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Author Topic: Tipping in USA, how much and where?  (Read 24687 times)

Jan Stiskala

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Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« on: March 10, 2012, 05:34:19 PM »
Since I am Australian and tipping is not custom in Australia, I am terrified how I will manage this in US. My problem will be where to tip, and how much. I heard that some professions are totally depended on tip money and I would hate the situation when my tip is not proper.
I understand that this topic is bit unusual for you US born members, but I am living in different culture here. Australians are usually well paid for the job they do, so tipping is not custom here.
What about Canada?
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SeilerBird

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2012, 06:00:07 PM »
Tipping can be done anytime you are really satisfied with the personal service you get. Examples would be waitresses, valets, hair stylists and maitre d. Examples of people you would not tip would be a cashier, a policeman (especially not a policeman!), toll booth operators and RV park owners.

Waitresses are the occupation most commonly associated with professions that depend on tips for their income. But I still refuse to tip them if the service is poor. Tips are for good service, not just for service in my book.

PS - There is no reason to be terrified.
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ArdraF

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2012, 06:11:16 PM »
Hi Jan,

Having visited Down Under in the early 1980s we were surprised at the lack of tipping but noticed it was changing somewhat over the years.  It's true many people in the US, especially in tourist areas and in service industries, depend on tips.  They're paid the minimum wage required by law, but hourly workers don't always work a full workweek so their pay might be considerably lower than fulltime workers.  After 9/11, when no airplanes were flying and there were few tourists, we heard people on the radio and TV encouraging others to tip more generously than usual because people like restaurant workers were really hurting.  So yes we do tip, more if the service is unusually good.  You'll also find that generally restaurant servers are more attentive here because they want a good tip.  For example, we Americans like our morning coffee and the server often comes to the table with coffee pot in hand or takes your coffee order and comes back to take the rest of the order.  We didn't see that very much in Australia and New Zealand.  Also, tips in restaurants often are split between several people, including the wait person who takes your order, the "bus" person who brings the water and clears the table, and the "runner" who brings the food to the table.  You'll generally be safe with 15-20 percent.  Restaurants often have a notation on the menu that larger parties, say six or eight people, will have the gratuity added to the bill automatically.  If you have a question about gratuities, by all means don't hesitate to ask the server.  With your accent, they'll know you're "not from around here" and will be happy to help you.  ::)

If you Google Tipping Customs in USA you'll find articles like the following.  http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g191-s606/United-States:Tipping.And.Etiquette.html

Hope you enjoy your trip!

ArdraF
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012, 06:15:22 PM »
     Although minimum wage laws cover all employees in Canada, tipping of around 15% is usual for such things as waiters/waitresses,  or more if the service was above expectations.  Tipping for mechanics, etc only if you deem their work to be above that.

Ed

PS: Ardra, in states like Florida food servers do not fall under minimum wage rules, so most earn between $2 to $3 dollars per hour
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 06:19:26 PM by Hfx_Cdn »
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donn

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 06:24:05 PM »
Tipping is typical 15%.  It can be higher for exceptional service or less for bad service.  Tipping only appkies to sit down dining.

Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 06:31:38 PM »
Wow 2 to 3 us $ per hour that is really bad.
I am bit confused about the previous comment to tip mechanics. You tip mechanics when they do your car service?
Waitresses and hair stylists i understand.
i
I will read informations in link you give me ArdaF
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ArdraF

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 06:33:53 PM »
Donn - Thanks for the good catch about tipping where the 15-20 percent applies to sit down dining.  For buffets where people still have to bring drinks (sometimes from the bar which may be elsewhere) and clear tables, we generally leave $2-3 per person, depending on the table server's attentiveness and promptness.  We've observed families with little children who make a huge mess to clean up leave nothing at all which isn't fair to the workers.

ArdraF
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Bill Adams

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 06:38:56 PM »
     Although minimum wage laws cover all employees in Canada, tipping of around 15% is usual for such things as waiters/waitresses,  or more if the service was above expectations.  Tipping for mechanics, etc only if you deem their work to be above that.

