Guide To Tipping In The USA

Hi all,

One of the most frequent questions I see asked on Florida forums relates to tipping; how much, when and even should I tip?

Today’s post is our guide to tipping, please feel free to add to this guide in the comments section below.


Unlike the UK, the U.S. is very much a tipping culture, especially in any service industry, waiters and waitresses for example, make up a certain amount of their take home wage based on tips.

Remember to factor in to your budgeting tipping, as I’ve seen written in other articles “If you can’t afford to tip then you can’t afford an American holiday”…Harsh maybe but true.

Tipping amounts

Tipping however is still a mark of the service you have received, each industry though has different expectations


The average tip or service charge expected after a meal is approximately 15-20%, expectational service should be rewarded at a higher rate than this.

Remember you are tipping the service you receive from the waiter/waitress not the standard of food!

Self service restaurants or buffet style places expect a smaller tip around 10/12%; typically a bar man should get $1 for every $2/3 you spend and rest room attendants a $1 a pop.


Hotels could be the first place you are expected to tip, and for me was the place I massively over-tipped.

A good rule of thumb is porters should be tipped $1 per bag and $2 per heavy bag, housekeeping staff should be tipped anywhere between $2 and $10 per day depending upon the class of hotel and the level of service. Room service should be tipped at 15% of the bill and doorman should be tipped $1 if he hails a cab and $2 per bag if he assists with your luggage.

Always remember that you are tipping for the service you have received, if you are unhappy with the level of service you have received instead of leaving without tipping the best way to convey disappointment is to leave a low tip, this way the server will acknowledge that you were unhappy with the service level rather than simply forgot to tip.

Thanks very much to Alan from our facebook friends who helped put the tipping percentages together and added some great insight.

I would love to read any comments you have regarding good or bad service or if you think our percentages are off, please feel free to comment below.



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