You know you should tip when you get good service but do you know how much and who you should tip? I hear the question, ” How much should I tip? ” a lot. I put together this USA tipping guide to help show you how much you should tip in specific circumstances.
A lot of people can be confused about tipping in the USA when they travel here or even if they live here.
Keep in mind that most service industry people, especially restaurant servers, only get paid minimum wage and rely on tips to pay their bills.
In a lot of states wages only start at $2.13 per hour so getting tips is a necessity.
I used to work in a restaurant in college so I understand how hard servers work and how much they depend on your tips. Some restaurants even require servers to share a portion of their tips with the host and/or busboy/girl.
Here is a little tipping etiquette guide that you can use as a guideline whenever you feel like you need to tip in the USA.
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How Much Should I Tip?: Tipping Etiquette Guide
When to Tip Every Single Time
Restaurant Servers: It’s customary to tip at least 15% for average service and 20% for good service.
Bartenders: You should leave $1 for a beer and $2 for a cocktail. If the service was really good or you ordered food, you can tip 20%.
Coat Check: The general rule is usually $1 per coat and $2 for a large bag.
Hairdresser or Salon: The average tip is 15% at most salons. If you go to a salon where there are different people doing the shampoo or blowout, you may want to tip them a few dollars each as well.
Housekeeping: When you stay at a hotel, you should leave a couple of dollars every night for housekeeping. There may be different people that clean your room each day so don’t leave a big tip at the end of your trip. It’s fair to tip $2 or $3 each day. You may want to tip a bit more if you have pets or kids.
Taxi or Rideshare: For a taxi it is customary to tip around 15-20%. For a rideshare, like Uber, you should tip at least $2 per ride.
Food Delivery: Remember that a delivery fee is not the same as a tip. The driver usually doesn’t get the fee, the company does. It is customary to tip $3-$5 per delivery. You may want to tip a little more if it is raining or snowing.
If you have a large order for a party or work event, check the receipt to make sure gratuity wasn’t already added to your bill.
When It’s Nice to Tip
Coffee Shop: If the barista has gone out of their way to make your visit special, you may want to consider at least rounding up to the next dollar for their tip or you can give 20%. Especially if they did some cool latte art or you are a regular at the coffee shop and see them often.
Package Delivery or Mail People: If you see the same delivery person all the time, it would be a nice gesture to give them a tip around the holidays.
Since they are so busy around the holiday season, it is nice to also leave out a little basket with water or small snacks that they could choose from when they drop something off at your house. Just leave a little note telling them to help themselves.
Nurses: Most medical professionals are prohibited from accepting money but it is nice to write them a heartfelt card or good review for their boss. It’s nice to maybe bring some muffins, doughnuts, or cookies for them once you are well and out of the hospital as a thank you for all that they do.
Hopefully, this has helped answer your question, “How much should I tip?” so you can tip the right way. If you feel like you had exceptional service, you can always tip more, but these are just the standard USA tipping guidelines for proper etiquette.
Tyler Johnson says
That’s good to know that you should upgrade your tip if you were given good service. I would think that would help to make sure that the waiter is paid for trying hard to help you. I’ll have to remember that next time I go to a restaurant to eat.