We’re So Glad You’re Visiting the U.S., Now Please Tip Accordingly

It’s expected that anyone traveling to a foreign country will at least try to learn about the culture. It’s not necessary to learn about the French Revolution in order to visit Paris. But you should know that the dinner time is later in France than it is here. As a former Times Square waiter, I’ve had many customers who didn’t understand the tipping customs in this country.

Tipping in France is confusing. The person who helped you with your luggage or the counter attendant who flipped the tablet to you after you rang in a self-serve coffee expects you to tip. In restaurants, tipping has become a social contract. Why do so many visitors from other countries fail to know this?

Should we tip 25% everywhere now?

Information is literally available at our fingertips. Siri and Google can answer any question. Ask Jeeves probably would have answered, “Yes, your server should be tipped.” Even before the advent of the internet, this was the standard answer. In some states, servers earn $2.13 per hour, while those in other countries make a living wage. Attention Fodor’s Travel Guides, Frommer’s Travel Guides, Lonely Planet, and other travel guides: please inform travelers to the United States that tipping is expected at restaurants and bars. It is common to tip 15-20% of the total bill. If fractions are difficult, double the tax. When they are waiting for someone who is from another country, many servers assume that the tip will be low. Although they don’t like to think this way, years of poor tips from tourists have reinforced the stereotype.

Do You Tip Cash or with a Credit Card

My friend and his family went to dinner recently with their visiting family from London. The bill for the dinner was $300. My friend explained how tipping worked to his dad, who wanted to pay for the bill. The advice was received by one British ear but not the other. This resulted in a tip of $20. He couldn’t understand the American tradition of adding 20%, or perhaps he was just stubborn. My friend saved the server by secretly leaving an extra $40. If it weren’t for my friend, the server might have believed the old cliche about tourists not tipping.

The Fine Art Of Dining With Friends and Family That Don’t Tip Enough

I really love tourists. When I see someone struggling to use the subway, I am the first to offer assistance. If we do not speak the same language, I will be friendly and communicate if possible. New Yorkers are known for being a bit gruff. But that’s not entirely true. This is another stereotype that can be broken. We all must try to adapt to the culture and language of wherever we are. It’s hoped that it will be well received.

Remember, if your question is in a foreign language, you can expect the answer in that language. In my perfect French, I asked the Louvre staff where the toilets were. Les toilettes weren’t near. After apologizing to the other person for not understanding their language, I replied, “Merci,” and asked another question in English. Like Europeans, who cannot handle tipping too little, I couldn’t take tipping more than 20%. It’s hard to break some habits.


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