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Tipping in the US.... What's the deal ?

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran

later this year I'm off to the states and would like to know the whats wheres whens and how much to tip ...
Here in Aotearoa if the service was good we tip, there's no real set amount, tipping for the most part is not expected...

I've heard in the US tipping is a way of life, it's part & parcel when it comes to eating in restaurants, taking taxis etc etc...

So what's the golden rule when it comes to tipping ie, the dos and don'ts and how much ...?

Comments

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited January 3

    Tipping is part of eating in a restaurant (if table service) in USA even to the point that the waiter or waitress might not get paid the minimum wage always because they get tips. (I'm pretty sure that is still true... it used to be).

    I don't know anything about taxis because I don't travel much.

    I have never had a waiter or waitress so bad that I didn't tip them 15% on my bill. I've had slow service but it might have been the kitchens fault so I still tip. So I just always tip at least 15%. I round up on the math so it might be between 15% and 20%.

    This is for table service. If I'm in line at a cafeteria style or a fast food and I have no table service then there is no tip.

    I suppose some people might reward extra good table service with a bigger tip but I don't really do that. I do appreciate excellent service but I personally don't do 'special' good tips. I just give the standard 15% plus tip.

    Other peoples opinions might vary but that's what I do and my sense of things.

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Thanks @Jeffrey ...It seems like a mine field knowing when and how much to tip... :)

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    Thanks @Jeffrey ...It seems like a mine field knowing when and how much to tip... :)

    Yes it can be challenging at first for us aliens.

    But I actually liked it after a while and preferred it to the non tipping culture we have over here. Just gotta get used to it I guess

    Shoshin
  • bravehawkbravehawk Explorer Explorer

    The best way is to move the decimal over one space of your total. That would be minimum. Ie 20.00 is 2.00 or 50.00 is 5.00. That’s low but if you don’t have the cash to tip everyone than that’s fine but I usually add more . $3 to $4 per 20 and if the service was excellent then more if I have it.

    It really about what you can part with and how you felt the service was to you.

    Shoshin
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited January 4

    I've heard in the US tipping is a way of life, it's part & parcel when it comes to eating in restaurants, taking taxis etc etc...

    It really [is] about what you can part with and how you felt the service was to you.

    No. It's about fair compensation for the workers. Even if the service is poor and the waiters are grumpy, pay at least 20%. Do YOU get docked in pay simply because you are having a bad day? Especially in U.S. restaurants, workers can be paid far below the minimum wage.

    Here's a few bullet points from the end of the following opinion piece by David Brooks, which is well worth reading:

    • Tip 20 percent when the meal is over $25 and 30 percent when it is under.

    • Always, always, always leave a tip in a hotel room.

    • To combat implicit bias when tipping drivers and others, commit to a percentage for all rides and stick to it.

    • Understand that the advantages you enjoy are products of both your individual effort and privileges you didn’t earn. Tip accordingly.

    https://nytimes.com/2019/10/24/opinion/tipping.html?searchResultPosition=1

    BunksShoshin
  • federicafederica Deep-fried Dharma Batter Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    In 2018, a Law came into effect in the UK, making the payment of Tips very clear: Whenever I eat anywhere, I always ask the member of staff how tips are managed within the establishment.

    I only refuse a pre-warned gratuity (even if it's added to the Bill, you CAN refuse to pay it) if the place was dire, the service abysmal and the entire experience ruined.

    Which sadly, isn't as uncommon as you'd think, because the Service Industry in the UK is not as 'respected' here as a profession as it is in other countries, such as the USA and some parts of Europe.

    Shoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I remember being quite surprised with the whole tipping culture in the US when I went there to visit. What I was used to from the Netherlands is a much more restrained affair, that you tip only you want to, for good service, and rarely more than 10%. So to go from that to tips in America, where it’s a wider practice, was a bit of a culture shock.

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica Deep-fried Dharma Batter Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    In Japan, it's absolutely taboo to tip. It is never, ever done and is considered an insult.

    FeistyGibblets
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    later this year I'm off to the states and would like to know the whats wheres whens and how much to tip ...

    @Kerome, @federica :
    Let's not get into muddied waters here, the OP asks how tipping is done in the US.

    And the fact is that our hospitality industries here tend to be run by stingy captains beholden to their playmates in state legislatures. That's simply our system.

    Please don't compare or contrast us with the Japanese, please, please. Americans are still in Kindergarten when it comes to cultivating patience, respect, and the like. Restraint and the ability not always to be self-indulgent are simply just not American virtues.

    Most everyone under 75 or so likes to travel, but as the old saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!"


    It really is about not allowing your waiter to be paid slave's wages while they are waiting table for you.

    I live in the South, and some of our "Evangelicals" —especially the clergy— do not tip at all. So, on my budget, I just minimize occasions when I eat out and in as quiet a way as I can, overtip.

    But then again, I must confess, I do tend to fall in love with nearly everyone I meet.

    lobsterShoshin
  • federicafederica Deep-fried Dharma Batter Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Nirvana said:
    Let's not get into muddied waters here, the OP asks how tipping is done in the US.

    Conversations tend to expand and encompass other matters. It's what happens when people talk. It's not off-topic, so I'll allow it, but thanks for the heads-up.