Ed

PS: Ardra, in states like Florida food servers do not fall under minimum wage rules, so most earn between $2 to $3 dollars per hour

This is not true about FL.  The minimum wages laws are Federally mandated with some States paying more but none allowed to pay less.
The minimum wage for workers earning tips increases from $4.29 an hour to $4.65 on 1/1/12.

We used to run a restaurant in FL and many employers broke the law and failed to pay their employees the proper wages (including one who paid there servers $5 per shift) but they were breaking the law.  If you know of workers being underpaid you should report the employer.  If the employee is working for "cash" then they know they are being underpaid and they are working in an environment that is just as illegal as the employers actions.

Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2012, 06:51:03 PM »
Just read it and mus say that as all this is maybe easy for us citizens, it is hell complicated for visitors. LOL For example I have no idea what is Showroom captain
Hopefully I will adjust quickly with out embarrassments
Australian travelling US in  ACE 29.2
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ArdraF

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2012, 06:58:07 PM »
Quote
all this is maybe easy for us citizens

Not always!  ;D  Sometimes I ask my husband what would be a reasonable tip because he's usually the one who pays the bill.  Until recently, when women in the US started receiving their own incomes, many women didn't know how to tip.  That's changed now.  But I still need help sometimes!  If a person helps carry groceries out to your car most western US grocery stores have "no tip" polices, but that's not always the case back east.  So, don't feel bad - we don't always know what to do either!  Observe what the people around you are doing and that may help.

Here's another article that may help.  http://www.itipping.com/tipping-guide.htm

ArdraF
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 07:05:45 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
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Wendy

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2012, 07:05:39 PM »
How about the pizza delivery guy? Or the hair stylist? Or the dealer when you're gambling? Or the ice cream shop where the workers have a jar out on the counter marked "tips"? Or the tour guide or tour bus driver? It sure can get complicated.
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odie1234

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2012, 09:24:30 PM »
Quote
How about the pizza delivery guy? Or the hair stylist? Or the dealer when you're gambling? Or the ice cream shop where the workers have a jar out on the counter marked "tips"? Or the tour guide or tour bus driver? It sure can get complicated.

Surely before this thread dies it will be inundated with a lot of how awful tipping is remarks. Be that as it may, I tip graciously and generously every time I get a service, especially if there is an outside chance that I will run into the service provider again. Yes, I tip mechanics and delivery people and dealers and tour bus drivers, and appliance repair techs and the mail delivery person and garbage men at Christmas. Tipping, to me, shows consideration and is, indeed, a payment to help insure good consideration the next time.

For the OP, right or wrong, restaurant servers should be tipped at least 15%, many of us tip a minimum of 20. People like taxi drivers, bell hops, doormen, and baggage handlers are commonly tipped. For our Australian visitors these are all the ones I would suggest remembering to tip.










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Redman

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2012, 09:43:34 PM »
Tipping is far more common AND NECESSARY in the US than Canada. First, no one in America can live on minimum wage (and that is what people in the service industries generally get) and you will find (especially in Western US) that the standards of service are quite a bit higher than we are used to in Canada-for example, the coffee pot mentioned above. 15-20% is standard, if you requested and got special service, 25% is not out of line. Do you know the difference between a Canoe and a Canuck- a canoe can tip! (one other thing-in Canada it is not uncommon for management to sideline the tips into their own account so in Canada leave cash rather than tip on the credit card if possible!)

But, if you are at a "special $5.00 breakfast" promotion, don't cut the waitress out of a decent tip  by calculating your tip on the cost of the meal- I like to think $1.00 to $1.50 per person is minimum, more if you receive good service or are going to be there a lot-because waitresses just naturally are specially attentive to regular customers and you want that kind of service.

SeilerBird

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2012, 09:44:40 PM »
It is also important to tip forum members who are helpful ;D ;D ;D
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2012, 10:51:19 PM »
Thanks god for australian minimum wages. my daughter is uni student working to support her self in club restaurant and her minimum wages is $18 australian per hour. but there is very little tips received here.
Thanks to all for explaining the tipping culture in US. I understand now that there is real reason for that. Only what is putting me off little. Is that feel that you are expected to tip. I personally like to tip in restaurants, but it is much more appreciated if the staff is not expecting this as form of payment. Customer feels more like giving award than like paying fee.

