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Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Some restaurants and other businesses, primarily in the service sector, are seeing spikes in tips as the coronavirus pandemic stalls the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: The restaurant industry has been hit hard as mandated dining area closures have forced businesses to restructure operations. Many workers rely heavily on tips, so the uptick in discretionary gratuity can help make up the difference.

The state of play: Matthew Danna, co-founder and CEO of Boulevard Labs Inc., a software provider to salons and spas, told the Wall Street Journal, "Historically, the only time we’ve seen gratuity rates shift this much is during the week before Christmas, when clients are feeling extra generous and thankful to the professionals that help them look and feel their best all year long."

  • The average tip for a pizza pickup in the U.S. was $5.32 in the second week of April, a 40% increase in what pizzerias saw in late February.
  • Instacart, a delivery service, said its drivers received tips in mid-March that were 30% higher on average than four weeks prior.

Go deeper: States order bars and restaurants to close due to coronavirus

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.