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Visiting USA and ? Tipping

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Hamilton, New...
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Visiting USA and ? Tipping

One of the things that does concern me on my upcoming visit is the fact that tipping is a way of life in America. As one who comes from a country where IT IS NOT part of our culture could someone please outline what is expected. Do you tip a policeman if he gives you a speeding ticket? Does one give a tip to someone whos service is not good? I am sure there will be people out there in the Tripadvisor community who can offer some opinions on the subject. If a taxi charges you $20 does he then expect a tip on top of that? Why not just put the tip in the price like the government does with hidden taxes. I find it hard to get a grip on the thing. Where is the line drawn? Please.

Santa Monica...
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1. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

Please search the word TIP or TIPPING in these forums, you'll find all the answers to your questions. We just exhausted the subject about a week ago, for the 10th time.

The bottom line is that while other countries pay a living wage, this country does not - the server lives on their tips.

In answer to that one (fairly ridiculous) question, no an officer does not get a tip. A cab/taxi driver, however, does. Anyone who provides a service is tipped, for good service.

Arcadia, California
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2. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

Many research books have this and the usual tip for restaurants at least is 15-20 percent. No, unlike some places, they do not charge "surcharges" unless you have a big group.

Hotels are about 10-15 percent as well. No for the policeman question! That would be pretty interesting though if you did that.

Here's an easy way to find 15 percent. Calculate 10 percent of what you are buying and then divide that by 2 and add that sum to 10 percent.

Some places such as coffee shops, a tip isn't mandatory but it is appreciated. Some places will have a small jar for tips.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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3. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

Waikatosflyingkiwi ~ thank you for making an effort to follow the customs of the country you are visiting. Your effort is appreciated.

Tipping is truly expected & expected for all service people, but especially to waitstaff when dining. A standard tip is 15% - 20%. Yes, you are expected to tip even when the service is not good (expected to tip but not required to tip.) However, many diners are willing to let the service staff or management know that the service was not acceptable and what can be done to "fix it." For example, if the waiter brings me a cheeseburger and I ordered a vege-burger, I can tell him to take it back and ask him to bring me a free appetizer or drink while I wait or to give me a discount on the bill.

Also, some restaurants add a standard 15% tip for large groups. Check your bill.

As yogachik suggested, you can use the forum search bar (above right) to find past posts on this topic. (Don't use the TA search bar; use the forum search one.) Try using "tip", "tips", or "tipping". Here is a good thread that outlines what is expected: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g32655-i61-k228276… You might also get good threads by looking on the California forum rather than the more restrictive Los Angeles forum.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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4. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

This is a subject which comes up on a lot of forums all the time, so don't feel bad.

I see you're new at the forums, so to do a search, go back to the main CA page, and under the bright green stripe you'll see the words Search in: ______ and a box. Put the word tip in there, then on the next page, on the right hand side, it says Sort by: ______ , and there is a little drop-down box that says Relevance, click on that and click on Date. That will give you the newest entries first.

As far as not giving a tip when service is not good, there are varying opinions on that, lol. I am of the opinion that one should not *automatically* tip 20%. I tip 15-20% for excellent service, less for okay service, and hardly anything for poor service. Restaurant servers at a busy restaurant earn a good living, by the way, if they are good at their job.

Read your bill carefully, as a few restaurants will add a tip without you knowing it, so you pay double. If in doubt, ask before paying anything.

Do leave a small tip each day for your hotel housekeeping staff, usually $2 or so, as they do not get the amount of tips a restaurant server does, and they get paid minimum wage.

Tipping a police officer? Now, why would you think you'd get stopped in the first place? But suggest you don't offer a tip. LOL ;-)

Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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5. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

Last week I went to a Lobster Pound Cafe on the east coast, and ordered fruit with my lunch, and it arrived with french fries. No big deal, the waitress took it back immediately and in a few minutes my correct order arrived. I didn't tip less or get offended that the service was not good. I didn't ask for anything free. I think we have to be careful what we consider poor service if reducing the tips. I've never felt the need to tip less.

Enjoy the States!

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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6. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

I had to laugh....about tipping a policeman. No - please don't ....and it will probably land you in much much bigger trouble!

Tipping generally is:

1) Restaurants - 15 per cent or higher (however do not tip at fast food places like McDonalds.). As a rule, tip a restaurants where they seat you at a table and give you a menu to order from.

2) Taxis - expect to tip

3) Barbers and Beauticians (people who do your hair) as well as spa services - Generally yes, expect a tip.

4) Tour guides - some tour guides will have a volunteer tip - but its more if you want to or not.

5) Housekeeping:

Some tip (and some don't tip) housekeeping. Just decide what you want to do..and if you do want to tip housekeeping, leave it on the day you leave with a note saying "Thanks" in your hotel room.

These will be the general ones that you will encounter while here in the US.

If you have a large group (6 or more) at restaurants some restaurants do include it in the bottom line cost.

Don't tip if you go to a winery and you are doing wine tasting.

If you get horrible service, then don't tip. There is no reason to tip to enforce poor service. We have encountered that some rude service people don't like it - well - that's the message and its ok. Ninety-nine per cent of the time we get good service....so hopefully you will find the same.

There are other posts and answers on this in the forum. You may want to read those if you want more information.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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7. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

CAnative ~ good point about how quickly some mistakes can be remedied, and therefore the full tip is still appropriate. I should have been more specific with my cheeseburger vs vegeburger example. It really happened at a Red Robin, tho' the waiter wanted to give us free dessert instead. The waiter did not write anything down (trying to impress us with his memory.) He messed up two of the four orders. It took an additional 10 minutes to get the correct food. We tipped him only 10%.

I think it was the lack of a real apology and the length of time to redo the order that decreased his tip from us.

Waikatosflyingkiwi ~ again, I hope you have a wonderful vacation with exemplary service.

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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8. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

Given the example of poor service here - Wakiatosflyingkiwi - realize that the 10 per cent tip was simply ridiculous. The service was bad - there is no requirement to tip for such horrible service. 10 per cent - really! I would just have flagged for the manager and if the manager did a good job, perhaps I would reconsider. If not, then no tip. Its OK .....and its the only way to get the word out - LOUSY SERVICE IS NOT REWARDED

Tauranga, New...
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9. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

Hi from the Mt! As fellow Kiwi's who have recently spent a month over in the States, let me tell you that no matter how much you think you have a handle on it - you will always feel you've done it wrong. Either you tipped too much or not enough - it is like speaking a foreign language lol. I must say tho' that the restaurant staff leave ours for dead tho' - they really go the extra mile and earn their extra $$$.

Another little quirk different to what we are used to here in NZ is that the sales tax is added at the checkout. As a result you have absolutely no idea what something is actually going to cost until you go to pay for it. All states are different too and some towns even add a room tax on AS WELL so what might have started out as $150 can end up to be heaps more.

We had a great time as I'm sure you will.

nzers

Los Angeles
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10. Re: Visiting USA and ? Tipping

These are cultural differences, my dad from germany is by no means stingy, but when it comes to tipping, he is not used to add %15-20 to the bill. In europe the tip is usually included in the price. So even after me explaining it to him how it works here(over and over again), i usually still have to put down some extra dollars to make it right

But by now means do you have to tip(unless it is stated on the menu) if you had bad service.