Millions of hospitality industry workers, including most waiters and bartenders, receive most of their income from tips. In more than a dozen states, the minimum wage for tipped bar and restaurant workers is only $2.13 per hour.
This amounts to just over $17 dollars for an eight-hour shift, and the rest of their earnings depend on the whims of their customers. While the average customer tips from 15% to 20%, some leave much more, and some leave much less.
Although tips are not mandatory in most restaurants, most customers leave them. According to the Toast report, restaurant sales and management systems, tips at full—service restaurants averaged 19.6% in the fourth quarter of 2022, and at fast-food establishments averaged 15.9%.
The same report found that in Illinois, the average tip size in restaurants is 19.3%, which is the 16th indicator among the states.
As with the rest of the country, Illinois residents are more likely to tip higher in full-service restaurants than in fast-food establishments. The average tip in a full-service restaurant in the state is 19.8% compared to 15.6% in fast-food restaurants.
All data was collected from approximately 79,000 establishments where visitors left tips using a card or digital payment. Cash tips are not included in the analysis.