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Northwest Restaurant-Goers Say They’re Average or Generous Tippers

SEATTLE, January 19, 2023–(BUSINESS WIRE)–How much do you tip when you dine out or order delivery? A new poll by PEMCO Mutual Insurance reveals that a majority of Northwest restaurant-goers regard themselves as “average” or even “generous” tippers, but the amount depends on several factors including how they pay for their meal and whether they dine-in or opt for delivery.

According to PEMCO’s poll of Seattle and Portland residents, 84% of respondents claim they tip service workers generously or in accordance with generally accepted practices, with one in three of these patrons (37%) rating themselves as “generous” with gratuities.

While it seems the type of services for which people leave tips has increased in recent years, PEMCO’s poll explored residents’ attitudes about tipping in restaurants and for food delivery services, in particular.

In general, about half of Northwest restaurant-goers (53%) agree that diners should tip at least 15%, but less than 25% when they have a good experience eating at a sit-down restaurant. Interestingly, about one-third (37%) believe that gratuities should be less than 15% when they enjoy the service.

Though many agree on the amount of the tip, the poll found that a vast majority of people who dine in restaurants prefer to calculate their own gratuity. About three out of four diners (77%) say they prefer to decide themselves what tip should be added, instead of the restaurant adding a standardized tip on the check. This is especially true with individuals over 55 years old – just 6% say they prefer it when the restaurant adds an automatic tip.

The amount that individuals choose to tip is influenced by whether or not the transaction is done over a tablet or handheld device. Almost one-quarter of respondents who have used the technology say they tip more when they pay using an electronic device.

While there is a general consensus in the tipping amount when visiting sit-down restaurants, respondents are less sure of themselves on the percentage that they should tip when picking up their own food or using a delivery service. Almost half (46%) think it’s appropriate to tip something, but not more than 15% and another 21% said that people shouldn’t be expected to tip anything when they pick their order up or even have it delivered.

However, when it comes to ordering from delivery apps like Door Dash, Grub Hub, UberEats or Post Mates, Northwesterners agree that tipping is an important part of the transaction. In fact, 90% of Seattleites report that it is at least somewhat important to tip your driver when ordering from a food delivery service application. And in Portland, 94% of respondents claim that it is at least somewhat important to tip your driver when using a delivery service application.

“Leaving tips for service providers can be a highly personal decision and the right amount can be different depending on the individual and the situation,” said PEMCO Spokesperson Allison Leep. “Especially as the number of services where it’s appropriate to leave a tip has seemed to increase lately, we’ll be interested to track these attitudes over time to see how tipping practices may change or continue to evolve.”

The poll also showed that significantly more people who have relied on tips in the past are more inclined to leave a larger tip than their counterparts. One-third (33%) of Seattleites and 36% of Portlanders who have relied on tips in the past agree that a minimum tip should be 20%. In Seattle, 76% of those who have relied on tips say it’s very important to tip when using an App to order food, and 81% of Portlanders who have relied on tips believe the same.

For a complete summary of PEMCO’s proprietary poll results visit, where you’ll find responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in February 2022.

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Mutual Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 481 respondents in the Seattle Metro (King, Snohomish, Pierce Counties) region and 399 respondents in the Portland Metro (Multnomah, Marion, Clackamas, Washington Counties) region yields an accuracy of +/- 5.0% respectively at the 95% confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

About PEMCO Mutual Insurance

PEMCO Mutual Insurance is the Defender of Your Northwest, providing auto, home, renters and boat coverage. We are consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee expertise and social impact. Our Mutual Good programs raise the achievement levels for youth in education; build stronger, greener environments; and increase safety at home, on the road and at play. Our mission: Free our communities to worry less and live more. To learn more, visit

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John Burgess
PEMCO Mutual Insurance

Kristi Herriott
Firmani + Associates Inc.

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