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      03-17-2013, 07:02 PM   #1
Palmnuts
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Tipping in the US

We're off to the States next month but, as I haven't been there since 2009, I'm probably a little out of touch on the typical tipping expectations these days.

I'm staying in some reasonably nice places and I know the guys over there pretty much just work for their tips. Therefore, I do accept the different culture and am not averse to paying whatever the going rate is - I just want to make sure what I give is appropriate without paying more than I have to!

It used to be a dollar per bag for bellboys, a dollar for getting your car back from valet parking (annoyingly, all the nice hotels only seem to have valet parking which I hate), a couple of dollars per day for maid, 15% for service in a restaurant etc etc. Are these amounts still appropriate or should I be paying more?
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      03-17-2013, 07:59 PM   #2
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I think it's more like 20% nowadays (San Francisco and New York in 2012). It was a dollar a bag for me on my previous visit, but that was 1997 so it's probably more nowadays since a dollar buys you the square root of fukc all over there.
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      03-18-2013, 12:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmnuts
We're off to the States next month but, as I haven't been there since 2009, I'm probably a little out of touch on the typical tipping expectations these days.

I'm staying in some reasonably nice places and I know the guys over there pretty much just work for their tips. Therefore, I do accept the different culture and am not averse to paying whatever the going rate is - I just want to make sure what I give is appropriate without paying more than I have to!

It used to be a dollar per bag for bellboys, a dollar for getting your car back from valet parking (annoyingly, all the nice hotels only seem to have valet parking which I hate), a couple of dollars per day for maid, 15% for service in a restaurant etc etc. Are these amounts still appropriate or should I be paying more?
Use magic word THANK YOU. That's what Americans start using now.
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      03-18-2013, 02:16 AM   #4
gangzoom
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Last time I was in America (2011) we didn't tip anyone for anything...

I had no idea we were suppose to!!

We just assumed since we were paying extra to stay at nice hotels and eat at nice restaurants the staff must be getting paid OK amounts. Never got the impression we were suppose to tip at all...They must have thought we were proper penny pinchers!!
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      03-18-2013, 03:38 AM   #5
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went in spetember last year, we were encouraged to be tipping 20%, but in reality we rarely did unless we got great service.
depends on where your going as well, I thought Vegas and LA were far more relaxed than NY.
most places break down the tip percentage on the reciept now any way, so you can see what your expected to leave at 15%, 18% or 20%.
have to say that when it came to people like parking attendants and concierge etc we kind of played dumb, or carried our own bags....
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      03-18-2013, 03:38 AM   #6
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A group of us were in Kew West a few years back and the bar staff stopped serving us drinks after about the fourth round due to my mate not tipping them (he had the kitty). A $20 note soon sorted it out.

I would tip 15% for food bills and $5 dollars for other things like valet parking and bell boys.
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      03-18-2013, 04:13 AM   #7
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Easy rule of thumb, look at your bill and find the sales tax (near the bottom, before the total, like VAT here) and double it.
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      03-18-2013, 04:25 AM   #8
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Agree with the 20% figure for restaurants, providing they deserve it. Even our American friends won't tip if the service is poor.

Have a good trip!
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      03-18-2013, 04:51 AM   #9
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I guess I'll chime in since I'm from the U.S.

In Los Angeles, the usual is about 15% for restaurants (20% if I'm blown away), couple bucks for valet, couple bucks for maid, etc... Honestly, I kinda hate this tipping culture because it has turned into something that is expected.
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      03-18-2013, 08:08 AM   #10
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      03-18-2013, 08:16 AM   #11
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I went there with a couple of mates in September and came to the conclusion that tips were included in the bill 99% of the time so so if it came to lets say $95 inc the tip, we'd leave the $5 aswell, as a token gesture really! Of course we didn't tip if we thought the service was bad or they didn't need it. Just go over there and tip what you think you should tip. The staff will appreciate it regardless of the amount!

