Before you visit NYC, it’s important to understand the American tipping culture.
Why is tipping in New York so important? Well it supplements the waiter’s wage and incentivises them to provide a great service.
It’s a good idea to carry some dollars on you for tipping.
If you are travelling to New York soon, check out our What to pack for New York guide and don’t forget to buy your US Dollars online for our best rate.
Tips on tipping in New York:
- 1. It’s a good idea to keep some single dollar bills in your wallet for tips.
- 2. Some restaurants will include the service charge on the bill. Check the bill for service charges and gratuities.
- 3. Just arrived in the states, try to break larger denomination notes for tipping or alternatively ask your travel money provider for a mix of denominations.
Tipping in New York Guide:
Our guide will answer your questions like When and How much to tip?
You’ll be tipping like a New Yorker in no time.
- Tipping in restaurants
- Tipping in bars
- Tipping for food delivery
- Tipping in hotels
- Tipping taxi drivers
- Tipping tour guides
- Tipping in spas
- How to calculate the tip easily
How much to tip a waiter?
The customary tip of 15-20% is recommended. A 15% tip is consider common practice for average service. You should lean towards a 20% tip if you’re happy with the service or dining in a high end restaurant.
On average a three course meal for two People in mid-range restaurant costs about 80 dollars(*) so with a 20% tip of 16 dollars, the total cost would be 96 dollars.
|Total Bill||20% Tip|
Always check the bill, some restaurants may include a gratuity charge on the bill for large groups or parties. In this case, you don’t need to leave an additional tip unless you want to.
How much to tip a bartender?
When tipping in a bar, our guideline is to leave a dollar per drink or to tip 15 – 20% of the tab.
On average a pint of domestic beer costs 7 dollars(*) with a 1 dollar tip for a drink so the total cost would be 8 dollars.
However if you’ve ordered a fancy cocktail that a mixologist has spent a few minutes making, a larger tip is recommended.
If you’re ordering food for delivery in New York, it’s customary to tip the delivery driver 10-15% of the total bill. You may want to tip more if the weather is bad or if the delivery person has to climb several flights of stairs to reach you.
How much to tip hotel staff?
There’s no way to say an exact amount to tip all hotel staff. Tipping is at your discretion and it depends on the service you received, below is a guideline only.
- Valet attendant: $2 to 5 dollars tip is standard.
- The Porter or Doorman: If doorman has hailed a taxi for you or given you directions give a tip of $1 to 2 dollars.
- The Bellhop: it’s $1 or 2 dollars per bag.
- The Hotel concierge: for helpful information consider a tip of $1 to $5 dollars. If you feel the concierge has really gone above and beyond, by securing some hard to get Broadway tickets or table reservation in fancy restaurant, you should consider leaving a larger tip of $10 or more.
- Housekeeping: $2 to 5 dollar tip per night is standard.
- Room service: 15 – 20% of bill is standard.
How much to tip a taxi cab?
For a short journey, we’d recommend tipping a couple of dollars but for a longer journey you should tip 15 to 20% of the fare.
You may want to tip more, if the driver helps you with your luggage or takes a scenic route to avoid traffic.
If you are using a taxi app such as Uber you can pay for the tip using the app.
Spas or Salons
Visiting a day spa while in New York and wondering what the tipping etiquette is? It’s standard to tip 15 to 20 % of the total bill. So if your massage comes to $120 you should leave a $18 to 20 dollar tip.
Do you still tip after bad service in New York?
Tipping after bad service in New York is a matter of personal choice, but it’s generally recommended to leave at least a small tip even if the service was poor. As many service industry workers rely on tips as a significant portion of their income.
If you’re unhappy with the service you received, you may want to consider leaving a smaller tip than you would normally. A 10% tip is often seen as a minimum for below-average service, while a 15% tip is still a common practice for average service. If the service was particularly bad, you could consider leaving a smaller tip or even no tip at all. However, keep in mind that leaving no tip at all may be seen as an extreme gesture and could lead to further conflict or negative interactions.
How to calculate the tip easily?
An easy way is double the sales tax as it is 8.87% which is nearly 18% tip.
If you want to calculate a 15% tip, think of it as 10% plus 5%.
To calculate 10% of the bill move the decimal point one position to the left, now you have 10% and for 5% just half this figure. Now add 10% and 5% together to get the 15% tip.
Final note on tipping in New York
Tipping is an important part of the culture in New York City. It’s a way of showing your appreciation for good service and it’s expected in most establishments.
- 1. You’ll need to factor in tipping, when calculating how much New York spending money you need.
- 2. Its always worth bringing some cash in small denominations (10, 5 and 1 dollar bills) to make it easier to tip on your trip.
Visiting NYC soon? Don’t forget to buy your US Dollars online for our best exchange rate:
* Data source: average cost of living survey Numbeo.com, October 2019.