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General question - tipping

Northampton, United...
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60 posts
52 reviews
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General question - tipping

My husband and I are visiting your exciting city in October and as itis our first time in the US, we would like advice on tipping etiquette, which is different in the UK.

We want to get it right.

How much do we tip the following:

Hotel staff

Bar Staff

Taxi drivers

Bus drivers

restaurant staff

Have I missed anyone?

Many thanks everyone.

Dublin, California
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1. Re: General question - tipping

This is my personal take (in USD):

Hotel staff: $5 per piece of luggage they carry to your room. I don't tip the cleaning staff but others do.

Bar and restaurant staff: 15 to 20% of the bill, less taxes.

Taxi: 10%.

Bus: No.

Los Angeles
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for Los Angeles
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2. Re: General question - tipping

Restaurants are the most tricky. If the restaurant is a sit down restaurant, where the waiter or waitress takes your oder at your table and then brings your food to the table, you want to tip them 15%-20% of the pre-tax portion of the bill. Basically when you get the bill you'll have the actual charges, a total for those charges, and then the sales tax which in California varies from location to location but is about 9% in most areas, then a grand total. So a lot of people just double the sales tax amount since double the sales tax is around 18% of the bill, right in the middle of the 15-20% range. If you really like the service, feel free to tip more than that. I wouldn't go under 15% unless there was something really, really wrong with the service.

If the restaurant is one where you order your food at a counter, its usually not customary to tip, but sometimes the staff will have a tip jar and will always appreciate a dollar or two.

At a bar, you generally want to tip the bar tender a couple of dollars per drink.

At a hotel, I'd tip a couple of dollars to the concierge if they get you a cab, book you a table at a restaurant, etc. Also, if a bellhop or bell boy carries your luggage to your room, I'd tip them $2 per bag. If your luggage is especially heavy, or they carry your bag a very long distance, tip them a bit more than that.

If you won't have your own car then your list basically covers everyone you'd need to tip during your travels.

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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3. Re: General question - tipping

You forgot the fine folks here on TA. We all love Tips via kudos. :-)

If you search the CA forum you will see more posts on Tipping We appreciate you taking the time to think about it as a lot of the hospitality industry here gets minimum wage and relies on tips. Having said that, tips are never mandatory but recommended for service performed

--
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4. Re: General question - tipping

Contrary to ThanksSocialSecurity, a lot of us DO tip hotel housekeeping staff, who are frequently the most overworked and underpaid employees in the hospitality business. As housekeepers often get assigned to different floors or different blocks of rooms each shift, tipping is normally done on a daily basis -- depending on the grade of hotel (DON'T expect fancier hotels to be paying their staff more or treating them better, some of them are worse, viewing staff to be replaceable cogs) and your idea of generosity $3-10/day is the normal range. Make sure to leave the money in some place where it's obvious that it's a tip rather than something accidentally left behind; on top of the pillow or in the bathroom on the sink counter are common locations. A one sentence "thank you" note scribbled on those micro-pads of paper which are standard issue in hotels, is both gracious and a good way to indicate the money is a tip rather than an accident.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: General question - tipping

I agree with Caffiend about tipping the people who clean the rooms in the hotel.

A small tip of a few dollars is also appropriate in a hotel if they store your luggage for you, either before or after your check in/out time because you don't want to haul it around with you.

No tip is required for bus drivers generally. However, if you take a guided tour on a bus (not the casual hop on hop off kind), I've seen people tip the driver and/or guide at the end of the tour. I believe this tip is small like $5, maybe $10 if you thought they really went out of the way to make things fantastic. I don't go on these kind of tours often, so maybe someone else can clarify.

Northampton, United...
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6. Re: General question - tipping

Thank you everyone. Don't want to commit any faux pas or offend. Will keep a stash of notes somewhere on my person and dish them out accordingly ;>)

Limerick...
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7. Re: General question - tipping

Two dollars per bag is fine.

Three to five left on the bed for who ever cleans the room is good.

Bus driver if your on a day tour ten per person.

San Francisco, CA
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8. Re: General question - tipping

Hotel staff - I tip the Bellhop about $5 plus $1-2 per bag. Housekeeping staff I give $2-5 per guest per day on a daily basis (in case of rotating staff) depending on the hotel's quality and extra services provided.

Concierge usually gets overlooked. I give a few $ for directions, and $5-10 for recommendations and assistance on where to go, and more if it is a special engagement (tickets to a sold-out show, dinner reservations for booked restaurant, etc.).

Bar Staff - A few $ per drink ($1 per beer or glass of wine, $2 per mixed drink), or at least 20% for a bar tab.

Taxi drivers - 10% is sufficient.

Bus drivers - None for public transport. $10-20 for guided bus tours, which is typically distributed to driver and tour guides.

restaurant staff - 20% pre-tax is the new norm. Tipping 20% on whole check is very much appreciated. Remember that tips are usually shared with bus staff, kitchen staff, hosts, and others.

Lassen National...
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9. Re: General question - tipping

I always tip the cleaning ladies. They work SO hard.

California
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10. Re: General question - tipping

We usually tip the bellhop anywhere from $2-5 regardless of how many bags we have.

Bus drivers on a tour is not necessary. We usually will ONLY if they were really friendly, did a great job, etc., ...and then it's usually $5-10.

If it's one of those hotel shuttles, we only tip if they actually get up and help you with your luggage, and we'll give them $2-3.