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Author Topic: Tipping in USA, how much and where?  (Read 24744 times)

Flyboy

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2012, 06:46:40 PM »
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)

I suspect that you are more confused now than before you posted your question on tipping.

I once visited Australia where I was invited to dinner at a private home. At the end of a fantastic meal, I was asked if I wanted dessert. My reply was.. "No thanks, I'm stuffed." I suspect that you know why there was absolute silence for several seconds after that. Thankfully, the host and guests understood that I was a yank.

As our US Marines motto says...Adapt and Overcome.  For the most part, we are a pretty forgiving society here..altho I don't think that applies to New Yorkers. :D  So you'll have a better time not worrying about when, where, and who to tip.

Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2012, 09:05:42 PM »
He he. that is so funny.
I don't know what is that fuss about New Yorkers. must find out about this.
Here we make fun of Irish people living in Australia. But only in nice way. Something on the level of  blond jokes. We all love Irish Aussies.
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The Escape Goat

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2012, 08:58:54 PM »
Australian hospitality works are quite well paid and labour laws generally across this country are the reason we have never needed to adopt a tipping system.

Thank goodness.

But I always tip 10-15% in the US - people need it and almost always give better/cheerier service than you get in Australia.
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Karsty

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2012, 04:10:35 PM »
I've lived in Canada all my life and have travelled extensively in Canada and the US. I thought I had tipping down to a science ... but after reading this thread I'm confused as hell.  :-\

I have never heard of tipping a mechanic. Don't know where that came from ... probably a mechanic. Most of the other service providers .... yes, to various degrees. Food service people are the ones I deal with the most and if the service is acceptable I leave 20-30%. I don't get a calculator out to figure it out ... just look at the bill and guesstimate. Of course the type of restaurant does matter as well. Buffet restaurants are generally $2-$3 per person. McDonalds and Wendy's - nothing. The fancier the restaurant and the more service and the more attentive the wait staff is ... the larger the tip.

Have you ever taken a cruise??? The baggage handlers there are not shy about what they want ... I was taken back by how brazen they were when suggesting that a good tip ensured that your baggage made it to your room in a timely fashion. Same with baggage handlers at the airport. If you want your bags to make it to the same destination as you are going ... it helps.

I am personally embarrassed at how little some folk leave as a tip. It seems the more well off folks are ... the less they leave. Just my observations from friends and acquaintances. If they paid the bill and leave a tip ... I've gone back ocassionally to add to the tip.

To the mates from Downunder ... don't sweat it ... I know it's hard to believe but your accent will give you away and most folks will understand that you find tipping a little confusing and ackward. Just have a great walkabout and enjoy your travels.


« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 04:15:43 PM by Karsty »
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Tom

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2012, 05:39:36 PM »
FWIW there was a topic on tipping here several years ago, mainly discussing tipping at restaurants.
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Tom

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2012, 05:48:21 PM »
Quote
I have never heard of tipping a mechanic.

I've been known to tip mechanics in addition to folks who do work at/around the house. If one guy is the owner of the company, I'll tip his workers if they do a good job. One time, a small company did some excellent work on my boat; I called the owner of the company and asked for the names of all his employees who had worked on it. I then drove over there and handed each one an envelope containing a nice tip and a personalized letter thanking them for the great job they did.

But, if folks do a poor job or have a bad attitude, my tip is "find another line of work".
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gremlin351

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2012, 06:02:21 PM »
I own a business in Michigan. I do tip my mechanics, my postman at holidays, the garbage men at holidays, so anyone i depend on to help keep the business going. and its not the money they look forward to its the gesture sayiong thank you.

Jammer

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2012, 06:06:32 PM »
Jammer's Travel Guide (tm) -- Tipping Etiquette in the Land of the Free (and right to arm bears)

Facts to consider
  • Service workers generally believe they are under-tipped and if asked will suggest a larger tip than is actually customary.  This has somehow carried over into many travel guides and internet sources
  • In some cases a tip jar will be present even in situations where tips are not customary.
  • When in the U.S., tip only in U.S. currency.
  • Reduce tips when the service is poor (uninformed, incompetent, rude, etc.).

