Whether we find ourselves digging into our wallet to find some single dollar bills to tip a porter, or doing the math on a receipt to calculate how much to leave our waiter, tipping is a part of everyday life. Not only customary in U.S., it signals gratitude to the one tipped for services rendered and is an opportunity for the tipper to communicate a level of graciousness and respect.
It is said tipping originated in the "penny university" coffeehouses in England. It originally meant "to insure promptness" and was a custom of giving a tip to encourage the server to get the drink to the customer promptly while it was hot.
Tipping hasn't always been popular in the U.S. In fact there was a decade in the early 1900s in which there was an Anti Tipping Society. An alliance of traveling salesman were so opposed to tipping, they managed to get it outlawed in seven states!
Their efforts did not prevail, as tipping is alive and well in the U.S. In fact, U.S. Americans paid out over $14 billion in tips last year. Tipping appropriately is something to be prepared to do and do well.
Tips For Tipping
At a restaurant: 15% has been the standard for most tips, but it is rising to 20%. If you use a discount coupon, you should tip on the price the meal would have cost. If you have special considerations, or your party is large, increase your tip accordingly.
Wine Steward or Sommelier: 15 - 20% of your total wine expense.
Home Delivery of Food: 5 - 10% of the bill.
Delivery person for a large corporate delivery: 15% of the total bill. 20% if they unloaded and set up.
Take-out: 10% if restaurant is solely take out, 15% if it is a traditional sit down restaurant.
Bar: 10 - 15% of your bar bill.
Valet Parking: $1 - 2 per car.
Taxi: 10 - 15% of the fare.
Limos: 15 - 20% of the total bill.
Skycaps: $1 - 2 per bag
Long Term Parking Shuttle: $1 - 2 per bag if assisted.
Maid at Hotel: $1 - 10 per night depending on the expense of the room and how messy you are.
Room Service: 10 - 15% of the bill. Some hotels add this automatically.
Bell Desk: $1 - 2 per bag for delivery to room. $1 - 2 per bag for retrieval from storage.
These statistics clearly show the positive effect interpersonal skills have when it comes to tipping!
If a waiter introduces him/herself, their average tip is 53% greater than those that do not.
If a waiter lowers themselves while talking to the customer to increase and level eye contact the tips increase from 15 - 18%.
If a waiter writes thank you, or draws a happy face on the bill, receive 18%.
If a waiter simply smiles, the tips increase 140%.
As a waitress from California stated: "I'd rather they left 15% and said "Thank you, have a nice day," than to leave a big tip and act like I'm not human. Kindness is conveyed in more ways than money".
Where In The World Is Waldo?
If you are traveling for business, check tipping customs before you depart. They do change, and having an idea prior to being in the situation and possibly without necessary currency is advisable. Magellans, a leader in travel supplies gave us permission to share their guide with you. However, times change customs so check before you go!
Worldwide Tipping Guide
United Arab Emirates
General Tipping Information: Courtesy of Magellans
Asia and the Pacific: Special care must be taken to insure that your well-meaning gesture is not taken as insulting. If you are unsure, it is best not to tip. If possible, observe the locals and follow their lead.
Europe: Many hotels and restaurants add a service charge to the bill. In most cases, an additional tip is unnecessary. If no service charge is added to your bill 10% is the general rule for restaurant service, a dollar per bag will be appreciated.
Middle East/Africa: While your tip will not be seen as insulting, it may be unnecessary. Once again, the best bet is to do as the locals do.
Central/South America: Many hotels and restaurants add a service charge to the bill, and an additional tip is unnecessary. If not, 10% is the general rule for restaurant service, and a dollar per bag will be appreciated.
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