Depending where you live this post might be very obvious or an handy explanation.
For me, as Belgian, tipping like New Yorkers doesn’t always come natural. Of course, a few euros here and there. But adding 20% to the restaurant bill isn’t something I do.
When in Rome do as the Romans do.
Or in this case…
When in NYC, do as New Yorkers do.
Minimum wage is very low and many service providers only get the minimum (sometimes even less…) hoping to make a better living with tips. So don’t be cheap and tip properly!
Who to tip?
In short you should tip everyone who provides you a service. Yes, everyone!
Specially when they did a great job. Bar tenders, taxi drivers, housekeeping, hairdressers, manicure, doorman,…
They serve you? You tip them.
How much to tip?
The next question you probably have: how much do I have to tip?
This is slightly more complex. Cause it depends on the service they offered and how good they did it.
Don’t you worry.
Many restaurants calculate for you. The bill shows 1 to 3 amounts related to your satisfaction level. These can vary between 15% and 30% off your total. They are just a suggestion, but very handy. Cause math can become a bit more challenging after 3 Cosmo’s ;).
No suggestion on the bill? An easy way is to double the sales tax amount (8.875% in NYC) and there you have it. The perfect tipping amount.
Do check the bill for a phrase like ‘service included’. Some restaurants will include an 18% service fee automatically. No need to pay double tipping. Unless you were very, very happy with the service :).
Restaurants aren’t the only place you should be generous with $ bills.
Who else to tip?
Here is a short list for the most common services:
- taxi drivers 15%
- waiters 15% to 25% (10% if service was below satisfactory)
- bar tenders minimum $1 a drink
- house keeping $3 to $5 a night
- doormen $2 to hail a cab
- porters $2 per bag, but please when heavy, go heavy on the tipping 😉
- getting pampered? Add 15 to 25%
Many locations, if not all, accept credit cards, but appreciate if you tip in cash nevertheless.
I always make sure I have $1 and $5 bills for tipping purpose. Totally awkward to tip your taxi driver and ask for change.
Cause time is money. Specially during rush hour.
When to tip?
You probably saw a movie scene, or two, in which the main character tips the waiter at the beginning of the evening to assure a sublime service. You might have a friend who tips housekeeping the first day of her stay. All in the need for extra towels and free toiletries.
The concierge who gives you the best restaurant tip deserves a $5 tip. Or give a big one at the end of your stay. Whatever you decide, tip them well, cause they might get you in the complete booked show or the best table in the restaurant.
Oh, I love a great concierge! The best one I ever met was in the Hudson New York.
Tipping at the beginning of your stay could be smart! Cause I’m sure you agree. We all looooovvveeee to be spoiled!
And don’t forget to tip your tour guide! Consider around 20%, but make the amount in line with the tour size & length.
Always in an Empire State of Mind,
PS: This complete guide on tipping will help you remember it all ;)!