Tipping, for me, was one of the more difficult tasks to get my head around when travelling America, it’s compulsory to tip almost everyone over the pond. Being typically British, the art of tipping is somewhat more relaxed. If we enjoy our meal, we tip, if we don’t, we don’t, quiet simple.
How to avoid the embarrassment of under tipping.
As a general rule I tip almost everyone, although I still hold my British stances on my choice of percentage I leave. My tips are purely based on my experiences when travelling America, along with a little insider help.
Waiter/Waitress: Most bill’s outline the acceptable percentages to leave. 15% is the minimum tip to leave in a restaurant, this should only be left if poor service is experienced/ 18% is advised for general experience / 20% should be left for a very good experience. It’s important to show appreciation to your server so if you feel the meal & service were above your expectations you are free to leave upwards of 20%.
Taxi: 15% is the recommended for a taxi, although if you find a helpful guy then he wouldn’t turn down 20%. Make sure when you give over a note you ask for the amount you want back to avoid any confusion of them thinking the additional is their tip.
Food to go: the likes of Starbucks & Deli’s don’t hold their hands out for tips but you’ll find a tip jar on almost every counter, this is one of the only opportunities you will get to hand over some loose change.
Bartenders: This differs depending on the type of bar. Generally I would leave $1 per drink in places like Miami but in Las Vegas around $2.
Note: handing over between $2-5 per drink in Vegas ensures your bartender continues a great service.
Doorman: $1 per bag for your hotel doorman, if your doorman hails you a cab be sure to offer a further $1 for that service too!
Most don’t appreciate a handful of coins too, again something I didn’t quite understand as the art of tipping in Britain is off loading loose change. This is probably one of the many reasons why America have clung onto the one dollar bill.