We unfortunately can’t escape from tipping, even if we thing “it’s expensive enough with the taxes and everything”. We need to tip here in the United States! We’ve been here for almost one year, so now it became natural for us to tip… except in some cases: hairdresser, taxi driver… To tip or not to tip?
Tips at the restaurant
Contrary to France (and Europe generally), service is not included, so we have to think to the tip. Usually, at the end of a meal, the waiter urges to bus the table and gives us the check. No time to linger… We generally pay with a card that we leave on a kind of folder and the waiter leaves with it! Then he comes back with a new check where we write the tip we want. If we pay cash, you leave the money telling the waiter how much you want to tip. We were said to tip between 15 and 25%, but as I’m bad with math, I tip 20%. If the service is awful, you’re supposed to tip 1 dollar (or they can think you just forget to tip). You’re not supposed to tip in a coffee shop or in a fast-food, we were told to tip only when a waiter actually brings you something. But I like to tip 1 or 2 dollars in a “tips jar” at my favorites places, once in a while.
We were living in Paris before Boston, and it’s true that waiters over there can be rude, well it’s a matter of how you see it… I like the fact that waiters works fast and efficiently. But it’s true that the difference is huge between there and here. Waiters are really friendly here – maybe too much. I wasn’t used to a waiter pouring water every 2 minutes (I drink a lot). There are so many waiters, hostess.. each one has only one task to do, like the pouring-water-waiter (annoying). We are asked several times during a meal if we are enjoying it, and now I surrender and say Great ! each time whatever I really think.
Tip or not tip ?
Hairdresser. Yes! Don’t wanna be seen as a lousy tipper WITH a bad haircut.
Taxi driver. Yes! I was so surprised when a guy helped me to carry my piece of luggage… But each time we tip with the card, the taxi driver yells at us…
“Valet” in front of a restaurant or an hotel We did that once, in Las Vegas, giving 2-3 dollars, mano a mano.
Gas Station Pretty rare, but once, the guy helped us. And as gas station owner are known to be serial killers, I prefer tipping.
At the supermarket. Big surprise: there’s somebody who helps us packing our stuff at the supermarket. That’s so helpful! But it’s said not to tip him/her…