Nevadans are the worst restaurant tippers in the US

Nevadans, and more specifically, Las Vegans, like to make a big deal about being big tippers.

It’s a service economy, after all, and you have to make a living.

Data released by Square, a mobile payment service, tell a different story. Square analyzed tens of millions of food-service transactions across the U.S. to find which states leave the lowest tips in the nation, on average, and Nevada came in dead last in one major category.

Quartz analyzed Square’s data to find tipping differences across three different types of food-service establishments: restaurants, coffee or tea shops and food trucks or carts. Nevada’s average tip at restaurants was the lowest in the nation:

  • Nevada: 14.6%
  • U.S.: 16.5%

Nationwide, tips at food trucks averaged a bit higher, and Nevada came out looking good:

  • Nevada: 19% of bill
  • U.S.: 17.6%

Nevada again beat the average with coffee and tea shop tips:

  • Nevada: 19% of bill
  • U.S.: 18%

When it comes to deciding whether to leave a tip, period, there’s wide variation from state to state, with Maine and New Jersey at either extreme:

  • High: 80% of patrons tip (Maine)
  • U.S. average: 57%
  • Nevada: 54%
  • Low: 42% (New Jersey)

So, food truck employees and baristas are getting a pretty solid deal in the Silver State compared to the rest of the nation, but restaurant staff? They’re given smaller tips, less often.

It is worth noting the limitations to Square’s data: Las Vegas, at least, is a cash-friendly city, and only credit and debit card transactions were accounted for in the data. It’s possible the amount of people tipping in cash in Nevada could turn the balance in the state’s favor.

Contact Stephanie Grimes at sgrimes@reviewjournal.com. Find her on Twitter: @stephgrimes