Restaurant where you pay AFTER you eat.  General rule is 15% of the total for competent, capable service.  If the wait staff truly contributed to your enjoyment of the meal, consider 20%.  Inept service, still leave 5-10% in most cases; no tip at all is reserved for situations where the wait staff were being rude, spilled things on you, and other egregious behavior.

Restaurant where you ordered unusually expensive items Like a $200 bottle of Champagne or something.  Calculate the tip as though the expensive item had been a similar typically priced item.

Restaurant where you pay BEFORE you eat (cafeteria or fast food).  Traditionally no tip is left in these situations.  5-10% may be appropriate if there is attentive table service at buffet and cafeteria places.

If your toddler made a huge mess or you ripped the sink off the bathroom wall in a drunken fit of pique Adjust tips upwards accordingly.  In the latter case you may stop by the following day to settle up after sobering up.

Bars It usually works best to make a large tip on your first order ($5-$10 per person  depending on how long you plan to stay) so that the bartender pays closer attention to you and so you aren't constantly having to figure out how much leave after each little purchase.

Hotels Housekeeping staff are grossly underpaid.  I almost always leave a dollar or two in the room.

Baggage handlers No tip necessary unless they are providing extra service at your request, such as getting bags out of your car or taking them to your room

Valet parking Tricky area, usually with a hotel or restaurant valet I tip a dollar or two, but at parking ramps that require you to valet park so they can fit more cars in the ramp I usually don't. 

Pizza and other ready-to-eat food delivered to your home (or RV or similar location)  15% or so, less for unusually large or high dollar orders (as with a large group), more if you're out in the middle of nowhere and they drove a long way

Grocery deliveries Most have a "no tipping" policy.  Follow it.

Liquor deliveries $5-$10, more for unusually heavy or otherwise problematic deliveries.

Car wash They like tips but it isn't really customary unless you get them to do more work than usual.

Taxi, limo 10-15%, less if the cab is poorly maintained, odoriferous, unsafe driving, etc.  More for nicely appointed limos driven with style and courtesy.

Haircut  15% although some people who own their own barber shop don't like to be tipped.

Shuttle bus driver at an airport, car rental place, hotel.  0%, sorry dude.  If you're feeling generous or they pulled five heavy bags out of the back of the trunk of your car at your insistence then give them a buck or two.

Coffee bar They will have a tip jar out.  It isn't customary to leave a tip unless you place a difficult order or are otherwise making their life difficult.

Musicians, comedians, other entertainers Anywhere from $1-$5 per audience member for a hat pass or tip jar if you enjoyed their performance.  At least $5 if you make a request for a specific song.  No tip is required if you buy a CD or similar item from them.  In more formal venues that charge admission no tips are customary unless the performers indicate otherwise

Package delivery No tip.

Mechanics and other repair personnel No tip except maybe if they stayed open late or came in after hours.

Tour guides, fishing guides, etc. Expectations vary widely with some operating under a "no tipping" policy and others engaging in artless dunning for tips.  Use your judgment.

Charter pilot No tip necessary in most although they do appreciate them.  If they are selecting the destination or acting as a tour guide they may expect a tip.

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Tom

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2012, 06:19:54 PM »
Quote from: gremlin351
I do tip my mechanics, my postman at holidays, the garbage men at holidays ....

Thanks for the reminder. Every Christmas I wait outside at 6:00am in the freezing cold to hand a tip to our garbage collectors, one being the regular garbage guy and the other being the recycle guy. Their tip is the same (as) we give the mail lady and the UPS driver who's always dropping stuff off at our door; We give them all a Safeways grocery store gift card. As you correctly said, it's the gesture that they really appreciate.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 08:24:33 PM by Tom »
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Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2012, 11:07:48 AM »
Guys
I am getting handle on this now. After 2 months in us, I feel like I am expert LOL.
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ArdraF

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2012, 08:31:09 PM »
Jan,

Just curious - how far off - or on - were we?

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Tom

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #41 on: July 01, 2012, 08:45:08 PM »
How would he know  ???
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Smoky

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #42 on: July 01, 2012, 11:19:49 PM »
I tip most service people.  However I object to the idea that receiving tips is a God given right.  Tipping is a reward for good service.  And it generally is not done for high paid service people like doctors, lawyers, business executives, etc.

