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Need help - beginners guide to tipping

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Melbourne, Australia
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Need help - beginners guide to tipping

Hi all just about to spend my first day in Seattle on our 5 week vacation in the US. I'm not used to tipping as a regular occurrence so was hoping people could give me a bit of a guide as to what is the expected tipping percentage or amount in different situations.

Eg, local restaurant/high class restaurant, cabs/town cars, doormen at hotels, etc etc

Secondly is it the same percentage rough out the us or does it vary between states.

Look forward to hearing any advice

Cheers

Michael

United States
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1. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

15% minimum on food & beverage, before tax. If service is better, tip more. Same percentage everywhere is customary.

I can't advise about the other tips, I'm not good at them. I'll probably learn from this post. Maybe you could do a search. =)

Edited: 23 June 2011, 19:05
United States
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2. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

At least a couple of dollars a night left in a hotel room for the maid also. Do it daily, not at the end of your stay.

seattle
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for Seattle
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3. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

I worked with UK clients and explaining tipping is pretty hard. Every Starbucks and coffee stand will have a tip jar though those aren't traditional tipping places. The basics like 15% of meals and drinks is pretty easy. Take the tax which is around 9.5% and double it to give you a general guideline. As someone who works in the hospitality and tourism industry I can tell you that its more the thought that I was handed something vs how much. Often in cabs if the fare is 23.25 I round up the fare then add $2 so I'd give $26. Bags are generally $1-2 per b ag. I do tip maids as they make so little but even $1-2 is appreciated. Don't get caught up in the number as much as forgettign to tip. People in restaraunts in the US can be paid far less than min wage with the expectation of tips so they are taxed on a tipped amt even if no tip was received. Most servers split the tip with front desk, bartender, bus staff etc. Very few ever keep the whole amt. I appreciate you asking but tipping almost always generates a hosts of posts so get ready. Also you might also always check to see if the tip was added. Some places do if you have a group of 6 or more but some do if they perceive a accent and feel the server won't be tipped so they add it for you. Its rare but it can be done. Enjoy your stay.

Davie, Florida
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4. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

sit down eatiing/cabs/doormen are the only "core" tipping but even then people will under or over tip the standard 15% for levels of service. from there on its gonna get shall we say argumentative. Have stayed in lots of hotels over the years but never have tipped house keeping staff so thats up to you.

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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5. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

The 15% restaurant tip is a pretty standard minimum. If you do less you should probably let the server or manager know what displeased you. Since many, of not most, staffs share the tips at the end to fhte day (including bus boys and kitchen crew), I'm usually reluctant to go below 15%. I also truly appreciate how hard a job being a good server is and will often go 20% or at least round off the check to the next higher even amount above 15%.

We usually leave $3 per day for the hotel maid and find the suggestion to do it daily, not at the end of stay interesting. I am guessing that's to avoid leaving it all for someone working on just that day and, therefore, the tip not getting to the ones doing the daily work. Makes sense and I think that might change our habit.

Taxis, etc. I think 10-15% works. Whatever is easiest to figure as you're paying and rushing to get out of the vehicle...always an awkward moment. Unless you're staying in ritzy accommodations, it's not likely you'll see many doormen around..or even "bell hops" (are there such titles anymore?). Most places have luggage carts and self-service elevators and you do it yourself. Many places will ask if you need help. If you do, then a tip of a couple of bucks per bag would be appreciated, I think.

If you use the concierge services at a hotel, you might want to leave a $5-10 tip on departure (if you can find the person who provided the service...this might be akin to the maid tipping issue).

Washington
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for Seattle, Family Travel
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6. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

In Seattle, and most of the greater Seattle area, sales tax, calculated on restaurant meals, is just about 10% (.095), so an easy way to tip without too much mental math, is to double the sales tax, which will get you to a tip of about 19%. Some people will tip less on the portion of the bill that is alcohol, particularly if it is alot, but that's splitting hairs, in my opinion.

If you travel to other states, you will find the sales tax varies greatly.

…wikipedia.org/wiki/Sales_taxes_in_the_Unite…

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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7. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

One more tipping tip: Valet parking...usually give the guy who gets your car a buck. On this one also, I've waited until checkout rather than tipping each time only to not be able to find the guy who got my car all the previous days.

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

One more thing. If you call for someone to bring you extra towels or extra pillows-- tip them a buck or two.

If you get a haircut, manicure or massage while here tip 20%.

western WA
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9. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

The credit slip for a place where you have bought food will often have a line for the tip amount. If all you did was buy something to go, you don't have to tip them. You could put a buck in their tip jar if you felt like it, or they were especially friendly with a complicated order. Sometimes the tip line feels like they are fishing for a tip.

I also leave a couple bucks for housekeeping every day. If you leave it in cash, the actual cleaner gets it.

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Need help - beginners guide to tipping

Thanks all for your help, I saw other posts on the issue however they were all fairly outdated

Appreciate the help!!!