A Guide to Tipping in the USA

In most places I've lived, 10% of the final amount is added to the bill in a restaurant. If you go to a hairdresser, manicurist, you tip, but it isn't a percentage of the bill, just a flat amount (small), if you don't leave a tip you won't be chased down the street by a mad waiter/tress, yeap, I've seen it happened. In the US (& Canada) it's customary for you to leave a tip. It's not mandatory, but it's expected (read the last line on the paragraph above). After working in the hospitality and restaurant industry for so many years I understand why it's expected. Restaurant staff earns about $2/hr, who can live off of that?

I've learned to leave good tips. I always do, be it at the hairdressers, restaurants, bars, etc. And if someone from another country comes and visit, I always tell them to tip good. It wasn't always like that, I didn't realize how important it was, until I was managing a restaurant.

So, here is my little guide to tipping in the USA, you can print it too!

Flavia's Weekly Guide to Tipping in the


Note: I don't tip bad service, fast food joints, coffee shops where you stand in the queue to order or anywhere where there is no table service.


The Pain of Finding Essential Services

doctorI don't know about you, but I find it so hard to find a good doctor and a good hairdresser in a new country/city/neighborhood...

If you're like me, you are only going to look for a doctor and a hairdresser when you need one, I mean, why would you look for a doctor if you're not sick? You just want to stay away from them! (no offense). And hairdressers... once in London I had my hair turned orange, it took me twice as long to get my hair back to normal, argh! Oh, and that was this other time in Virginia when the hairdresser made me stand up with my head down the whole time while he cut it, and let's not forget the dentist who did a dental cleaning and my roommate and I couldn't eat for 2 days after because she was so violent!

Here in Phoenix I've been through a few doctors and a few hairdressers until I found a good one, the problem is, it all costs money and it takes time (or different diseases) to find them.

So I thought I'd leave a tip here in case someone stops by who is actually in Phoenix, here is my hairdresser, the owner's name is Rachel, she is super nice and does exactly what you want.

My Family Nurse Practitioner is great too, she is very attentive. The practice is near Dunlap ave, if anyone is interested.