever gone below 15%. We actually went out to dinner last night and got pretty bad service. The waiter left us to rot on the patio for about a half hour after we ordered (I had to go inside and find him to get us another round of drinks), and when my fiance discovered that his chicken was raw in the middle and the whole dish covered in gravy he'd specifically asked NOT to have, the waiter didn't even bother pretending to care or be sorry or concerned. The food issues weren't his fault, but he certainly didn't help. It was too bad for him as well, because when we went in we had been planning to tip at least 20% out of general principle. In the end, he got 15% on the dot.
frogandprince frogandprince 8 years
I live in NYC and tip 15% because I'm a student. The high cost of living here just means most people can't afford to give huge tips.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's just a sense of how good the service is there and maybe it has to do with the nature of the area too. i think that being a tourist town, there's something to be said for that - and being a city with a bit more money flowing in an out from people who are 'locals' - that helps as well. i grew up not far from philly and i don't think that my spending habits were any different there vs. what i tipped in NYC or even at home. i try to stick close to 20% but if i'm not getting good service = you'll see that in the tip
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
20% is considered a good sized tip here. My boyfriend leaves huge tips most of the time, generally 20% or more, whereas I'm a bit more modest -- mostly because I'm a hell of alot harder to please. I serve, and it's all across the board as far as tips go. I usually go home with around 15% after tipping out kitchen, bar, and bus. I'd like it to be more, but there's always the odd table that insists on being a fucking douchebag and leave less than 10% (the expected/customary minimum, no matter what), or even $0. I HATE THOSE PEOPLE.
Wild-Magelet Wild-Magelet 8 years
I'm from New Zealand and we don't tip at all here, it's not part of our culture, so it all seems quite strange to me. :) Service jobs, retail jobs, most student jobs - actually a lot of jobs in general - have low wages, but you don't get tips to make it up. You just have to deal with the low wages, unfortunately.
fashion4ward fashion4ward 8 years
I, too am from Philly :) I tip according to service, but never less than 15%.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 8 years
Yeah, Philly! :kool: I am a Philadelphian and I always tip at least 20%, unless the service is dreadful.
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
We normall tip 20% if it's good service and more if it's great, they did something special for an occasion, or my kid made a bit of a mess. But if it's crappy service it's usually less that 15%
lisabarn lisabarn 8 years
My tip totally depends on the service, if the service is average/normal I tip 18 - 20%, if the service is phenomenal then I tip more then 20%. On the flip side, if the service is abominable then I have been known tip less then 15%, in fact a few times I have given the busboy money directly and not tipped the waiter (though that is not the norm...). But, I live in San Francisco and I know the cost of living is high so I generally tip at least 18%.
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