But reading this posts, I have feeling that ordinary workers are not paid well. There is lot to learn for me when I arrive.
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Marc L

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2012, 07:14:49 AM »
I usually go with 15% before taxes.  It was easy when the sales tax was 15%, tip pre-calculated on the bill, but still happy about the tax cut.

In rare occasions, I've seen leaving myself just leaving a penny.  In those cases, 1 penny was too big of a tip, but I wanted the waiter/waitress to know I did not forget to tip. 
Marc...

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2012, 09:32:30 AM »
Hi,

Another thing to consider is that typically we found that comparable food is less expensive in the US than AU. I expect part of this is the lower pay for servers (and the balance probably lower taxes?).

As to quality of service and tips; I'll recite a story:
We stay at the Medina in Darling Harbor (and do tip) when in Sydney. My wife tells the (true) story of the waiter who remembered her favorite breakfast a year later; tips do make an impression there!

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

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Icemaker

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2012, 12:33:49 PM »
Having had several children who were/are in the food service, or alcohol, I have learned that they are taxed as if the patron left a 15% tip on each one they waited on. Thus a $10 meal where the patron left a $1 tip they have to pony-up the difference...with the elderly this can be a big issue as some still feel that a 10% or less is a mark of gratitude..for "good" service I have been known to leave a 25% or on rare occasions more..I've noticed that alcohol is an occasional influence there..
As was mentioned I always go out of my way to leave the tip as a cash tip and not on the card. Also I like to insure my server is the recipient and not the busboy ...I'm also not a big fan of pool tip jars either ..
I admire the workers who can do this...
George


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Flyboy

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2012, 12:42:26 PM »
How about the pizza delivery guy? Or the hair stylist? Or the dealer when you're gambling? Or the ice cream shop where the workers have a jar out on the counter marked "tips"? Or the tour guide or tour bus driver? It sure can get complicated.

My thoughts exactly. I do have empathy for someone working for less than a decent wage, but it is really not my job as the customer to supplement the income of the employees at a business. Therefore, I'm usually a very frugal tipper unless I get service well above what I would expect as part of the normal job description. In that case, I'm probably an overtipper.

Why does one tip a bartender for popping the top and handing you a beer? Now if he/she makes the best bloody mary on the block, that might be worthy of compensation for exceptional talent.

Why does one tip the curb side check-in attendent at the airport and not the one inside the terminal? They both handled your bag, but neither is doing anything but the job description. Why tip the blackjack dealer in Vegas when you win? The machine shuffled the deck. All he did was flip the cards when you asked for one. Does anyone ever tip when they go home without their shirt? Why does one tip cabbys? What do they do that's special? The bus driver does much the same, doesn't drive like a maniac, but rarely gets a tip.

Why does one tip the barber for performing a simple hair cut?  Isn't that what they are suppose to do? A hair cut doesn't make me any prettier and if they don't do it to standard, then my not returning will be the issue, not the tip.  Is valet parking worthy of a tip? Aren't the attendants suppose to return your car with all the parts that came with it? Now if they decide to wash and wax it, that's cause for a big tip.

Why does a resturant automatically add a tip to the bill when it's a party of 8 or more? How much more work is it than serving four seperate dining couples at four different tables? Why is it 15%?  With larger groups, the total bill is going to be more anyway, so why not 10% of it? I never have figured out why there is a % for tipping anyway.  15% of a hundred dollar tab is much better than of a ten dollar one. So, just let me wait on the deep pocket diners!

What's with tipping the cruise cabin attendant? There is already an upfront gratuidity added to your package price. It's in the job description that they make funny towel animals and put a mint on your bed. How about a guest leaving a tip for the hotel maid after dirtying every inch of the room, but wants it spotless upon your return.

Has anyone ever tipped the doctor for doing the colonoscopy in accordance with his/her job description. I don't think so. How about tipping the teacher for putting up with your bratty kid all year long? That's probably worth 25%...or more. 

Save up some money by not tipping just because it's expected and then spend it buying lunch for a cop, fireman, or soldier. They do provide service above the norm on a regular basis.

