Tipping


Why do I have to tip?

Tipping in the U.S. can always cause some confusion among international students, tourists, etc. In most countries tips are either built into the bill or are not expected, however, in the US, many industries rely on tips to make their wages and tipping is necessary!

Tipping (also called Gratuity) is EXPECTED when dining out in the United States. In many U.S. states, people who work in the service industry (restaurants, bars, etc.) receive only minimum wage (between $2-$8 per hour) and the rest of their income comes from tips!

How much should I tip?

In general, a tip of 15% of the bill (before tax) is expected for satisfactory service. For great service you should tip about 20% and for poor service 10% is acceptable.

Groups

If you go to a restaurant with a group of six or more you can expect that the server/waiter will automatically add between 15%- 18% to the bill. Always make sure to check your bill and see if they have added in “gratuity”, if they have, then you do not need to add an additional tip. They do this because when you have so many people splitting up the cost of the bill, it can get very confusing how much everyone owes, then add tax, then add tip. Usually, with this confusion, the server/waiter loses out and the tip is very low. Since they work hard to serve your large group, they have the right to add in gratuity to your bill.

Tipping Guidelines:

Service

Suggested Tip

Servers/Waiters

10%: Poor Service
15%: Standard Tip
20%: Excellent Service

Bartenders

$1 - $2 per drink (tip more depending on complexity of the drink)

Food Delivery

$2 - $5 Tip (depending on how big the order is)

Hairdresser

10% - 15% of the bill

Valet Parking

$5 (pay this when they bring the car back to you; if staying at a hotel, this is expected every time the car is returned to you.  If a very upscale hotel, more is expected.)

Taxi

$2 for short trips (under $10) 15% - 20% for a longer trip (should be closer to 20% if they help you with luggage)

 

When is tipping NOT required?

Tipping is NOT required for take-out food or for restaurants where you go up to a counter and order (like a coffee shop). However, you might see a "tip jar" on the counter and tips are certainly welcome and encouraged by the staff!

Tipping may or may not be expected at hotels for housekeeping staff and concierge service but is always appreciated.  Hotel staff assisting with moving luggage to your room should be tipped at least $1 per bag, depending on the quality of the hotel.

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