Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tipping in New York Restaurants

The expected gratuity in New York restaurants, and across the United States generally, is much higher than in the UK.  In the US you are expected to leave a 15-20% tip, where as in the UK 10% is considered more than acceptable. 

When I first arrived in New York it took me a while to get used to leaving such large tips, especially if the service wasn't that great!  However, after a few months I got used to it and just allow for gratuity in the cost of a night out. 

Restaurants often put a recommended service charge on the bottom of the bill, telling you what 15 % and 20% of the total bill amount would be.  Personally, to make it easy for myself, I just double the tax which is in between 15% and 20% of the bill.

Make sure you read the bill carefully though as I have come across places where they add the service charge to the bill and then leave you room to put 'additional gratuity'.  I think this is really cheeky, if they suggest a tip amount and you happily pay it they shouldn't really ask for more.

However, if the service is terrible don't feel like you have to leave a tip, but you may want to leave quickly and quietly and never go back there again ;-)

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