I tip 20% for excellent service, 25% for outstanding service, 15% for good service, 10% for barely acceptable service, and nothing for really bad service.  I view it as a merit program.  In restaurants I give one tip to the waiter.  If they split tips I have no objection.  But I only deal with the waiter.

I base my tip to the mechanic as a percentage of the labor bill.  I do not tip for parts.  I use the same percentages on labor service as I do everywhere else. 

This year I tipped my Internet guy 25%.

I would be glad to tip Ned 100%.  That would be a steal since his labor cost is negligible on this form. ;D

Most of the time I get better than average service, because we generally do not go back to places with poor service.,  So my average is about 20%.  It comes back a hundred fold where we are regulars.

In the end there is no one way to handle tipping.  It is a personal decision.  What has worked best for me over the years is to tip based on merit.  But to be honest in my judgments about the quality of service I am receiving.

One caveat, in restaurants I also add a comment on the check I receive.  For good service I draw a smiley face at the top of the check and and short phrase admiring the good service.  This seems to have an effect even surpassing money.  I often wonder what happens to all my many checks with smiley faces.  I hope thay make a lot of bosses and restaurant mangers happy with that employee.  At least I hope so.  Maybe it gets them higher pay in the long run.

Smoky
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Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2012, 01:26:52 AM »
Jan,

Just curious - how far off - or on - were we?

ArdraF

All advice was useful to me to find right way to handle tipping. I was wrong once when I attempt to tip boy at Cosco gas station. He told me that they are not allowed to take tips.
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Wendy

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2012, 11:22:50 AM »
All advice was useful to me to find right way to handle tipping. I was wrong once when I attempt to tip boy at Cosco gas station. He told me that they are not allowed to take tips.

National Park Service rangers also are not allowed to take tips. This may apply to all federal employees. When offered a tip, we used to tell the folks that we couldn't accept but that they could drop the money in the donation box that most parks have.
 
Wendy
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bucks2

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2012, 12:12:51 PM »
I have several younger friends who have great fun laughing at all the stooges paying taxes on all their wages. Two who work at higher end restaurants and are in their 40's, have no plans to leave their jobs and get a regular wage job. The tip skimming is worth so much to them, they can't afford to (won't) take a regular job and pay taxes on ALL their earnings. Tax cheats are tax cheats.

Tips are for service rendered, (To Insure Prompt Service) If the person is not giving me the service I require, the tip is adjusted appropriately. If I am receiving excellent service then the tip shows my appreciation.

Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #46 on: July 09, 2012, 06:30:21 PM »
Hi,

I am an Aussie too.  We were RV'ing in the USA last year.  You will know who and when to tip when you are there.  The service is phenomenal.  You will be shocked how helpful the Americans are compared to us Aussies. 

Eg They listen to what you are really ordering and any changes are not a problem.
Handing over a heap of loose change to empty the wallet or purse is a great way to tip too.
We had a tyre issue and the guy worked on it for 1 hr.  He charged us $5 - now that is a tipping service.
People who go above and beyond and make you really enjoy your shopping/meal/what ever.... they are the ones to tip. 
Often with food, you can add your tip to the bill to pay with your credit card or ask for no change if you want to tip.

Americans work very hard and are very friendly.

Good luck, you will love it!!

Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #47 on: July 10, 2012, 01:13:09 AM »
You bet.
I am loving the trip. American's are very service oriented. Not like lay back Australians LOL.
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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #48 on: July 10, 2012, 06:09:03 AM »
If only we could laugh out loud about it.  Maybe Aussies should bring in tipping??!!

codgerbill

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #49 on: July 10, 2012, 06:27:04 AM »
We usually tip 20%. If the service is really exceptional we will go for more than 20%. If the service really sux we will do less. At a buffet we usually tip 10% (or more if the Waite person is really attentive). If we have a discount coupon for something (Meals, haircuts, etc) we will tip based on the full value of the service rendered. 8)
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Alfa38User

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #50 on: July 10, 2012, 08:29:06 AM »
I guess we have to remember what a TIP is: To Insure Prompt Service
and let that be your guide....
Stu
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The Escape Goat

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #51 on: July 23, 2012, 10:03:01 AM »
Being in the US again reminded me what an archaic and injust system tipping is.

