Here's how to keep your waiters, waitresses, bartenders and cab drivers happy, while also fighting the battle of wage inequality in the USA.
Taxi drivers should get tipped 10% of the fare, but a minimum tip is
Lyft, a ridesharing operator, offers an in-app method for tipping. Uber also introduced tipping functionality in 2017, and it's recommended to tip 15–20% for a great service, 10–15% for good service, and 10% for mediocre service. Don't forget, your Uber driver will rate you, too.
When you retrieve your car from the valet, US $2 is a standard tip. Some people also tip when dropping the car off. If your valet driver has sprinted three blocks to get your car in a timely fashion, US $5 is a nice gesture.
Tip concierge US $1 per bag (
Tip cafe or restaurant staff 18% for good service, 20% for excellent service, and 15% for poor service.
Many restaurants and cafes will be recommended how much to tip at the bottom of your receipt, which removes a lot of confusion for customers. Many restaurants will include a tip on the bill for groups of eight or more; look over your check before paying to avoid leaving two tips.
The only time it's acceptable to not tip your waiter or waitress is if you’ve had a terrible time, and you’re confident it’s the wait staff’s fault. Don't take a chef's inadequacies out on your wait staff. Always communicate what the problem was before you leave; you might get a free dessert or a discount for your trouble.
For cafes or takeaway restaurants that do not offer table service, you are not obligated to leave a tip.
No tip is required for a barista, but dropping any loose change into the tip jar is always a nice gesture.
For room service, tip US $5 minimum, but check to make sure the tip hasn't been included on the bill.
The tipping economy extends beyond cabs, restaurants
For spa services or a trip to the hairdresser, tip 15–20%. Coat checkers should get
Cash tips are always appreciated, so try to keep some dollar bills handy. If you're paying for a two-for-one special or are using a discount coupon, your tip should still be based on the full price.
Many Americans work for next-to-nothing and feed their families on the tips they earn, so failing to tip is a serious, and personal affront. It can get ugly when confronted by an angry worker who, quite rightly, believes you’ve ripped them off.
Always tip discretely; don’t make a big deal out of it. However, don’t tip if it’s not deserved. Perhaps provide the person with polite feedback to let them know why you are not tipping, and maybe they'll take your advice on board for future customers.
Everything you need to know before you go, from local customs and social etiquette to local food and driving tips.
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