#9: Understand Each Country’s Tipping Point
Tipping culture is a concept that can confuse even the most cosmopolitan global citizen.
As a general rule, in the US, a tip of 15-20% is expected (and appreciated!) to recognize good service. Servers, bartenders, hairdressers, taxi/Uber/Lyft drivers, massage therapists, and other workers in the US service industry rely on tips as a part of their take-home pay.
Additionally, in the US, you might also consider tipping when:
- You’re ordering coffee at a local shop (some might tip $1 or $2, depending on the complexity of your order)
- Someone carries your bags at a hotel (you might offer the bell staff $1-2 per bag)
- You stay at a hotel and the staff cleans your room (you might leave $1-2 per day)
Coming from Switzerland, this might feel like an adjustment. You might be used to rounding up a few francs or two—or leaving 5-10% extra for exceptional service. Many in Switzerland see tipping as completely optional, since service workers receive a more livable wage than they do in the US.
That said, the US workers who depend on tips will appreciate you for observing local customs.