Diners being generous with tips despite record inflation

Even amid record levels of inflation and resultant rising menu prices, diners are being more generous with their tips.

That’s according to new data from Lightspeed Commerce cited by Restaurant Dive collected from 6,000 U.S. bars and fast-casual, casual and upscale restaurants between May 2021 and May 2022.

The data recorded that the median average tip in May 2022 was 18.2 per cent, while upscale restaurants with larger checks averaged over 32 per cent.

While those figures are notably higher than they were in May 2021, tip percentage growth has slowed since the start of that period, and tips for online orders have decreased even as the number of online orders has grown.

Overall, it is unsurprising that diners are generally visiting less and spending less as inflationary pressure lingers. Younger consumers in particular are visiting eateries less often than their older cohorts, as reported by the NPD Group.

This generally suggests that while diners are becoming more discerning and cautious with how they are spending their money amid higher prices across the board, dine-in tipping is being recognized as a way to show support and gratitude to restaurants and their workers who have struggled so badly since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.