Jon Tyson for Unsplash

Dallas is one of the more generous cities in the country when it comes to supporting restaurant servers and meal-deliverers, according to the latest list of top 20 cities with the best tippers.

We rank No. 8 on the list of cities with the highest percentage of orders that included tips of 20% or higher. The restaurant technology company Popmenu tracked tipping percentages for 450,000 online food orders placed over 180 days this year and also conducted an anonymous survey of 1,000 consumers in October.

About 30% of Dallas respondents say they tip 20% or more. Our city falls just short of Seattle, Austin, Nashville, Detroit, Denver, D.C. and is tied with Omaha. Thirty eight percent of the top three tip more than 20% per order.

The researchers say many consumers understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry — over half surveyed said they have been tipping restaurant workers more than they did prior to the pandemic with many leaning toward tips of 20% or higher.

“The pandemic has created a more giving America when it comes to tipping restaurant staff,” said Brendan Sweeney, CEO and co-founder of Popmenu. “Consumers know this is an industry that has been hit hard and they want to support their favorite eateries, especially staples of their local community.”

Overall, 58% of consumers say they have increased the amount they typically tip servers and delivery drivers during the pandemic; 30% have been tipping the same; 6% have been tipping less and 6% don’t typically tip at all.

Fifty six percent typically tip servers 20% or more; 1 in 5 (20%) typically tip servers 25% or more. Thirty eight percent typically tip delivery drivers 20% or more while 61% typically tip delivery drivers at least 15%.

Among my circles, many have worked or now work in the industry, so we understand that, like it or not, as diners or customers we often are paying our servers’ salaries.

A quick poll of my friends/followers revealed that workers and patrons alike have seen increasing generosity. A Jesuit grad who tends bar downtown notes, “Definitely. Lots of $5 tips on $15 tabs, $10 on $30 or $40, $20 on $80, etc.” A fellow member of the White Rock Running Co-op says, “I believe it. As a former all-of-the-above now exclusively a patron i feel I have some making up to for the last year plus.”

As so many restaurants shuttered during the pandemic, there was much discussion about why this is problematic and why reform efforts are now underway.

“As discussions around compensation structure for restaurant workers continue throughout the industry, [the result of the survey] is good news for a profession that is largely dependent upon the generosity of guests in recognition of great food and service.”

  1. Seattle, WA – 38%
  2. Austin, TX – 38%
  3. Nashville, TN – 38%
  4. Detroit, MI – 34%
  5. Denver, CO – 33%
  6. Washington, DC – 32%
  7. Omaha, NE – 30%
  8. Dallas, TX – 30%
  9. Pittsburgh, PA – 29%
  10. Columbus, OH – 27%
  11. Fort Worth, TX – 27%
  12. Raleigh, NC – 27%
  13. Chicago, IL – 27%
  14. Las Vegas, NV – 25%
  15. New York, NY – 25%
  16. Atlanta, GA – 24%
  17. Tampa, FL – 24%
  18. El Paso, TX – 23%
  19. San Francisco, CA – 23%
  20. Los Angeles, CA – 23%


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