Recently Eagle’s LeSean McCoy came under a lot of public focus for leaving a tip of 20 cents even though he had a 45 million dollars extension contract for 5 years. It is not our intent to say that you have to leave tip if you are a millionaire. Unlike certain parts of world, tipping runs deep in US culture.

tipping etiquette

Photo courtesy: Dave Dugdale

Tipping etiquette is part of US culture. It is more so that it is part of the etiquette one is expected to know when you go for lunch or dinner at a restaurant or in a hotel or if you take a ride in cab. In the movie Reservoir Dogs there is an elaborate scene about the topic of tipping, that shows how tipping is an american way. But for the purposes of this article – we will see basic stuff on tipping:

Breakfast: 15% if you are served at a table and tended to. If you are at a continental breakfast kind of setting where you serve yourself and throw your own plates off – then no tip is required.

Lunch/Brunch:  15% is customary.  If you receive an exceptional service 20% is a good gesture.  The range between 15 to 20% indicates the service ranging from acceptable to excellent.  If you leave tip higher than 20% it says that you received a stellar service.

Buffet: No tip is generally required, however, if you have been served beverages or other add ons at the table then it would be a good gesture to leave a tip. 10 to 15% should be ok if you have only got ‘add ons’ (like beverages, plates etc but you got your own food from the bar).

Dinner: 15% is minimum while 20% is good.  A good rule of thumb, if you received good service, is to leave at least 18% in tip.

Party of five: Irrespective of the type of meal – if you are a party of 4 or more, make sure to check whether gratuity is included in your bill or not. Sometimes – gratuity may already been included – in which case – it is up to you whether you want to add any more tip or not.

Carry out: No tip is required, however, if your order is too big or if the person helps you with your order to your car, then do recognize it with a $2 to $5 in tip.

Fastfood: No tip required.

Too little for %?: Remember if the bill is too small, then do not go with %s – rather make sure you leave at least $2 to $5 in tip.

Taxi ride: If your ride is comfortable in the cab with clean interiors, no smell etc., then you can tip between $5-$10. If your total bill is too little to tip, even a $1 is appreciated.