Love it or hate it, tipping is a big part of American culture, and if you do it wrong, you can embarrass yourself ̵
Like, how much do you really have to tip at the bar? Is it OK to give a low tip for terrible service? What about valets – are you really expected to give them a fiver every time they get your car (and are you the scum of the earth if you don't)?
Not to mention the fact that tip practices vary depending on the country or region, so it can become even more confusing when you travel abroad. The best rule of thumb is to take into account tips for the full price of your meal, drink or hotel stay when planning your budget. With that in mind, here's a look at tilt standards in the United States, including how much, when and to whom you should tip – according to US News & World Report, WhoToTip.net and ArtOfManliness.com.
How much to tip in restaurants and bars
The good news is that you are not expected to tip the same amount in a five-star restaurant as when you order at the counter. But tips are acceptable, appreciated and even expected for a person who serves you and tidies when you are ready. The same applies to delivery and execution.
- Coffeeshopbarista & # 39; s : $ 1 or so per drink, more for complicated orders (eg. Half-fat, fat-free soya bar with light foam and an extra shot) or less for simple orders (hot water and a tea bag).
- Bartenders: $ 1 to $ 2 per drink (more for mixed drinks, less for draft) or 20% if a tab is used.
- Restaurant servers: 20% or more for an excellent service.
- Buffet servers: 10% to 15%, depending on how many plates, forks and fillings you go through.
- Fast casual counter service: Up to $ 1 for just taking your order, $ 2 to $ 5 for transporting your table or delivering your food.
- Restaurant execution service: 10%, more for large or complicated orders (such as a baby shower or office party)
- Drivers for the delivery of food: 10% or a maximum of 20% or more during dangerous road conditions or special circumstances such as vacations and .
Tips for hotels, taxis, parking attendants
Another good rule of thumb is to give everyone who does something for you a tip that you might as well do for yourself, such as cleaning your hotel room or cleaning your hotel room. carry suitcases.
With the exception of room service, most of the tips you give in a hotel are not so much based on the bill, but on the workload (how many bags they need to bring, etc.) or how much favor the person does for you (such as reservations in a fully booked restaurant or use a taxi during rush hour). In some cases it may be rude to refuse the help of a porter just because you don't want to break up with a few bucks.
- Hotel porters: At least $ 2, or $ 1 to $ 2 per bag, depending on how heavy or cumbersome your luggage is.
- Hotel Concierges: $ 5 to $ 10, depending on how much rope they had to pull for you.
- Hotel room service: 15%.  Hotel management: $ 2 to $ 5 a day, more if you leave a big mess.
- Bathroom staff: $ 1 to $ 2, more if you use expensive Cologne or other hygiene products.
- Parking attendants: $ 2 for each key exchange, more for luxury cars.
- Drivers of taxi & ride shares: 10% to 15%, more if they get you on time when you are late.
Hair stylists, movers, babysitters, car washes
These are a few services that take the total costs into account, for example:
- Spas: 10% to 20% depending on length and intensity of service (you can ask at check-out if the employee receives all their tips).
- Hair stylists: 10% to 20%, depending on the complexity of cut or style.
- Tour guides: 15% to 20% or $ 1 to $ 5 per person in your group, depending on how long your program is and how expert or your guide is.
- Movers: $ 4 to $ 8 per hour, depending on the difficulty of your movement (such as extra stairs, exceptionally heavy items).
- Dog walking service and pets: 10% to 20%, depending on the weather conditions (for walkers) length of stay (for sitters) and any special needs of your pet (such as medication).
- Car washes: $ 3 for a basic wash, 10% for a complete detail.
- Furniture / Appropriate Delivery: $ 5 per person, more if they linger and help you rearrange or install.
- Babysitters: At least round to the next hour, if not add a whole bonus hour to the total.
Other things to keep in mind when tipping
- Cash is preferable to credit, but giving a credit card tip is better than a shortage of cash.
- It is rude to leave a deliberately small tip, such as a handful change after a $ 50 meal.
- If you have exceptionally poor service, contact the manager. In extreme cases it is recommended not to tip.
- The chance that a server will spit into your food is relatively low, so we don't recommend tipping only to prevent retaliation. On the contrary, tip to acknowledge the work or service that has been done.
Originally published last year.
Correction, January 24: Clarifies the American minimum wage system with regard to tips.