Why you need to know what tips are!

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Okay, friends- this subject is pretty important in the United States.

We are not talking about tips- such as good advice- we are talking about the tip that you need to pay whenever you receive services (adding money to your bar or restaurant bill, etc.).

Unless you want to look like a complete jerk when you go out to drink and dine, you should pay close attention to the following information.

Tips (giving whoever served you extra money for the service) are part of this country’s culture. Most employees in the bar and restaurant business here have a pretty low base pay (same about housekeeping etc.) and heavily rely on your tip to make an income.

The minimum wage here is not enough to make a living ($7.25 per hour as of 2019) so people here heavily rely on your generosity to make a fair hourly pay.

Giving tips is a big deal here but you may ask yourself:

How much should I give? What’s the norm?

How to do it the right Way

Here is a rule of thumb to answer that question:

10% of the bill amount if you weren’t impressed by the service.

15%-20% of the bill amount is standard.

20% or more if you feel like they did a great job.

The only time we didn’t tip at all is if the service was horrible. Thankfully, that only happened twice while I was living here.

Here is more helpful advice when it comes to tipping:

  • You don’t need to tip in fast-food restaurants.
  • You can consider tipping less if you order at the counter or take your food to the table.
  • A tip is welcomed for employees carrying your bags in hotels (3-10 Dollars, depending on the amount of bags).
  • A tip is welcomed when you use a free hotel shuttle (4-10 Dollars, depending on distance and service).
  • Same about hairdressers (10-20 percent)
  • Or massage therapist (10-20 percent)
  • Even housekeeping services (1-3 Dollars a day if you would like to show your appreciation).

Please note that this is just a rule of thumb (in other words: a rough estimate) and depends on your location and the service you received!

Good to know

One important thing to consider: Check your bill before you tip! Some locations automatically add a tip to your bill, especially if you come in with a large group (6 or more people).

So- don’t double tip unless you really want to, it isn’t necessary!

The list of services to tip can be endless. Follow your own judgment and observe your environment. When in doubt, ask a local person that can help you.

If your amounts are too low, you may catch a bad look. If it is too high, you will feel it in your wallet over time.

Find a good balance, and if you are bad at Math like we are – just use a calculator 🙂

Learn more about American Customs

If you don’t have a deep understanding of American Culture, you will quickly find yourself in situations where you act inappropriately or even insult others without knowing.

The guide below is going to help you with this and will really widen your horizon on understanding Culture and Customs here in the United States.

Would you like to share some interesting or funny stories about your tipping experience? Contact us and we will share in our free monthly Integr8 Updates.

Read more about American Culture here:

American Culture: Facts and Perception

Top 5 Activities Americans Enjoy

How To Celebrate America’s Top 4 Holidays

Food Culture in America