In the United States, tipping is a customary practice to show appreciation for good service in various industries, such as restaurants, bars, hotels, taxis, and more. Tipping is not mandatory but is generally expected, as service workers often rely on tips as a significant portion of their income. Here’s a guide on how to tip in the US:
- Check the bill: When dining at a restaurant or using a service, the bill will typically include a breakdown of the total amount, including taxes and sometimes suggested tip amounts. Review the bill to determine if the tip has already been added or if you need to calculate and add it yourself.
- Determine the tip percentage: The customary tip percentage in the US is around 15% to 20% of the total bill before tax. However, the exact amount can vary depending on the quality of service, the location, and personal preference. Higher percentages may be given for exceptional service, while lower percentages may be appropriate for subpar service.
- Calculate the tip: To calculate the tip amount, multiply the total bill (excluding tax) by the desired tip percentage. For example, if the bill is $100 and you want to leave a 20% tip, multiply $100 by 0.20 (20%) to get a tip amount of $20.
- Round up or adjust: It is common practice to round up the tip amount to the nearest whole dollar or make slight adjustments as needed. For instance, if your calculated tip amount is $20.75, you may choose to leave an even $21.
- Consider exceptional service: If you received outstanding service, you may choose to give a larger tip as a gesture of appreciation. This is entirely discretionary and depends on your budget and satisfaction with the service.
- Leave the tip: When paying the bill, leave the tip in cash or add it to the credit card slip if paying by card. If leaving cash, you can place it on the table or hand it directly to the server. If paying by card, write the final total amount, including the tip, on the designated line and sign the slip.
- Other tipping scenarios: In addition to restaurants, tipping is also expected in other situations. For example, it is customary to tip bartenders, taxi drivers, hotel staff (such as housekeepers, bellhops, and concierge), valet parking attendants, and hairdressers/barbers. The general tipping guidelines for these services are similar, but the specific amounts may vary.
Remember that tipping practices can vary, and it’s always a good idea to check local customs or ask locals if you are uncertain about the appropriate tipping etiquette in a specific region or situation.