    Please don't compare or contrast us with the Japanese, please, please.

    I wouldn't dream of it. It wasn't intended as a comparison. It was merely highlighting a different attitude.

    Americans are still in Kindergarten when it comes to cultivating patience, respect, and the like. Restraint and the ability not always to be self-indulgent are simply just not American virtues.

    I'll take your word for it, but I'll have you know I am acquainted with several Americans who would belie that description...

    Most everyone under 75 or so likes to travel, but as the old saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!"

    Well, first, find out 'what the Romans do'...

    But then again, I must confess, I do tend to fall in love with nearly everyone I meet.

    Is the feeling mutual? Do tell....

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 4

    Great.... thanks for all your helpful advice...

    I also found this link interesting..

    I will do what I always do when visiting a foreign country...that is respect the local customs AKA When is Rome do as the Romans do (in this case it's America and doing what Americans do when it comes to tipping)....

    Bunks
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran

    Conversations tend to expand and encompass other matters. It's what happens when people talk...

    Yes, while we're on that subject.

    Japan is a Beautiful country, and with Mr. T-Rump, America grows uglier by the day.
    Irreparable damage has been done to the American character already, as witness his many supporters here.

    One can forgive the atrocities committed by another country in times of crazy, chaotic warfare. Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan policies do not forever stain them, unless succeeding generations fall back under their spell. Life goes on.

    But can one ever truly forgive the Betrayal of one's country by their own countrymen?

  • federicafederica Deep-fried Dharma Batter Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Nirvana said:Yes, while we're on that subject.

    Japan is a Beautiful country, and with Mr. T-Rump, America grows uglier by the day.
    Irreparable damage has been done to the American character already, as witness his many supporters here.

    One can forgive the atrocities committed by another country in times of crazy, chaotic warfare. Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan policies do not forever stain them, unless succeeding generations fall back under their spell. Life goes on.

    But can one ever truly forgive the Betrayal of one's country by their own countrymen?

    Yeah, no. This post IS off-topic.

    You've strayed from discussing the differences in financial dealings when tipping in the USA, which encompassed the diverse habits of clients and diners elsewhere, to discussing Politics, particularly relating to Trump.

    Off-topic.

    Nirvana
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited January 5

    Sorry

    federica
  • VastmindVastmind Veteran Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited January 5

    I was a food server, all through my 20’s....so if the service is good, I tip at least 20%. ....But if you have an attitude and the service is shitty, you get a couple bucks, that’s it. Yes, the hourly pay is is next to nothing, but you know that when you take the job. You also learn quickly that your approach and charm and attentiveness is how the money is made. So, take it serous or not. But then don’t complain that your tips are too low. I don’t want to hear it. Learn the craft.

    federicapersonShoshinBunks
  • federicafederica Deep-fried Dharma Batter Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ....and customers are customers. Sometimes they're really wonderful, understanding, gracious, good-humoured, chatty and really friendly. Other times, they are just bad-mannered, inconsiderate, rude, hostile, impatient and utterly ignorant - both as simply people, but also totally ignorant as in unaware of what serving people like them, is like.

    And sometimes, they're just having a really, really bad day, and you just happen to be in the firing line. At times like these, there's no avoiding it. You just have to weather the storm, know that "this too shall pass" and other customers will more than make up for the bad lot.

    But don't piss in their coke. Honestly? It's not worth it.

    Shoshin
  • FeistyGibbletsFeistyGibblets Explorer South Australia Explorer

    @Nirvana said:
    No. It's about fair compensation for the workers. Even if the service is poor and the waiters are grumpy, pay at least 20%. Do YOU get docked in pay simply because you are having a bad day? Especially in U.S. restaurants, workers can be paid far below the minimum wage.

    And while that sucks, I won't be bulled into tipping more than is deserved/I want to.

    • Understand that the advantages you enjoy are products of both your individual effort and privileges you didn’t earn. Tip accordingly.

    Wow, I don't even know where to start with that so I'll just say that on the numerous times I have visited the US, I have tipped according to what is deserved. It's NOT a privilege to be served by a bored worker who can't be bothered making eye contact, gets the orders wrong and gives attitude when the mistake is pointed out - EG "Sorry we didn't order this dish" "Are you sure you read the menu correctly ma'am?"

    As @Vastmind pointed out, learn the craft, it's common knowledge it's crap pay.

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    From a selfish Buddhist point of view, I found the physical handing over of money to another person brought me far more joy & satisfaction than the non-tipping culture in Australia.

    But then I understand that the minimum wage here means most everybody makes enough to be reasonably comfortable.

  • FeistyGibbletsFeistyGibblets Explorer South Australia Explorer
    edited January 5

    @Bunks said:
    From a selfish Buddhist point of view, I found the physical handing over of money to another person brought me far more joy & satisfaction than the non-tipping culture in Australia.

    I won't dispute that one at all.

    But then I understand that the minimum wage here means most everybody makes enough to be reasonably comfortable.

    This again is true. My objection is being told (implied in the tone of the other post) that one must tip because regardless of the level of service, it's a privilege to be treated accordingly. If I misunderstood (and to be honest I kind of hope I did), then I will duly acknowledge and apologise for the misunderstanding.

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