Being Australian, tipping is not a customary part of my culture. I often found myself confused, either over tipping, or not tipping at all. I put this guide to tipping in the US together to help you understand when tipping is required and how much you should tip.
The amount you tip will depend on the level of service. Those you provide exceptional customer service will be tipped more than those who don’t. In saying that, a minimum tip is always expected. Service employees in the US are paid a low minimum wage (as low as $7.50 per hour) and 80% of the time are offered no benefits so a tip can go a long way.
So when do we tip in the US, and how much?
- At a restaurant: 15% of the bill is expected as a tip. A 20% tip or more is given for exceptional service.
- Coffee shops, ice cream shops, cafeterias etc. Tip for good service/ your change.
- Bartender: $1 per drink or slightly more for a cocktail.
- Food deliver: 10% of the bill
- In hotels: Tip housekeepers $2-$5 per night, that your room is cleaned. Tip Porters $1-$3 per bag carried to the room.
- Parking valet: $2 to bring your car to you.
- Taxi driver, hairdressers, tour guides: Tip a minimum 10%. These are the people I most commonly forgot to tip when I arrived to the US.
Even if tipping isn’t part of your culture, it is essential that you tip when you are in US.
See more from my trip to the US here.