When it comes to enjoying a meal at a restaurant, we Hoosiers don't have a problem throwing the wait staff a few extra bucks for a job well done.

Personally, when my family and I go out to dinner, the minimum amount I'll tip our waiter or waitress is 20% of our bill mainly due to the fact I know the majority of their income comes through tipping, but I'll give that much even if the service isn't great because I feel there could be any number of reasons we don't know about that can be the cause of it. For example, a long wait for food likely isn't the wait staff's fault. It could be that the kitchen is backed up, or the restaurant is short on cooks at that time, or maybe they screwed up my order and had to redo it. Plus, everyone has bad days. Someone may be the best server on staff more times than not, but happened to be having an off day at the time I was there because they had something going on in their personal life or whatever. And yes, I get the idea that you shouldn't let something going on outside of your job affect how you do your job, but it happens to all of us at some point.

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Of course, if I feel that whoever is waiting on me did a bang-up job, then I will absolutely throw a few extra bucks onto the tip to show my appreciation. And apparently, I'm not the only Indiana resident who does.

Indiana Ranks Among the Most Generous Tippers in the Country


A new study by Toast, a company that provides point-of-sale equipment to restaurants including in-house terminals and mobile payment options, looked through tipping data pulled from restaurants it works with across the country to determine which states, based on the average percentage of tips, are the best and which are the worst. The data came from tips left using credit or debit cards. Cash tips were not included.

The data was split between the average percentage left at full-service restaurants, a.k.a. those where you sit down and someone waits on you through the duration of your meal, and quick-service restaurants; those where you order at a counter, seat yourself, and usually aren't waited on by anyone. California was the worst tipping less than the standard 20% at both full-service (18.2%) and quick-service (15.0%) for an average tip of 17.5%.

Here in Indiana, we were on the opposite end of that list, sitting at number two with a 20.8% average tip. The only state better than us was Delaware whose average tip was 1% better at 21.8%. This is the first time since Toast began compiling this data that Indiana did not finish at number one. So, let's start throwing our servers a little more cash so we can get back there and show the rest of the country who's boss.

Why are we such generous tippers? The study doesn't dive into the psychology of it, but I like to think it's due to the fact the majority of us are blue-collar workers who understand what it's like to go through the grind every day and feel that if someone does their job well, they should fairly compensated or even rewarded for it if they go above and beyond what's expected. It could also simply be the "Hoosier Hospitality" we're known for.

Tip in Cash When You Can

Paying The Bill

If you're like me, it's rare that you carry cash on you. With the ability to pay with a debit card practically anywhere that sells anything becoming so popular over the past few decades, I don't need it. I can buy whatever I want using my card just by swiping it (or, "inserting it into the chip reader," I guess) regardless of whether it's $1.00 or $100. But, when it comes to tipping, cash is king, baby.

My wife has a friend who works part-time as a bartender at a restaurant in Newburgh who told her she doesn't get the full tip when it's left on a credit card because the processing fee the credit card company charges the restaurant comes out of the total amount. So, even though you left a 20% tip, they may only get 17 to 18% of it, depending on the processing fee. On top of that, the tip will go into their paycheck where it will be taxed, knocking the amount down even further.

With that said, servers understand how rare it is for someone to have cash on them, and even if they don't get the full tip you gave, it's better than no tip at all.

Check out Toast's complete report on its website.

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