Tipping is an American tradition you definitely need to know. A bellboy waiting at the door is not there to enjoy your company. The waitress that keeps asking you if everything is OK, is not only doing this because she likes you. They are offering you the best possible service, expecting a nice tip.
Tipping is typical American and can be quite confusing for tourists. Waitresses, bartenders, taxi drivers, bellboys and room attendants all work in the service industry, where wages are very low. Americans like to decide for themselves what the service was worth and express their appreciation by tipping. Tips are a part of the salary. Tipping is not mandatory, but it would be very rude not to give a tip.
Here are some guidelines about how much you should tip in different situations:
- In a restaurant you should give between 15% and 20% of the total check before tax. This is around 2 to 2,5 times the tax. Tipping is not necessary in fast food restaurants or self service restaurants. Bartenders should get about 50 cents per drink.
- Leave at least $1 per day in your hotel room for your room attendant. Do this everyday instead of only leaving a larger amount at the end of your stay, because different persons could be cleaning your room every day.
- Bellboys get $1 or $2 per bag, dependent on the weight.
- When the concierge has called for a taxi and opens the door, he’ll expect $1.
- Add 15% to the taxi fare, and 20% if you have bags.
- Valet parking is worth $2.
Amerika Reis has developed a Tip Calculator to help you determine how much to tip. Download the app on Google Play.