Tipping, New York City

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  • Maeniel's Profile Photo

    To Insure Premium Service...

    by Maeniel Updated Nov 26, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A given really. Tipping is expected here. Nobody seems to pay attention to how much more than the bills it is, only that it is there. I travelled around on a tight budget after having lost my cards and was left with no option but to tip small amounts. Nobody minded. Try for about 20% for the norm, if you can afford it. Like I said though, I was travelling on a tight budget, and tipped 10% on occaision, and nobody seemed to mind. Of course, this all depends upon the service you recieve.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Study Abroad

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  • Nativenewyorker's Profile Photo


    by Nativenewyorker Written Nov 25, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Visitors to the States MUST understand that service personnel (waiters, doormen, bellboys, etc.) DO NOT GET PAID MINIMUM WAGE. They get just a few dollars per hour. They depend on their tips in order to live. For a major city in the US (and New York certainly qualifies), tip about 20%; up or down, depending on service. (An easy way to do this in NYC is to double the tax. That works out to about 17%) Give a dollar per bag to the skycap, bellboy, etc. Leave two or three dollars per day, per person to the hotel maid. Taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc., are paid much better, but it is still expected to give them a tip for service. For the cab ride, maybe a dollar, depending on the length of the ride. For the hairdresser, maybe 15%, or ask the receptionist for her advice.

    We are not a nation of millionaires. Most people are just scraping by, especially in the last three or four years. And also bear in mind that most of our paychecks do not include health care, dental care or more than two weeks vacation per year. New Yorkers are not looking for a handout by expecting a tip - they are trying to put food on the table for their families.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel

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  • kentishgirl's Profile Photo


    by kentishgirl Updated Nov 3, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It seems that everyone, regardless of who they are - waitresses, cab drivers etc EXPECT a tip, I am not stingy and DO tip at home - but only if the service is fab, here everyone wants a tip and it doesnt matter if the service is crap! so just a couple of dollars will go a long way.

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  • USMarine26's Profile Photo

    Very Important!

    by USMarine26 Written Sep 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For as incredible as New Yorkers are (and we have gotten a bad rap in the past for being to tough and cold...we are very warm americans!)...

    ...This is important.

    Whatever you do when you experience dining in New York: Do not forget to TIP!!! 15 to 20%, and if you are generous...more...

    But if you don't, your pleasent wonderful culinary outing will be ruined by the absolute certainty of an angry waiter chasing you out of the restaurant and down the block...it happens. So maybe it doesn't happen that often, but it has and does!

    (don't forget about cabbies, bartenders, and shotgirls for that matter)

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  • Custodyspice's Profile Photo


    by Custodyspice Written Apr 4, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    15% for personal services, such as taxi, hairdressers, restaurants etc. In restaurants a quick and easy way to calculate the tip is to double the tax, which will be stated on the bill (8.25% to date).

    For bell-boys, $1 a bag, and in bars $1 per drink.

    Get used to it!

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  • Walk the walk and talk the talk

    by concierge562 Written Aug 13, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    New York city is a very interesting place, but not any different than large cities like Las Vegas:
    Always be aware of your surroundings.
    Never make eye contact with the weirdos unless you want to be harassed.
    Trust your instincts...
    Sometimes travel magazines 'hype' up certain restaurants/bars...look for people your own age and ask where they would go to have fun, they know where the happening spots are...
    Read the free papers located at the newstands on every corner. Some offer good discounts for lunch and dinner.
    Look confident and walk at a fast pace.
    If you are confused where you going, go into a hotel, store or ask a police officer for assistance.
    Bellman, Doormen, Cabbies expect tips ($$$)
    tipping 15-20% is standard
    Keep an open mind and respect people of all nationalities (You will see the beauty of people from all over the world here)
    When going to a fast food place or deli for lunch, make sure you know what you want before you stand in line...especially during the work week when all the office workers have only 1 hour to eat!
    Dress any way you want! Whatever you feel...anything and everything goes...
    When it calls for rain, don't be caught without an umbrella! You will find that everyone has an umbrella...or you can buy one at almost every street corner, from $2 to $5...
    If you like bargains, go to Chinatown...anything is sold in Chinatown!

