[re] Tipping culture

Ginny 2007.04.29 15:04 조회 수 : 7434 추천:91

Thank you for asking about our tipping custom! Why do Americans "tip"? Here are a few primary reasons we tip:

1. First, because it is a standard (common) practice in certain businesses (restaurants, hotels, parking lots with special service, and taxis).
2. A tip is a reward for a job well-done, or particularly GOOD, personal, individual service.
3. The person giving the tip might be trying to get better service in advance. (For example, paying a room-service attendant may get you better and quicker service while you are at the hotel).
4. It is common knowledge in America that certain workers are underpaid, and their employers assume that tips will compensate for their low-wages. (This reason is especially true for cleaning personnel and restaurant "waitstaff" (waiters and waitresses).  It is also more true in certain parts of the country; such as states with "Right-to-Work" laws which give dismally-low wages to employees in the "Service Sector" (also known as "the service industry").  

  With that information in mind, you can decide how you choose to tip.
  Tipping has been around for more than three centuries, but was controversial among many early Americans.  "To Tip", a verb, means to give - especially as in a gratuity- to a servant or employee. Why was it controversial? Because coming from countries in which all citizens were NOT viewed as equals, many new Americans saw tipping as a carry-over from their homelands' two-tiered societies (the two tiers were wealthy versus poor citizens.)

Tipping is not mandatory, though it may be very helpful to service employees.  There is a range of tipping we use, often beginning at 15%.  Have you ever received your bill at a restaurant that automatically adds %15 to your bill?  More restaurants are adding the gratuity to the bill before it arrives at the table.  (If you are charged this way, add only 5% more for excellent service.)

Here are some guidelines for tipping, thanks to the American Society of Travel Agents, in Virginia:

"Taxi/Limo Drivers: A $2 to $3 tip is usually satisfactory; more if he helps you with your bags and/or takes special steps to get you to your destination on time.
  Porters: A standard tip for airport and train porters is $1 per bag; more if your luggage is very heavy.
  Hotel Bellman: Again, $1 per bag is standard. Tip when he shows you to your room and again if he assists you upon checkout. Tip more if he provides any additional service. Note: A $5 tip upon arrival can usually guarantee you special attention should you require it.
Bell-man: Typically, a $1 tip for hailing a taxi is appropriate. However, you may want to tip more for special service, such as carrying your bags or shielding you with an umbrella.
  Concierge: Tip for special services such as making restaurant or theater reservations, arranging sightseeing tours, etc. The amount of the tip is generally dependent on the type and complexity of service(s) provided—$2 to $10 is a standard range. You may elect to tip for each service, or in one sum upon departure. If you want to ensure special treatment from the concierge, you might consider a $10–$20 tip upon arrival.
  Hotel Maid: Maids are often forgotten about when it comes to tipping because they typically do their work when you are not around. For stays of more than one night, $1 per night is standard. The tip should be left in the hotel room in a marked envelope.
  Parking Attendants: Tip $1 to $2 when your car is delivered.
  Waiters: 15–20% of your pre-tax check is considered standard. The same applies for room service waiters. Some restaurants will automatically add a 15% gratuity to your bill, especially for large parties—look for it before tipping. If the 15% is added, you need only tip up to another 5% for superlative service.
  Cloakroom Attendants: If there is a charge for the service, a tip is not necessary. However, if there is no charge, or extra care is taken with your coat and/or bags, a $1 to $2 tip is appropriate.
  Tour Guides/Charter Bus Drivers: If a tip is not automatically included, tip $1 for a half-day tour, $2 for full-day tour, and anywhere from $5 to $10 for a week-long tour. Tip a private guide more.

Good luck, and best wishes for your "tipping" success!