New York City's Best Tipping Neighborhoods
- By Jihee Kim December 2, 2015
Delivery service is a way of life in New York City. From groceries to fresh laundry, New Yorkers can get pretty much anything they want delivered straight to their doorstep – and they often do.
But how much are New Yorkers tipping for that convenience? While most people are fully accustomed to tipping at restaurants and bars (though that may be changing soon), how much does that delivery guy get for schlepping an order of vegetable curry up to your fifth floor walk-up? And with rents at historic highs across the city, does your neighborhood tell us anything about how much you tip?
We teamed up with Seamless, New York City’s leading online and mobile food ordering platform, to answer these questions and analyze what your rent says about your tipping tendencies on takeout orders.
Higher Rent = Lower Tips
Living in a more expensive neighborhood does not mean New Yorkers are more generous with tips. In fact, when we compared median asking rent and median tipping percentage across New York’s neighborhoods, we found that the higher a neighborhood’s rent, the less residents tend to tip. In pricy Upper Carnegie Hill, for example, the typical tip percentage was just 12.3 percent. In Greenpoint, where rent is much cheaper relative to Upper Carnegie Hill, the typical percentage was 15.3 percent – the highest in the city.
See below for a ranking of the top ten best tipping neighborhoods based on typical tipping amount on Seamless.
Being Rent Burdened Translates to Lower Tips
Perhaps not surprisingly, the greater the rent burden in a particular neighborhood, the lower the tip amount as well. Using the rent-to-income ratio for each neighborhood, we found that less affordable neighborhoods tend to tip less. For example, renters in Brooklyn Heights have a relatively low rent burden of 30 percent (meaning 30 percent of the typical household’s annual income in 2014 was spent on rent there), yet the typical tip percentage was 14 percent. In Elmhurst, where the rent-to-income ratio is 42 percent (considerably less affordable renters than Brooklyn Heights), the typical tip percentage was just 13.1 percent.
More Highlights from Our Study
- Manhattan residents, who pay the highest median asking rent, tipped the least in comparison to Brooklyn and Queens.
- Upper Carnegie Hill tipped the least of all New York City neighborhoods included in the analysis
- 17 of the top 20 neighborhoods that tip the least are in Manhattan
- Brooklyn neighborhoods came out on top as the city’s best tippers, with Greenpoint, Sunset Park and Bushwick typically tipping 15 percent or more.
- Queens neighborhoods also made the list as best tippers, with Astoria, Long Island City, Ridgewood and Hunter Point renters typically paying tips between 14.2 percent and 14.5 percent on Seamless orders.
How We Did It
Median asking rent was calculated for each neighborhood using StreetEasy rent data and compared with median tipping percentage in 2014 using data provided by Seamless. Each neighborhood’s typical order amount is reported as a percentage difference from New York City’s median order total. The typical order total in Tribeca, for example, was 8.3 percent greater than the typical order in New York City, while in the East Village it was 2.8 percent less.