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10 Things No One Will Tell You About Tipping in the USA

Visitors to the US are often discouraged by our tipping culture. It’s like learning to dance tango with a wild monkey. ???? But seriously, in the USA you can tip almost anyone – staff, bartenders, hairdressers, masseurs. What’s more, you can tip the nice guy who makes you coffee in the morning if you like him. But how do you know who to give and how much? And why is it considered a whole culture? Tip confidently on your next appointment with these tips you will only learn from us!

Quick History Lesson

Tipping became common in the 1900s years. If you believe the rumors, then this habit literally sailed from Europe thanks to the aristocrats. After their visit, many began to adopt this habit in order to appear more cultured to match the aristocracy. Perhaps they got too carried away, because Americans are still criticized for so many tips. However, there is a reason why Americans continue to reward service personnel more than Europeans.

In the 1960s, Congress introduced the term “tip credit” to the United States. This means that the employer can pay the employee less than the agreed salary, since he receives a tip. This approach is still valid in many states and workers return home with a certain amount of cash. This often applies to service in the food industry ???? However, not everyone is happy with tips. Tipping is a bonus in some professions, but you must be prepared for the unwritten rules and encourage tipping accordingly.

Restaurants & Cafes

1. 20% is STANDARD for tip

I, for example, worked as a waitress to pay for my education at an art school. Thus, I got into the unprecedented world of US tip. Insider Information: There is general agreement that 15-20% of the total amount is considered a regular tip, but to be honest, less than 20% is already a bad tip. If I (or any other employee) received less, we wonder what we did wrong. No, we’re not hungry monsters, it’s just a sign of our good work. Read the next paragraph to find out why.

2. Tipping Bartenders and Service Staff

Serving tables is the hardest job I’ve had. It’s like running through a minefield (there is no break, you have to keep a balance between bringing hot heavy plates and remembering orders like a machine), when you have to smile through your sweaty face all the time. It is also emotionally draining. People are very specific about their food, especially if the dish doesn’t turn out the way they wanted it to. I worked 30 hours a week, but made $ 200 per month. Unimaginable, I know. Why such a sum? Think back to the tip story I told you. Sometimes I got up to $ 800 in cash as a tip, and thank God I did. Without this tip, I would not even have been able to cover my rent. But this is not always as good as it seems at first glance. Service staff, bartenders always have to pay taxes and they are quite high.

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3. The client is always right

Is the dish cold? Didn’t like the salad? Say so. For comparison: I had an experience in Europe, where I gave a 10 euro tip for a little blueberry pancake and got a not cute comment in return. The waiter said, “If you wanted fast food, you could go to Burger King ”. In the USA, your opinion is encouraged: if you do not like what is served to you, just say so. Your job as a consumer is to say that your burger was the most disgusting burger in your life by pointing to an empty plate. Fun fact – pancakes in the States are bigger and cheaper, just so you know ^ _ ^ And here you will find what else you can love the USA for!

4. Expect Feedback

Americans are not shy comrades. Some call them superficial, but in reality they are friendly, active and not stingy with compliments towards strangers. They may also follow a customer because of a bad tip. If you are not satisfied with something in the service, be sure to tell me. Chances are high that they will do their best to make you happy. Sometimes they can serve for free, or send you a compliment in the form of a dessert. Well, or in extreme cases, they will apologize from the bottom of their hearts. If you notice any kind of commentary, just be aware that it is customary in the States. We recommend that you avoid such incidents in the future and communicate before paying. And in order to understand exactly what is what, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with this article.

Other service industry

5. Oh, those taxi drivers, concierges

If you are in the USA, you will probably use a taxi service. Taxis nowadays often have a digital display, where you can choose the indicated amount of the trip (there are several choices). I usually choose the cheapest one, if, of course, I like the driver. While the concierge will charge $ 2-3 for helping with luggage, cleaning the apartment or opening the car door. It’s best to put folded dollar bills in your hands and give a quick thank you without making a big deal out of it. Take note – don’t give them crumpled banknotes.

6. Stylists and hairdressers

My sister Anna has been working as a hairdresser in the United States for 15 years. From people who cancel at the last minute, demand unrealistic hairstyles, or worst of all, those who don’t tip — she’s seen everyone. The work of a hairdresser is not only physically very demanding, but also requires certain knowledge. For example, knowledge of color theories, creativity, attention to detail, and other interpersonal qualities. If you like the hairstyle, be prepared for a generous tip of 20-25%. By not leaving a tip or being an overly demanding customer, you tend to be blacklisted by the salon. Avoid this.

7. Cosmetologists, masseurs and other spa treatments

The rule of thumb works here at 15-20%. Be careful and don’t yawn because a tip is automatically added here. How so? – you ask. This new type of tip is becoming more and more popular in the United States. Some spas and beauty salons automatically add a tip (up to 20%) to your treatments, even if you purchase a gift certificate. To avoid such moments, it is best to first read and study the company policy. But then you can decide whether the candlestick game is worth it or not.

And more tips about tips

8. Cash is power

Most people prefer to tip in the form of cash. This is the money you can take with you at the end of your shift. If you paid with a card, you will have to wait a while until the tip goes through the manager and reaches the recipient. Any kind of tip is appreciated, even if you don’t have any cash with you! ????

9. Dollars are like gold

If you are staying at a hotel, be prepared to have dollar bills with you. As mentioned at the beginning, the easiest way is to promptly hand over banknotes to the concierge for the assistance provided. In a bar, for example, there is an unwritten rule to give 1 $ for any kind of drink. I personally leave a couple of dollars for the washerwoman who cleans my hotel room. And if your budget does not consider tip, you can choose another type of accommodation, more details here!

10. Where you DO NOT NEED a tip

Now you know that Americans are tip-crazy. Therefore, you may be wondering “Where is it not necessary to tip?” You don’t have to tip at food courts that have fast food or coffee shops (but there is still a tip container just in case). It’s all. As they say, Happy tipping!