In some countries, tipping is a small gesture to show someone in the service industry that you notice and appreciate their extra efforts. While tipping in the United States can mean the same thing, it is also a standard practice that waitresses, taxi drivers and hotel staff have come to expect as a large portion of their income. Travelers to the United States should learn about what is typical when it comes to tipping and Etiquette in order to be treated with the best possible service in local hotels, restaurants and bars. Here is a basic guideline on how much to tip in different scenarios within the United States.
Tipping in Bars and Restaurants
In much of the United States, bartenders and wait staff can make as little as two dollars per hour in their professions, and tips are what earns them the majority of their income. It is for this reason that tipping percentages in the United States are much higher than in the rest of the world. A typical rule of thumb is to pay anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of your total bill in a restaurant or bar as the tip. Fifteen percent shows that you were satisfied with ordinary service and 20 percent signifies exceptional service.
Tipping in Hotels
There are several instances where tipping in a hotel is not only commonplace but expected. A hotel porter who removes your bags from the car and delivers them to your room should receive anywhere from two to three dollars per bag. If you stay in a hotel for more than one night, and especially if you enjoy turn-down service, you should also tip the hotel housekeeping staff. In the United States, anything more than two dollars per day is acceptable. When using the hotel concierge services for a restaurant reservation or for any other special request, a tip of five dollars or more is customary.
Tipping Taxi Drivers
Customary tipping for taxi drivers in the United States is 15 percent of the total fare. If the taxi driver was especially helpful or carried bags for you, that amount might be increased by one or two dollars.
Basic Tipping Guidelines for Other Services
In a tipping culture like the United States, tipping is expected for a range of different services. At a hair salon or spa, 10 to 15 percent on the total bill is recommended. While on the cruise ships, even one with inclusive costs, general tipping rules for waitstaff and housekeepers still apply.
These helpful tips can ensure that travelers tip well in the United States and are greeted with great service along the way.