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Tipping

Sydney, Australia
11 posts
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Tipping

Hi,

I was just perusing the NYC forum and trying to get up to speed on the whole tipping thing (it seems a very popular topic over there) and I noticed that someone (from SF) mentioned that in SF tipping servers is a little different due to a higher minimum wage and sick leave provisions etc etc...???

Can anyone enlighten me as to the rules for tipping specifically when it comes to eating out in SF & servers? is it 10%? 15%? Nothing?

And - generally speaking- does one tip at coffee shops e.g Starbucks/Peets? Bakeries/patisseria if only buying a croissant etc? To explain: when I travel I tend to eat on the go (why waste time sitting down) so usually grab a coffee and a bite to eat then hoof it; do I still tip in this situation?

Sorry to be so clueless :-)

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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6,010 posts
169 reviews
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1. Re: Tipping

Different people will give you different answers. The easiest trick I know is to simply double the sales tax - which in San Francisco is currently 8.5%. That's a 17% tip, which should be good enough.

Of course when a server goes out of their way for you, you may want to tip more - it's all up to you.

No need to really tip at coffee bars or places where you are essentially serving yourself - though you may want to drop in your loose change if only not to have to carry it around.

San Francisco
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for San Francisco
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3,879 posts
53 reviews
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2. Re: Tipping

Regarding the new healthcare benefits to servers- you won't have to tip an extra amount. A lot of restaurants have been adding on a separate surcharge on top of the bill. I've seen charges of $1 per person added to the tab, or 3-4% surcharge added on to the total bill.

Generally 15 - 20% is standard in restaurants.

Coffee places and bakeries where you pay at the counter usually have a tip jar. It's entirely up to you if you want to tip here and it's totally okay if you decide not to. Most people just dump in whatever change is given to them after paying at the register.

Stockton, CA
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229 posts
40 reviews
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3. Re: Tipping

My general rule of thumb that my parents taught me (who used to be in the restaurant business)...

If you go up to a counter and order, you don't tip. Tipping is generally reserved for places that take your order at your table.

A few exceptions...there are some places where you order at a counter, but the food is served to you with people checking on you during dinner. You might tip in this setting.

While it won't generally apply to you as a visitor, a walk up place that you may be a regular at who gives you excellent service can deserve a tip.

Besides restaurants, the tip rule applies to a few other settings...

Hotel bell captains, generally $1.00 per suitcase.

Taxis, generally 20%.

Tour guides, around $5.00

Bartenders, $1-2, depending on the service

Valet parking, $2-5, depending on the level of service

Some guidelines may be found at: http://www.tipping.org/tips/us.html

San Francisco...
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4,673 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Tipping

More than the following is revealed when the Search box above is used!

Subject: Tipping bar staff and budgeting for evening out

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60713-i30-k469205…

Subject: Tipping

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60713-i30-k146975…

Subject: Tipping? How much is enough?

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60713-i30-k100159…

Guernsey, United...
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482 posts
38 reviews
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5. Re: Tipping

Quick question:

The tipping website suggests tipping 15% for the wine steward. Is it right that I just included the cost of the wine in the bill and tipped just above 20% for everything? I really wasn't sure if we should have tipped him when he arrived with the wine or it should have been included at the end so we played it safe and tipped at the end. Afterwards I was thinking how the tip probably just went to our server and not our wine steward.

This whole tipping thing is very confusing and I want to get it right for next time.

I still don't like the tipping culture. I think a tip should be for good service and should not be expected. I know its part of the culture in America though and people get taxed on their tips so it would be just wrong not to tip.

Ojai, California
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240 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Tipping

Mel, when I waitressed my pay was $2.50/hr from the restaurant I worked at which was part of a big corporation. Fifty cents of that hourly rate was then deducted from my pay to pay for my employee meal (something I could not opt out of). A typical shift was 8 hours long, so my take home pay, without tips, would have been $16.00 for the day. You are right, it is strange and terribly wrong and unfortunately the way things are done in this capitalist, might I even say, fascist country we live in.

Enjoy your trip and just be generous. That is what I do when I tip. I am generous, because I know enough to know that what I put out there comes back to me, and because I feel good when I am generous.

Guernsey, United...
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482 posts
38 reviews
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7. Re: Tipping

The guidebooks never really went into how important tipping is for wait staff wages. I only really discovered it from research on the internet.

I would happily pay more for a meal if it meant the staff were getting paid a decent wage but its obviously not that easy to change the system.

Leeds
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91 posts
3 reviews
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8. Re: Tipping

Enorah, while your situation is deplorable and I personally tip generously exactly because of situations like yours, I think you do those who who lived under genuine fascist regimes a disservice by comparing your situation to them.

Sydney, Australia
11 posts
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9. Re: Tipping

Thanks for your responses. I had managed to wrap my head around tipping until I read the gent from SF (on NYC forum) mention it was different in SF... then I was all "whoa! yikes!" and starting having heart palpitations!

Usually when I've tipped in other countries I have found that I am too generous and end up broke because I haven't really nutted out the exact percentage. If nothing else my math will improve on my trip to the US that's for sure!

Cheltenham, United...
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77 posts
15 reviews
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10. Re: Tipping

I'm visiting the US in July and I will definitely not be tipping everyone! I leave a tip if I've received excellent and really friendly service. You should not be made to feel like you have to leave a tip. If the 'servers' want more money then the employer should pay them more. It's not my problem. Tipping everybody is basically no different than throwing your money down the drain! Especially during a recession.