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Tips on Tipping

Old 04-15-2007, 07:20 PM
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Default Tips on Tipping



Morning all,

Coming to the US in September for a near three month driving holiday. On a couple of earlier threads THT members have given me some great advice on places to go, things to see & have even offered accomodation & trips on their boats. For which I am hugely impressed, to say the least.[img]../jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-wink.gif[/img]

One thing that I have not really come to grips with is the tip. In Australia tipping is mainly confined to restaurants & hotels. But it tends to be STRICTLY performance based. Lousy service -no tip. Average service-possibly some. Great service-10% to 20%.Bearing in mind that Australian wages for wait staff & hotel workers are generally very good.

Now, not wanting to appear a cheapskate in a strange land, what do you guys suggest? We will be staying in cheaper accomodation such as strip motels & often eating in diners simply because we want to see America, not hotel rooms & going into the larger cities by car too often will not be good for my nerves. Plus we are touring in Fall & daylight hours are less so we do not want to waste time eating & finding a bed at peak hour downtown in strange places. Evening meals will be in better establishments & we will probably use taxis a bit to get around the bigger cities that lack a subway or bus system.So who should we tip? The motel room clerk? The diner waitress? The barman? The museum or gallery guide on a paid tour? Who else? And how much? I read the thread on FL restaurants where service charges were being added automatically to the bill. Is this widespread or just a local thing?

All input will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:27 PM
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bartenders, waitresses, the lady that cleans your motel room, mates on a fishing boat,taxi drivers. tips are usually icluded in bill with parties of 6 or more at restaurants. where are you going ?
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:01 PM
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Los Angeles to FL. Up the West coast to WA, across to New England via Chicago, down the East coast. With side trips to all sorts of places on the way.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:15 PM
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Barman, wait staff, taxis. 15% for expected service, up or down from there for better or worse that expected.

If the service is awful never leave nothing. Leave a buck to show that it wasn't that you forgot, but that was what it was worth.

$1 a bag for porters in hotels and airports. (don' t let them double you up by one porter bring bag from taxi to desk and then another from desk to room. Pay once in room).

Maid in room $5 a day if service acceptable.

No tip At the attended gas stations in NJ.

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Old 04-15-2007, 08:17 PM
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Peter,

Here are my rules of thumb....

1. Skycaps at airport: they generally receive no income other than tips. I generally go $1 - $1.50/bag. Same with bellhops at airports and anyone else who handles my bags.

2. Taxis: Here, I go a little lighter than most as these guys do have income. I generally go $2 - 5 / trip.

3. Restaurants: Servers in restaurants in US get below-minimum-wage wages so they are dependent on tips. I generally go 20% for average, 15% for average to slightly below average and 10% if it's downright crappy. Others will say don't tip at all if it's crappy, but I think they are entitled to a smaller tip even for crappy service. Maitre D: $10 - 20 should get you a decent seat.

4. Divemasters, charter captains, and the like: $10 - $50 (about 5 - 10% of the total cost) if the person was polite and professional, regardless of the outcome (e.g., I still tip even if we were skunked if the captain tried).

"So who should we tip? The motel room clerk? The diner waitress? The barman? The museum or gallery guide on a paid tour? Who else? And how much? I read the thread on FL restaurants where service charges were being added automatically to the bill. Is this widespread or just a local thing?"

Motel room clerk: no. But, if you want to leave $5 for the person who cleaned your room, that would not be expected but would certainly be appreciated.

Diner waittress: yes. 10 - 20% (unless she's really hot and slips you her phone number without your wife seeing it and then it's a c-note).

(Oops. Sorry. I forgot you're Aussie. A c-note is a hundred dollar bill.)

Bartender: 10 - 15% of the bill seems okay.

Museum or gallery guide: no.

As for service charges, they may be add-ons but they are not going to their staffs.

Richard
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:25 PM
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Menzies - 4/16/2007 10:15 AM If the service is awful never leave nothing. Leave a buck to show that it wasn't that you didn't forget, but that was what it was worth.
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Terrific. I love it.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:13 PM
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Sure hope you enjoy your stay while you're here, but please remember, we drive on the right side of our roads, not the left.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:16 PM
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And please don't have high expectations of our shrimp!
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:37 PM
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restaurants (waitstaff)...20%, every time
bars...$1.00 per order at the bar, $2.00 if more than two drinks, every time
taxi driver... $5.00 or at your discretion

have fun!
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:50 PM
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cgrand - 4/16/2007 12:37 PMrestaurants (waitstaff)...20%, every timebars...$1.00 per order at the bar, $2.00 if more than two drinks, every timetaxi driver... $5.00 or at your discretionhave fun!
Cgrand,

You sure you haven't arranged to get a kickback from all these people I have to tip.
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Old 04-15-2007, 11:09 PM
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that comes from an early adulthood of waiting tables and tending bar...
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:14 AM
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Hey peterbro3, when you figure out when are where you will be in Florida, give me a holler. It would be a pleasure to show you rather than tell you how to get by in America. Dinner's on me as it's just downright pleasing to see someone coming to our country who has asked the questions you have. I am totally serious in that offer.

In turn you can tell me about Australia and its customs. Having read an article on how your government deals with visitors and immigrants, I think I am long overdue for a trip to Australia. You folks seem to be enjoying the atmosphere we had in the U.S. about 30 or so years ago. I'm serious about that as well.

I have a boat in Flordia just south of Tampa, but it's for sale and will most likely be gone by next September. However, I have lots of friends and family down there on both coasts who I'm sure would be happy to give you a view of Florida from a boat which is where it's at its best! You can return the favor when we all come to see you in Australia! Yes, serious again!

My personal email is sosectn@aol.com if you're interested or have the time.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:01 AM
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In restuarants I leave 20% unless the service was bad,then the tip or lack there of will reflect the servers performance.
Bars,I generally leave $1 per drink,if it's a real hot girl AND she's nice,she'll get more.
Guy bartenders get my standard $1.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:43 AM
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In LA I usually leave 15% for waitresses/waiters etc unless the service was below par - CA taxes them as IF they were getting the 15% tip. Most of the time I go 20%.
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Old 04-16-2007, 06:25 PM
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I usually go 20% if service is good. I remember one particularly snotty assistant manager who was filling in at a high class (their definition) cafe on St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, I left two cents on the table. I rarely go below 15% in restaurants unless the service is especially bad.
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