If tipping isn't the norm in Australia, I'm moving there!!


geodrake

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2012, 01:21:57 PM »
I too tip generously but................... I sure wish service people we paid properly and the pay included in the cost of the product. 

Our son worked in a couple of high end restaurants while in school.  There a waiter's/waitress' sales for the night were totaled by the restaurant and 5% given to the buss boys.  Thus the wait staff's tips were reduced by 5%.  In the rare occasion that a patron did not tip, the waiter/waitress still paid 5% to the buss boys.
George Drake

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2012, 05:39:55 PM »
Quote
Having had several children who were/are in the food service, or alcohol, I have learned that they are taxed as if the patron left a 15% tip on each one they waited on.

By federal law, taxes are withheld on tip income as if a 7% tip was received on all sales. But when the federal taxes are filed at year end, the actual tips received are reported and the tax paid is based on actual amount, not the estimated 7%.  You then pay the extra or get a refund, as the case may be. However, if you report less than 7% tip income, you can expect to have a discussion with the IRS and be asked to produce records of your weekly tip income. Same might happen if you report much less than 10% too.

Social security is also withheld based on estimated tips, so that brings the total withholding percentage up near the 15% mark. Getting a refund of excess SS deductions is not easy.
Gary
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Water Dog

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2012, 05:59:34 PM »
I normally tip generously at most the places mentioned where service has been good, but I don't tip at counters where I physically stand in a line and the person behind the counter hands me something and takes my money, whether it be a sandwich shop, pizza place or coffee house. I feel there really hasn't been service there any more than say McDonalds, or the local hardware store. I think some of these business' are just capitalizing on a "food industry standard" even though they don't do the service aspect of it.
Dennis

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quaywe

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2012, 12:21:29 AM »
It is also important to tip forum members who are helpful ;D ;D ;D

tip...

don't eat yellow snow ;D
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Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2012, 01:27:51 AM »
I normally tip generously at most the places mentioned where service has been good, but I don't tip at counters where I physically stand in a line and the person behind the counter hands me something and takes my money, whether it be a sandwich shop, pizza place or coffee house. I feel there really hasn't been service there any more than say McDonalds, or the local hardware store. I think some of these business' are just capitalizing on a "food industry standard" even though they don't do the service aspect of it.

i understand from this that tipping in McDonald and burger shop is not common. What about the food halls in shopping centre where you just order and pick up your plate from counter? I asume that tipping there is not customary also.
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chrpennings

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2012, 01:52:38 AM »
When in New york I asked the cab driver what the average tip was. He smiled and said 50% plus, but Sir it,s very seldom that I get the average tip  :) :)

chris

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2012, 08:29:30 AM »
It is also important to tip forum members who are helpful ;D ;D ;D
tip....


insure plenty of T.P. before sitting down..
George


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Water Dog

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2012, 09:39:40 AM »
i understand from this that tipping in McDonald and burger shop is not common. What about the food halls in shopping centre where you just order and pick up your plate from counter? I asume that tipping there is not customary also.

Some food type counters set a jar or basket out, but there is really no "standard" that one should drop money in it, and more people don't than do.
Dennis

"Heart is where the home is"
---------------------------------
Dennis & Vici Bernhard
2000 Bounder
1999 Jeep Wrangler
Home: Sumner, TX

Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2012, 07:11:27 AM »
Thank you all for the help on this subject. Now I have to get Americanized. I am planning to keep coming to US at leas for 10 years to capitalize on my investment (new RV)
Australian travelling US in  ACE 29.2
http://www.aussiepythons.com/

Water Dog

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2012, 09:43:35 AM »
Thank you all for the help on this subject. Now I have to get Americanized. I am planning to keep coming to US at leas for 10 years to capitalize on my investment (new RV)

Congratulations on your new RV Jan, and enjoy your travels while you're here.
Dennis

"Heart is where the home is"
---------------------------------
Dennis & Vici Bernhard
2000 Bounder
1999 Jeep Wrangler
Home: Sumner, TX

PancakeBill

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2012, 07:53:36 AM »
It is also important to tip forum members who are helpful

Easier than it sounds, most of us are unbalanced and tip easily.

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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