Tipping, Los Angeles
There's usually a lot of grumblings from foreigners on service tipping, particularly in restaurants. Regardless of whether your agree with the custom, it's customary to tip. Furthermore, wait staff wages are suppressed to begin with, so tipping contributes to their actual income.
It's customary to tip between 15% to 20%. I usually look at the tax (written on the bill) and just double it. No complicated calculation, particularly after some wine.
If you feel the service is lackluster, take away a few bucks. If you feel the service was superb, tip a little more. If it is horrible, no tip at all.
Take note of a high handed ways tour guides demand a fixed amount of tips.
Had a bad experience from Bravo Travel which is located at Monterey Park (http://www.bravotravel.com/)
Generally giving tips is ok but the way the tour guides from this company demand them are somewhat pathetic when they can't even offer a basic service (Can't even form a sentence in English and some even can't speak English).
Simply pathetic and travellers should avoid this company at all cost.
Throughout America tipping is more or less compulsory. In restaurants waiters expect around 15 to 20 percent as do taxi drivers and hairdressers, while porters and bellboys anticipate around one or two US dollars per piece of luggage.
Tipping in restaurants (not fast food) is generally 15-20% of the bill. In most cases you can add the tip to your credit card total. Also, generally, if the bill is placed on your table by itself you must take it to the register to pay. If the bill is on a small tray or in a folder, simply place the cash or credit card into the tray or folder and wait for your server to pick it up. When paying by cash, some servers may ask, "Do you need change?" This question simply asks if the entire change amount is the tip, or if you wish to leave a separate tip. Saying "yes" does not imply you are cheap since you may even wish to leave more tip than the amount of change you are getting back.
Of course you have to tip at restaurant. The waiter's have to pay for their headshots, don't they?? If it's not enough, they'll let you know. Believe me.
Also, don't ask anybody where the stars are. They'll think you're talking about them.
Remember the opening of Reservoir Dogs ? Think Now ! To Tip or not to tip that is the Q?.
It's the culture !
Aussies take note !