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Tipping/gratuities

KL
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98 posts
7 reviews
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Tipping/gratuities

Hi all,

I ask this because I hail from an Asian background where there isn't a tipping culture (we have service tax instead).

I'm told that it's expected to leave a 10% tip. How does this work out if say you've got a $50 meal and only have a $100 note? Do you write down the tip you want to give or just leave a $5 when the waiter brings back the change?

Also, does it also apply to taxis and the bus?

Sorry if I'm overengineering this. I don't want to deny the locals their due =)

San Diego...
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1. Re: Tipping/gratuities

Typically the tipping custom at restaurants is 15 - 20%. Obviously if service was not good you are not obligated to tip. The waiter/waitress will bring back change for you, you can then leave a tip.

Taxis yes, public transport no (buses). Tipping the bellman $2/bag is also widely accepted as proper tipping etiquette.

KL
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98 posts
7 reviews
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2. Re: Tipping/gratuities

I see. What about when you pay with a credit card?

And tipping does not apply to other purchases (like out of a store etc) right?

Kiawah Island...
Destination Expert
for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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9,359 posts
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3. Re: Tipping/gratuities

There will be space on the credit card receipt where you can fill in the amount of the tip you wish to leave, then total up the bill and sign.

No, you don't tip when purchasing goods from a store.

New York
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1,300 posts
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4. Re: Tipping/gratuities

10% tip at a restaurant would be considered very cheap! If you receive good service, the min tip as stated before is 15%. If VERY good to excellent svc, then make it 20%.

Waitresses and waiters make below min wage and live on their tips. Most work very very hard and will appreciate your generosity!

San Antonio, Texas
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329 posts
69 reviews
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5. Re: Tipping/gratuities

I am going to piggy back on another "bellman" tipping question that my husband and I debate about....

Say you pull up to your hotel and a belllman comes to take your bags.....do you tip him? Or do you tip the bellman that brings the bags to your room? Or do you tip both? In large hotels the bellman that removes your bags from your vehicle (or taxi) isn't usually the same guy that brings them to your room..... it is someone different in most cases. We have had bellman get our bags when we check in and then state "this is the last time I will see you...someone else will bring your bags to your room when you call for them".....

So who do we tip?

KL
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98 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Tipping/gratuities

Thanks for all the replies. Most helpful indeed. Does this 15-20% also apply to fast food/take out. Do you tip the guy who puts your Mcdonalds into a bag?

And following from Lvtolvlife's question above, it's perfectly acceptable if a bellman comes over to help with the bags and I say I got it, I take my bags to my room myself. I suppose that's fine or is the etiquette to let them handle it for the tip?

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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44,586 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: Tipping/gratuities

Lvto: You tip the bellman who brings the bags to your room. $1 per bag ... unless the bellman is extra helpful, and some are ... e. g., they show you the air-conditioning controls, answer questions, share highlights of resort activities.

We have also tipped the bellman who packs up the car at the end of the trip - especially when there is alot of luggage.

Ken: there are dozens and dozens of post about tipping on the Hawaii Forum. If you are brave enough to read them (I'm not kidding), you'll find that there is much, much disagreement among us all about the who, where and how much. Why? Because tipping is optional and should reflect good service. That being said, the advice you have above is sound.

San Antonio, Texas
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329 posts
69 reviews
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8. Re: Tipping/gratuities

personally we base it on how much luggage we have!!!!

If we are on a weekend trip we usually have one bag for our family, so we just handle the bag ourselves and decline help.

If you happen to have A LOT of bags then I would advise getting the bellman to help you for the few extra dollars. This way they take them and put them on a cart and hold them till you get your room assigned. If you happen to be staying at a large property it is much easier to just walk to your room with your key and then call up for your bags....

For example...next month we are staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.... this is a large property and usually there is a pretty good walk to the rooms. We will let a bellman take our two big bags. We will go to the counter and check in...then once we get to our room we will call down and have them bring up those bags... we also travel with a car seat so it is so nice to be able to have someone else handle all that stuff! Especially after hauling them through the airport...on the shuttle to get the car...into the rental car...

You are on vacation! So I say to spoil yourself...

No tipping needed at fast food. Just those places where you sit down and are waiting on personally by waitstaff that takes your order and serves you your meal....

Birmingham, Alabama
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9. Re: Tipping/gratuities

I find it a bit annoying when a bellman says "this is the last time I'll see you ..." It's nice for them to be helpful -- and nice of me to tip -- but asking for it is a bit over the top!

Ken -- one thing you see a lot these days is, even in takeout restaurants (not so much McDonalds, but Starbucks, for instance -- or a place where you order at the counter) is either a tip jar and/or a place on your credit card receipt for a tip, just like at a regular restaurant.

There is no obligation to tip at these places. I'll sometimes leave my leftover change, or a dollar if I get really good service. If I have a big order or the server is particularly helpful, I might tip. But 15% is not required in these kinds of places -- although I think they like to make it seem that it is.

15% is pretty much the baseline here in the US, though ... if service is acceptable, a 15% tip is expected.

KL
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98 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: Tipping/gratuities

Thanks all. I really appreciate all the responses. I try as much as possible to abide by local customs wherever I go.

For example, I did some research on the Hawaiian dress code (as I'm travelling for business) and found out that no one wears a neck tie in Hawaii. I'll pack some, but chances are unless I see an unusually large number of people sportimg em, I'll leave them packed =)