Post # 1
Hello! I’m not from the US and although I have visited many times, I wasn’t the one paying (travelled with parents) until now. We will be roadtripping through the US for our honeymoon, from NY to LA, and the whole “tipping thing” has me kind of worried.
Here in Spain, the only people that get tips are waiters at restaurants (serving food, not drinks) and people that bring you take-away food. In both cases, it’s just a few euros or less, and not a specific percentage.
Do waiters not get paid in the US by their employers? i don’t understand why people tip them an extra 20% or whatever if they do their job well, aren’t they supposed to do it well because.. it’s their job? do they get payed very little?
I work at a bank and i’m expected to do my job well, aren’t they?
Can someone please explain this to me and how much i should tip different people doing different jobs? and what jobs don’t get tips? I don’t want to be rude while travelling in the US!
Post # 3
@raspberrymacaron: Waiters get paid much less than minimum wage, and count on tips to make up the difference. Where I live the minimum wage is $8.25, but for waiters and waitresses it’s $5.69.
Is there anyone in particular you’re wondering if you should tip?
Post # 4
Waiters are usually paid well below minimum wage so it’s customary to tip 20%. I tip in restaurants (waiters and bartenders) and for personal services (hair, nails, etc.). I also tip cab drivers, anyone handling my bags while I travel, and room service people. If you stop at a casino to gamble, people usually tip the dealers of table games when they win a big hand and the drink servers.
Post # 5
Ditto PP’s. FYI our federal minimum wage is $7.25, and in Virginia waiters/waitresses make $2.13 an hour. Bartenders and hostesses make about $5 an hour, depending on where they work.
ETA- I tip 20% or better if the service is great. If it’s just good, I tip about 15%, if it’s just ok I try to leave a little bit because servers pay taxes on their sales (so if they get no tip, they pay those taxes out of pocket), but if I get crappy service I don’t tip, and I ask to talk to a manager.
Post # 6
Customary tip for servers where I’m from is 18-20%. Servers are paid $3/hour there, so tips are pretty much their entire salary. Some states pay minimum wage $8+, and I’ve heard that in those states, it is more common to tip 15-20%.
You should also tip people who work in salons (again, most rely on tips as wages) and drivers. I can’t think of anywhere else that you might need to tip during your honeymoon (maybe someone who carries your luggage to your room?).
Honestly, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but when I was a server, I assumed when I had a foreign customer, that I would get an especially low tip, and it kind of sucked. It’s not anyone’s fault, and I realized at the time it was just a cultural thing, but it was kind of a bummer Of course, I would never give anyone lesser service, because I always strived for the kind of service I’d like to receive, but it kind of sucked to work your butt off for $3/hour just because the people you were serving didn’t know any better.
Post # 6
Yes, you should always tip the waiters (unless they provide truly dreadful service or if the receipt says ‘gratuity included’ which can happen if you are dining with a large group or if you order room service). I always tip ~20%, and as PP’s said it is because waiters in the US are paid far less than others.
Tipping is customary for waiters/food delivery/bartenders (20%), taxi drivers, maids in hotels (usually just a few dollars), hair stylists/manicurists (~20%). Please tip, it is considered very rude not to here (unless obviously the person does a horrible horrible job).
Post # 7
@les105: Haha it’s funny because when I travel abroad I feel horribly guilty to not tip like we do in the US, even though I know it’s a different custom there and it isn’t expect to leave 20%
Post # 8
To echo PPs, waiters and bartenders make very little money. A lot of their income is contingent on tips. I usually tip them better than people I know make normal wage. Unless their service is bad, I’ll tip 18-20%. If it’s a cashier at a semi fast-food restaurant, and they have a tip jar, that’s more optional. I usually put in a dollar. Delivery is around 2 or 3 dollars unless it’s a big order, then I do about 15%. People that help you carry your stuff in hotels, that kind of thing, a couple of dollars, maybe a $5.
If service is bad at a restaurant, leave a small tip rather than no tip at all. And always remember the waiters don’t cook your food. 🙂
Post # 9
Thank you bees! so i guess about 20% is apropriate for about eveything? any eating-drinking kind of thing.
how much do you tip a cab driver? or a maid? and how do you tip a maid if you are not there when she’s doing your room? do you leave it somewhere specifically that they know is for tips?
All servers are paid for their jobs in Spain… minumum wage must be respected! isn’t that why there is a minumum? and none of them pay for taxes on their sales, that is so weird!
i apologise for any spanish people giving lousy tips LOL. It just never occurred to me that these people were not payed at least minimum wage, and i guess most non-americans probably think the same way
Post # 10
should i tip someone at a fastfood restaurant too?
Post # 11
20% is becoming standard for food/drink (table service). If you go up to the bar, $1 per drink is customary. For carry-out I generally do tip about 10% or so, but this is more optional. For delivery, I give a flat $5-6.
I tip cab drivers about 20% as well. For the maid, $5/day or so and you can leave it in an envelope in the room at the end of your stay.
You will see tip jars everywhere in coffeeshops, fast food places, etc. I do not tip here.
Post # 12
Fast food workers are generally not considered a tipped position, so they make at least minimum wage. It is not necessary to tip them.
Can I just say that I appreciate you attempting to learn the proper etiquette.
Post # 13
I live in MN and they are actually required to pay us minimum wage her but that still is only $7.25. My best advice I can give you is if you are traveling using your debit or credit card, keep cash to tip your waitor or waitress instead of adding it onto the tab. We get taxed on that money and sometimes my pay check will be nothing because I have been taxed so severly on the tips I have made.
Post # 14
I wait tables and make 2.13 an hour. I do not see a paycheck as I rely solely on tips. That being said, if someone gives you crappy service don’t feel obligated to give them a 20% tip… chances are they won’t even expect it if they know they gave you crummy service. However, if you do receive great service it’s always nice to compensate them for it. Each state is different, but for the most part servers rely solely on tips to pay their bills. =]
Post # 15
@raspberrymacaron: Not at a place like McDonald’s/Panera where you go up and carry the food yourself. When the only interaction you have with an employee is with a cashier you don’t need to tip as they make a full wage 🙂