Tips for tipping in the USA: #notatourist
Tipping is a bit of a foreign concept for us Kiwis as we don’t really do it here. However, tipping is a big part of American culture and really important to understand if you want to assimilate into the culture and feel less like a tourist. So, how much should you tip? 25% is probably too much, unless it was super amazing service or you are coming onto the wait staff! Really good places will include 22% on the cheque already, so that gives you some idea of the standard. 20% is pretty standard for good service. I usually double the tax and then add a little bit more on, depending on the service. 10% is becoming more common in New Zealand, but is offensive in the United States. If you tip 10% the person tipped may very well ask what they did wrong. Remember tips are a large part of income in the United States and recipients of it take it personally if they’re tipped a lower amount. Be prepared that if you don’t get it right, you could be asked why! Here are my top tips for tipping in the USA:
- When someone takes your bags to or from the car or your hotel room, you should tip a couple of dollars.
- You should tip $1 per beer or drink at a bar.
- Massages and haircuts should involve a 20% tip too.
- Taxi drivers deserve a tip if you can see they’ve gone to real effort to get you somewhere fast!
- Tip using your Visa card – it makes it so much easier than having to worry about finding the right cash! The bill will come to your table, simply add the tipping amount (as per above) and hand the bill back with your Visa card. Too easy!