Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Amounts to Tip in the U.S.
The term, ``TIP'', was considered to be an acronym for “To Insure Promptness''. Nowadays, tips are more or less expected. The wages in the service industries in the United States are very poor and they rely on their tips to make a living and unless you receive very poor service, it is expected that you tip for everything. A good guide is 15% but 20% if you have had exceptional service, and remember the tip is for the service, not the quality of the food. The reasons for tipping were covered in a more detailed article which you can also find here.
The list below suggests what are generally considered to be adequate amounts to tip various people for services rendered. It should be kept in mind that tips are a way of expressing satisfaction. Larger tips should be left for those who provide extraordinarily good service; smaller tips or no tip at all should be left when service is poor. Generally, salaried staff are not tipped. Gratuities are given to service employees such as valets, waiters, housekeepers, taxicab drivers, airport porters, hairstylists, and tour guides. These are by no means a set of RULES. Use your own judgement when you think amounts should be adjusted.
Always try to carry some one dollar bills when going out to dinner or travelling. Except for gratuities added to your credit card or those left in the hotel room then it’s nice to be able to have the exact amount you want to hand.
AT THE RESTAURANT:
Maitre d': $20 or more, if a special service is performed such as getting you a table when you have no reservation and the restaurant is full.
Waiters: 15-20% of the bill, unless a gratuity is already added to the bill. In the United States normally a gratuity is not automatically added unless you have a party of 6 or more. In a buffet restaurant, add 10% to the bill for gratuity.
Sommelier (Wine Steward): 15% percent of the bottle price
Cocktail Waitress or Bar Waiter: 15% of bill or $1 minimum whichever is greater (i.e. if a drink costs $5, then 15% is 75 cents, but leave $1).
Bartender: If you are served at the bar, 15% of the bill or $1 minimum, whichever is greater.
Coat Check: $1 per coat
Restroom Attendants: $0.50-$1
Musician in Lounge: $1-$5.
AT THE HOTEL:
Parking Valets: $1-2 when you leave your car and again when they get your car.
Bell Hop: $1 per bag plus a couple extra if he shows you the room.
Doorman: $1 for hailing a cab; if he helps with luggage, same as Bell Hop.
Concierge: nothing for simple questions. But, if they make restaurant reservations, obtain theatre tickets for you; make travel arrangements, then $5-$10 per task performed. Put the gratuity in an envelope with a note of thanks and give to the concierge.
Room Service: 15% of the bill, unless a gratuity is already added, then no additional tip or $1.
Delivery to Room: if you requested something delivered such as a hairdryer: $1
Housekeepers (maids): $1-2 per day left at the end of your stay.
Spa Services: 15-20%, if a service charge is not already included. Ask that the gratuity be divided among the providers.
Swimming Pool Attendant: No tip for handing out towels, only if special service performed, then $1-$2.
AT THE AIRPORT:
Porters and Skycaps: $1 per bag
Shoeshine Person: $3-$5
Cab Drivers: 15% of the bill.
OTHER SERVICES :
Pizza Deliveries - $1-$2 if short distance, $2-$3 for longer distances
Taxi and Limo Drivers- A $2.00 - $3.00 tip is the norm, more if you receive help with your bags.
Parking Attendants- A tip of $1.00 - $2.00 when your vehicle is delivered.
Cloakroom Attendants- If there is a charge for the service, a tip is not necessary. A tip of $1.00 - $2.00 is appropriate, especially if extra care is taken with your coat and/or bags.
Tour Guide / Charter Bus Drivers- Tips of $1.00 - $2.00 per day or half-day.
We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.
Page added on: 27 October 2005
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