Both my father and Uncle spend a bit of time over there on business and they rarely tip, unless it's for valet parking. I mean c'mon they're driving your car, you want them to treat it with respect.
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      03-18-2013, 08:35 AM   #12
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15% is expected and 20% for a good meal
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      03-18-2013, 08:46 AM   #13
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I don't normally tip here...unless i have received an extremely good service...

in Will's words...fcuk them!...

unless it's a hot waitress...willing to s*ck c8ck!...
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      03-18-2013, 08:52 AM   #14
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I think tips can be a big part of their income out there. I've had waiters hanging round waiting for their tip - it's pretty much expected and yeah, 20% is the going rate for a meal.
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      03-18-2013, 09:12 AM   #15
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It's typical for waiters/waitresses to get less than minimum wage because they get tips.
20% is expected. Some restaurants will add a gratuity on the bill if you have a large party (6-8+), so in that case, you don't have to leave anything extra.
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      03-18-2013, 11:49 AM   #16
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      03-18-2013, 12:28 PM   #17
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why should u tip at all?

you dont tip in mcdonalds out there?

If someone does a good job your happy to tip - its when they hang around like a bad smell after delivering nothing more then carrying the food from the kitchen to the table and expect 20% for that??

Find cab drivers the worst for that - one even said 'wheres my tip' ... to which my mate replied 'wheres my service with a smile?'.

Dont see why they just dont increase the food price by 15-20% and be done with all the tipping rubbish.
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      03-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCUK View Post
why should u tip at all?

you dont tip in mcdonalds out there?

If someone does a good job your happy to tip - its when they hang around like a bad smell after delivering nothing more then carrying the food from the kitchen to the table and expect 20% for that??

Find cab drivers the worst for that - one even said 'wheres my tip' ... to which my mate replied 'wheres my service with a smile?'.

Dont see why they just dont increase the food price by 15-20% and be done with all the tipping rubbish.
It's part of their culture. And it is why you generally get much better service in the USA and can actually make a living off these types of jobs. Whereas in the UK the bar staff are more interested in chatting than pouring drinks.
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      03-18-2013, 02:04 PM   #19
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We go to the states quite a lot and have always tipped, most of the time it's just for a meal and anything between 10-20% is acceptable.

As it is all based on the service I receive and it's expected I really have to get a good service to tip 20%, most of the time it's between 10-15%
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      03-18-2013, 02:12 PM   #20
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In some states, service staff are getting paid a pittance- literally a buck or two an hour- and make most of their money on tips. I live in Portland, Oregon, and here our waitstaff are paid minimum wage, plus tips, but that is not the case in a lot of states.

Most folks I know tip 15-22% at restaurants, a buck a drink when at a bar (unless you are drinking total schwill), especially if it is busy and you are drinking liquor. Good tips get strong drinks, especially if you are hanging around for a while and will be having a few.

Bags, valets, maids- $1-3 in my experience.
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      03-18-2013, 02:19 PM   #21
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Tipping in the states:

As many have said; in most states waitstaff are paid VERY little. Where I am, the average hourly rate for waitstaff is around $3.50. They are paid well under minimum wage with the expectation that they earn their pay through tips. 15-20% is normal for meals and bar tabs. This is only a rule for non fast-food dining establishments. You don't tip at McDonalds....

Bellhops and valet usually get a cut and dry $5 from me. Although I generally avoid using both of those services.

So a few years ago I was doing a lot of business in London and had to fly out for a week here and there a couple times a year. I had some friends out there that I met up with on my first trip after a few days of being in country and we went out for some beers. When we were done, I was going to put a tip on the bar and one of my friends asked what I was doing. When I explained it; I was informed that it's an unusual thing in England to tip as staff are paid normal hourly wages.
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      03-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #22
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I honestly don't like the idea of tipping in North American culture. Sometimes it is seen as just a norm which everyone is expected to do. Multiple occasions we had horrible service and the waiter came out and spazzed out at us, we explained that they had shitty service but they always pull the "I will get fired if I do not get a tip" card.

Honestly, you get paid a wage, why do you expect people to pay you extra? You already get paid for waiting tables, parking someone's vehicle etc there's no reason to ask for anything on top.

EDIT: In Canada, no one is allowed to be paid under minimum wage per provincial law. Minimum wage here in most provinces are around 9 -$11 an hour. +tips they are making more than what their job really entitles.
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