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Tipping in the United States: Amount, Etiquette and How Much to Give?

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Aleksandr Belov
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Tipping is an important part of the culture in the United States, and it is customary to tip for various services. Whether you are dining at a restaurant, staying at a hotel, or using a taxi, knowing the appropriate amount to tip can be confusing for both locals and tourists. In this article, we will discuss the size of tips, how and when to tip, and how much to give in different situations.

Size of Tips:

Tipping in the US is generally done as a percentage of the total bill. The standard tip is around 15% to 20% of the total bill before tax. However, it is important to note that tipping is a personal choice, and you can adjust the percentage based on the quality of service received. If the service was exceptional, you can choose to give a higher tip, reaching up to 25% or more.

How to Tip:

Tipping in the US is typically done in cash, although many establishments now accept credit card tips as well. When paying with cash, it is customary to leave the tip on the table at a restaurant or hand it directly to the service provider, such as a taxi driver or hotel staff. If you are paying by credit card, there is usually an option to add a tip when signing the receipt.

When to Tip:

While tipping is primarily associated with dining out in the US, it is also customary to tip in various other situations. Here are some common scenarios where tipping is expected:

1. Restaurants: Tipping is expected in restaurants, cafes, and bars. Waitstaff rely heavily on tips as a significant portion of their income. It is customary to tip at the end of the meal, after receiving the bill.

2. Hotels: Tipping hotel staff, such as bellhops who help with your luggage or housekeeping staff, is common in the US. You can tip them on a daily basis or leave a lump sum at the end of your stay.

3. Taxis and rideshares: It is customary to tip taxi drivers and rideshare drivers, such as Uber or Lyft, around 15% to 20% of the total fare. If the driver provides exceptional service or helps with luggage, you can choose to give a higher tip.

4. Hair salons and spas: Tipping hairdressers, barbers, and spa service providers is expected. The standard tip is around 15% to 20% of the total service cost.

5. Delivery services: If you order food for delivery, it is customary to tip the delivery person around 10% to 15% of the total bill.

How Much to Give:

To provide a general guideline, here are some specific recommendations for tipping in different situations:

1. Restaurants and bars: 15% to 20% of the total bill before tax.

2. Hotels: $1 to $2 for bellhops, $2 to $5 per day for housekeeping staff.

3. Taxis and rideshares: 15% to 20% of the total fare.

4. Hair salons and spas: 15% to 20% of the total service cost.

5. Delivery services: 10% to 15% of the total bill.

It is important to remember that these are guidelines and can vary based on the quality of service received and personal preferences. It is always appreciated to show gratitude for exceptional service with a higher tip.

In conclusion, tipping in the United States is an integral part of the culture and a way to show appreciation for services rendered. The standard tip is around 15% to 20% of the total bill, but it can be adjusted based on the quality of service. Tipping should be done in cash or through credit card transactions, and it is customary to tip in various situations like dining out, staying at hotels, using taxis, visiting hair salons, and more. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you adhere to the tipping etiquette and show your appreciation to service providers in the US.

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