How Much to Tip in America

How Much to Tip in America

Tipping is both customary and expected in the US. But for someone who’s visiting the country, it can get quite confusing. How much should I tip? When should I tip? Here are some guidelines to consider:

Buffets and Sit-down Restaurants

Buffets are generally self-serve so tipping the wait staff 10% should be more than enough. In sit-down restaurants, tipping between 15% of your bill is expected. If you’re splitting the bill, it’s always a good idea to tip a little extra.

To-Go Orders

Even if you’re ordering to-go in a pricey restaurant, they’re basically just going to give you your takeout so it’s not necessary to tip.  If you’re ordering delivery, then that’s a different matter altogether.

Bartenders and Baristas

Whether you’re ordering craft drinks from the bartender or getting a custom order for your coffee from your barista, tipping 10-15% is acceptable.

Taxi and Valet Drivers

Taxi, Uber or Lift drivers should be tipped 15 – 20%. Valet drivers will be happy with a $5 tip.

Hotel Housekeeping

If you’re staying a few nights, it’s generally expected that you tip your housekeeping staff at least $5 a night. The reality is that less than 30% of guests actually tip them.

Barbers and Stylists

More than 60% of people tip their hair stylist or barber. Be generous and tip them 15-20%.


Skycaps are the people who carry your luggage at the airport. Tip them $2 for the first bag, and then add a dollar for every additional bag.

Hotel Bellhop

You can tip your bellhop $2 for the first bag and then a dollar for every additional bag.

Buffet Tipping – A Closer Look

Buffets like Aria or MGM definitely offer a lot of value. They’re not cheap – that’s true. But you also get so much for what you pay for.  You get not only good food, but also excellent service. So how much do you tip in buffets? As mentioned, while the going rate for sit down restaurants is 15-20%, with buffets, the average is 10%. A buffet server provides less service than someone who is employed in a restaurant.

In a typical buffet setting, the server does less work. They bring the napkins and cutlery. They serve you your drinks and fetch any items you need like steak sauce, a cup of coffee, some condiments – but only upon request.

If without percentages, it’s OK to tip the server $2 for every person served. If you didn’t require any assistance, then $1 may suffice. You can tip more if you feel your server has provided exceptional service to you and your group.

Buffets don’t automatically add gratuity to a bill. However, they may do so for large groups. If you want to be sure, you can check out the buffet’s website or signages. You can also ask the server or cashier about this. Now if gratuities are added, then there is no need to give a tip to your server.

Some people can be extremely generous when tipping. Check this out:

Ordering from Struggling Restaurants Then Tipping $5,000!

Category: Featured

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