I'm going to write an in depth discussion piece on my blog, in the meantime, can I ask why the tip component on a bill sits below the tax component?

So basically you want us to tip on the tax amount as well as the service/product amount? Just one of many anomalies that come with not paying people a proper wage and allowing employers to shift the responsibility from themselves onto consumers.
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Tin man

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2012, 10:21:31 AM »
If you purchase something in Australia, and there is a tip added on, well tip in USA Unless you are in a group of 6 or more, they do not add the tip.

Just like home you tip the same. I use 20% for good service..

Where it is included in Australia it is not in USA.  Not difficult.
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Ned

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2012, 10:36:34 AM »
can I ask why the tip component on a bill sits below the tax component?

So basically you want us to tip on the tax amount as well as the service/product amount?

You are not required to tip on the tax amount.  It's printed that way as some people leave a cash tip on the table and thus the printed bill is complete as printed.  I always compute the tip on the meal amount, exclusive of the tax.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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The Escape Goat

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2012, 06:00:43 PM »
You are not required to tip on the tax amount.  It's printed that way as some people leave a cash tip on the table and thus the printed bill is complete as printed.  I always compute the tip on the meal amount, exclusive of the tax.
Thanks for the clarification, although I don't think thousands of low paid workers and their employers understand this.

Nor do tippers generally.
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Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #55 on: July 23, 2012, 06:04:26 PM »
If you purchase something in Australia, and there is a tip added on, well tip in USA Unless you are in a group of 6 or more, they do not add the tip.

Just like home you tip the same. I use 20% for good service..

Where it is included in Australia it is not in USA.  Not difficult.

I don't understand what you mean by included tip in Australia.
Workers in Australia are paid properly and don't relying on tipping. We just don't tip down under. Minimum wages for waiter is around $18-19 per hour.
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The Escape Goat

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #56 on: July 23, 2012, 06:46:57 PM »
Workers in Australia are paid properly and don't relying on tipping. We just don't tip down under. Minimum wages for waiter is around $18-19 per hour.
Yes and in fact even though US visitors may feel they are doing the right thing, tipping in Australia is not necessary and actually creates/contributes to problems in our service industries. For example:

  • Employers will start to see it as a great way to try and install a system like the US system where they can ditch their responsibilities to employees. There has already been noise about this by high profile restuarant owners who feel they are not making enough money to match the size of their profiles or egos

    Workers start to develop an unwarranted entitlement mentality, and service levels will drop

So dont tip in Australia - its like introducing a foreign species amoung our flora and fauna, just creates more problems than it solves.
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Better to aim for the stars and hit the top of a telephone pole,
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Jan Stiskala

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #57 on: July 23, 2012, 07:18:31 PM »
I like this quote;  its like introducing a foreign species amoung our flora and fauna, just creates more problems than it solves.

Australian travelling US in  ACE 29.2
http://www.aussiepythons.com/

Tom

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #58 on: July 23, 2012, 08:06:51 PM »
It's interesting to see the variation in tipping by country, even within the same region. Tipping is normal and expected in many countries in SE Asia but, like Australia, tipping is not done in Japan.
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The Escape Goat

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Re: Tipping in USA, how much and where?
« Reply #59 on: July 23, 2012, 08:14:30 PM »
It's interesting to see the variation in tipping by country, even within the same region. Tipping is normal and expected in many countries in SE Asia but, like Australia, tipping is not done in Japan.
Yes, SE Asia is about the only region we are close to, so we visit it a lot. Tipping is not expected in many countries in the region

Big difference between working conditions in SE Asia though, comparing Australia to say Thailand is like comparing the US to Mexico.

Ironically only one of those 4 countries mentioned has labour laws that actually benefit the "labour".

I actually see tipping - in theory and practice - as being closer to a bribe than a wage suppliment. As mentioned by several Americans in this interesting thread - "To Insure Prompt Service"
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