How tips work in the USA
How tips work in the USA

How tips work in the USA

You are about to leave for the United States and you know that tips are almost mandatory, now “Yes, yes”! But, really, how do tips work in the US!?

Tip Yes or Tip No?

But are tips in the US really obligatory?

Well yes! Although tips will only be “recommended” everywhere in the US tips are mandatory, now it’s a fact and everyone knows it. The thing that few people know is that tips are a fundamental part of the salaries of the waiters who would otherwise be very poor. If you think about this, when you have to choose how much to tip, it will be easier for you.

But let’s see how tips work in practice.

The time comes to pay

It works like this: they bring you a receipt holder with a first receipt in it with the total, you leave the credit card inside and the waiter takes it all away. After a few minutes the waiter returns with a second receipt in double copy (one for you and one for the restaurant). So far so normal, even in Italy it works like this, but in reality the transaction has not yet been carried out.

The moment of the tip

In the restaurant copy, below the total, there are two fields to fill out: Tips and Total. In most cases the percentage of “recommended” Tips is also specified: it is never below 10/15%. Basically you have to add the tip, making the count with the calculator and add it to the expense to write the True Total that will be charged to the card. Without this you can leave and the waiter will be happy to collect the tip!

Quokka Recommend: be careful to write on the receipt both the amount of the tip, and the total that comes out adding it! It happened in some cases that the “crafty” waiter changed the amount of the tip and wrote him the total. By doing so he takes a large conspicuous tip and you get a scam. But before you know it, you have already changed city.


In the event that you decide to pay in cash everything is simpler: just add to the total that you should pay the amount you decide to leave with a tip. Just like us in Italy! In America, though, you see very little cash and even the smallest payments are usually made with a credit card.

Don’t be clever

I recommend! Do not like us the second day in New York! It was a tragicomic scene!! Always leave the tip!

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