I spent many years busting my hump as a server, so I know what it feels like to rely heavily on the kindness of others. This is why when I go out, I like to make sure the waitstaff and bartenders are compensated for their work! I am a "leave 20% every time" kind of gal, but once in a while, if Steven and I really bond with our server, we will leave what we call a "Mother Teresa tip". This is when we throw a 30% or more tip their way. It's a great feeling and I wish I could do it all the time! Maybe someday.

A site called Upgraded Points came out with a new report revealing where in the country people are tipping the highest and lowest for goods and services. You know who has the worst tippers? CALIFORNIA! You mean to tell me those Hollywood types who are swimming in cash are lousy tippers? Well, who knows if they are the problem. But according to the survey, 74.5% of the people in Cali tip less than 15%. Other lousy tippers include Oregon, Idaho, Maryland, and Wisconsin.

I was very proud and pleased to see that the best tippers in the country live right here in New Hampshire!  19.6% of people reported tipping 25% or more. Granite Staters are some generous folks.

Other states that are good at tipping are Ohio, North Carolina, Alabama, and Iowa.

So why are some states tipping more than others? The report broke down the logic and it actually makes a lot of sense. The tipped minimum wage can be lower than the general state minimum wage, depending on what state you live in. Example: California is required to pay their tipped employees full state minimum wage before tips (which is between $12.75 and $14 an hour). So, the reason patrons tip less in California could be because service industry workers are already making a livable(ish) wage, whereas in New Hampshire, our tipped employees are paid something silly like $2.13 an hour. So, tipping our people is super important. Their livelihoods depend on it!

I didn't realize tipping habits vary so much from state to state. It might make sense to look into these things before traveling to other states so you don't end up overpaying or stiffing someone in your travels. Knowledge is power, people!

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Gallery Credit: Emily Sherman

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