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  • Maggies's Profile Photo

    Savoir vivre in the restaurant

    by Maggies Written Sep 12, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    New York’s city sales tax of 8.25% will be added to your bill. Service in not usually included. Tipping can run from 10% at the coffee shop to 25% at the fanciest places, with 15% an average fair tip.
    Smoking in now illegal in restaurants with 35 seats or more. Still, many places provide separate room for smokers.

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  • J_P_B's Profile Photo

    Tipping - make sure you tip...

    by J_P_B Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tipping - make sure you tip bar staff $1 per round. The general rule of thumb is that you get bought a round by the bar tender for every few you buy... in the end, it works out much the same as if you didn't tip. It is expected so do it.

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  • TempNomad's Profile Photo

    New Yorkers are Friendly. Really!

    by TempNomad Written Sep 27, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We're actually very nice. We don't mind getting close (the trains and buses make that necessary), but most people won't hesitate to comment on rudeness or poor hygiene. I think that in NYC, more than anywhere else, you get what you give. If you say 'excuse me,' you'll probably get a very friendly response. If you ask for directions deferentially, you'll probably get a very detailed and complete response. Unless, that is, the train is just leaving!

    Tips are generally pretty high, but it's your cash. Most servers are not paid full salaries, so the tips are actually the paycheck. Give more if the person went out of her way - less if you were treated poorly. Please tip at least 15%! (Can you tell I was a waitress for many years?)

    And we don't ALL wear black.

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  • In pubs tip generously as you...

    by trishmat Written Aug 25, 2002

    In pubs tip generously as you may get a few free drinks at the end of the night. Arrange a fee before you get into a taxi and make sure the driver knows where they are going. Dont look like a tourist!

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  • Razorart's Profile Photo

    TIPPING!!!!We do that here....

    by Razorart Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    We do that here. We *expect* it (I've waited tables). In fact, it's expected that you double the sales tax for decent service in almost all restaurants. In the expensive places you give 20% usually (believe me, I've heard the service is usually worth it).

    HOWEVER if you get bad service, I mean REALLY bad, do as you wish.

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  • New Yorkers can be very...

    by Gitano_Mike Written Aug 24, 2002

    New Yorkers can be very helpful when you ask them a question. Don't be shy.
    Also when eating out, keep in mind that unlike Europe and other parts of the world, tips are not usually included in the bill. So if the service is good, reciprocate with a good tip. That means, at least, 20% of the bill.

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  • Pinoy's Profile Photo

    Tipping is to show...

    by Pinoy Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tipping is to show appreciation of an excellent satisfying service. You may leave a tip between 10% and 15% of your total bill; 20% if you are fully satisfied with the service. Cab drivers also expect tip at least $1. Some restaurants, however, for instance in Grand Central station, they already added the 15% to your bill. Be sure to look at your bill before leaving additional tip for the waiter. This is new to me. They told me that some tourists never leave tip, so they included the tip in the bill. New Yorkers can be so insensitive, inconsiderate, selfish, but they can also be kind, helpful, generous if you show them respect.

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  • Leaving tips in restaurants is...

    by Ladybug Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Leaving tips in restaurants is extremly important in NYC. For your simple diner food I would just leave
    3-5 dollars. Depending on how nice they treated you. If they had an attitude the whole time (as some of them do) I would just leave them 2 dollars . . . or maybe even one. Waiters and waitresses do not get paid much in diners out here which is why I always leave them something. As for other restaurants that are more fancy I would leave 5-8 dollars.

    When hailing a cab always ask the cabby how much is it to go to your destination. Some of these cabbies turn into professional actors while their working- Meaning some of them will act like they are taking the normal route to get to your destination when they are really taking the 'LONGER' route so the meter can charge you more money. If you're new in town you won't be familiar with how much money it would cost to get to a certain destination. So you're best bet is to act like you know by saying this when you first get in the cab: Example- 'Could you please tell me how much it would cost to get from here to 95 St & Broadway?' This would make them think twice about taking a longer route since they might wonder if you've taken that route in a cab before. This may also make them think twice about taking the longer route. It's not fool-proof but it's worth a shot!

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  • dogears's Profile Photo

    Waiters make a living from tips

    by dogears Updated Jun 14, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Unlike Europe, upwards of 16% tip is standard in restaurants. That's double the 8.65% tax shown on the bill). 20% tip is common if the service and atmosphere and food is great. :::::


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