BY MICHAEL STAHL
StreetEasy, a real estate website devoted to market reports, news and listings, collaborated with Seamless, New York’s most widely used electronic food ordering service, to examine how residents in various neighborhoods of the five boroughs tip delivery people relative to their rent rates. The resulting report accompanied by an interactive map revealed that renters who pay the highest for housing, generally tip the least, and Queens residents are among the more generous in the city.
“Of the 10 Queens neighborhoods for which we had sufficient tipping data, four rank in the city’s top 20,” wrote Alan Lightfeldt, StreetEasy’s Senior Data Analyst, in an email to the Queens Tribune. “It appears that Queens inhabitants are more empathetic to the Seamless delivery men and women than their Manhattan counterparts.”
Renters in Woodside are the third-best tippers in the entire city, dishing out 15.1 percent of their delivery bills in gratuity, according to the statistics. The Queens enclave ranks behind only Sunset Park (15.1 percent) and Greenpoint (15.3 percent) in Brooklyn. Other Queens neighborhoods that placed in the study’s top 20 are Astoria (12th, 14.5 percent), Long Island City (13th, 14.4 percent), and Hunters Point (20th, 14.2 percent).
On the other hand, 17 of the 20 worst-tipping neighborhoods are in Manhattan, with Upper Carnegie Hill earning the most dubious honor of least-generous area in the StreetEasy findings, tipping delivery people a mere 12.3 percent. Nine of the top 10 best-tipping zones were found in Brooklyn, including Bushwick (4th), Prospect Heights (8th), and Bedford-Stuyvesant (9th).
StreetEasy’s report gave city dwellers a bit of a benefit of the doubt though. “Perhaps not surprisingly, the greater the rent burden in a particular neighborhood, the lower the tip amount,” the post, written by Jihee Kim, a site data scientist, indicated. “Using the rent-to-income ratio for each neighborhood, we found that less affordable neighborhoods tend to tip less.” In other words, the rate in which residents of an area tip may not be reflective of their ethics, but rather their sincere capabilities. “For example,” Kim also wrote, “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.”
Still, Carnegie Hill’s median rent-to-income ratio was only 26.1 percent last year, while its neighbors in East Harlem granted higher tips (13.6 percent) to delivery folk in spite of a median rent-to-income ratio of an astounding 79.8 percent. Queens’ finest tippers in Woodside had a median asking rent in 2014 of $1,795 per moth and a median rent-to-income ratio of 36.5 percent.
To read the entire report and find out where your neighborhood ranks, visit StreetEasy.com/blog/nyc-best-tipping-neighborhoods/