tipping in America

Tipping is an important part of the American culture. People in the service industry are typically paid below minimum wage so they rely on tips as a large part of their income. In America tips are always calculated as a percentage of the bill before tax. It usually follows these rules:

  • 10% if you were unsatisfied.
  • 15% if it was ok.
  • 20% for excellent service.
  • 25% for outstanding service.

In many restaurants, the waiter is required give part of his-her tips to the bartender, bus boy, hostess and food runners. They are required to pay income tax on their tips: tips aren't 'extra', they are part of their wage. It's always best to tip in cash, when you can, and directly to the person who provided the service.

tipping etiquette for hotels in America

In America Tip at hotels

In the United States tipping shows gratitude for good service, but it also supplements fairly low wages of those in the service industry. Hotels in America are no exception. You should give $1-$2 tip to the hotel doorman who hailed a cab for you or brought your car from the valet. Bellman or porters should be tipped $1-$2 per bag and more if the bags are heavy. Housekeeping should be tipped $2-$3 per night. The concierge, or hotel porter will not expect a tip, but it will be appreciated for difficult requests: the norm is $5 per request. Also, don’t forget to leave the room service waiter a 15% tip.

tipping in bars in America

In bars Tip 10% - 25% in America

Tipping at bars and cafes in the US is incredibly common and everyone looks forward to scoring a nice tip. Consequently, when visiting a bar or café, make sure to always tip the bartender at least $1 for the first drink. If you like the service and feel generous enough, you can continue giving a tip of $1 for each drink purchased. This act is highly appreciated by bartenders in America, waiters and waitresses. So much so, that if you keep tipping well and consistently at bars and pubs, you may also receive a drink on the house sometimes known as “comp” or “buyback”. Some bartenders still use the ‘old school’ signal of leaving a shot upside-down glass near your spot at the bar. Turn the shot glass over and enjoy the free drink. However, don’t forget to tip on the ‘comp’, as the drink may be free, but the labor isn’t.

tip etiquette at spas in America

At spas tip 10% - 20% in America

In America it is customary to tip between 10% and 20% at a spa for a massage or any other treatment. However a service charge may be included on your bill. You can leave your tip at reception and most spas will give you an envelope.

tips at hair dressers in America

tip tour guides 15%-20% in America

For a haircut or any other treatment, a 10%-20% tip is usually perfect. But, do make sure to ask if the tip has been included, as some hairdressers do include a gratuity on your final bill. Most hairdressers will even provide an envelope to leave at the reception desk for the person who cut your hair. Therefore, if the service charges haven’t been included, make sure to leave behind at least a 10% tip of the bill.

tipping practices for restaurants in America

In restaurants Tip 10% - 25%

You should always tip at restaurants in the America. 10% if you were were unsatisfied, 15% if it was ok, 20% for excellent service or 25% for outstanding service. This rule applies for sit-down restaurants where you are waited on, buffet restaurants, room service and food delivery, but not fast-food resteraunts. In some restaurants, a service charge (gratuity) may be added to the bill automatically, but mainly for large parties (6+). Always check your bill!

should you tip your taxi driver?

tip taxi drivers 10%-15% in America

When visiting the any sizeable city in America, chances are you are bound to take a taxi at some point or the other. Regardless of the situation, it’s customary to tip your driver a 10 to 15% of the overall fare or round the amount to the nearest dollar. If the driver helps you with your bags, consider throwing in a few extra bucks if you feel generous enough. If you are staying at a hotel you can order your taxi from the directory (found in most hotel rooms) or from your concierge.

should you tip your tour guide?

tip tour guides 15%-20% in America

You are expected to tip your tour guide, between 15% and 20% depending on the quality of service, friendliness and knowledge. You should tip the tour guide or driver directly at the end of the tour.