Tipping in Orlando, Florida, USA.
We get asked about tipping many times on our forums, when to tip? how much to tip? To Tip or not to Tip? hopefully this page will provide some information to help you whilst over in Florida.
First we would like to point out that tipping can be a highly contested subject, tipping is a cultural thing in the USA and is not mandatory. Some establishments will have a displayed service charge that is added to the bill.
Ok, with that said...
Tipping here in the UK is becoming more and more common but as a general rule we do not tip. In the USA tipping is normal and is part of their custom, especially for service staff like Porters, Chamber Maids and Restaurant Staff.
Below is a guide as to what to tip and who to tip but please remember it is only a guide. Tipping is a way of showing your satisfaction with the service you have received.
Please remember the USA has a tipping culture, this means that for many things you are expected to tip the person who has provided you with a service.
Although tipping isn't a legal requirement it really is not acceptable to not tip just because you are on a low budget! When you are budgeting for your holiday make sure you also factor in the tips.
We get many discussions on our forums regarding tipping in Orlando and one comment that usually crops us is "why should I use my hard earned money to tip". The easy answer is, if you can't afford to Tip then you can not afford a USA holiday.
It's easy to look at the menu prices in Orlando and think it's really cheap but remember the food prices are only cheaper than here in the UK because USA restaurants usually pay their waiting staff less than the local minimum wage. The waiting staff are expected to make up their wages from tips. Because the restaurant isn't paying a full wage to it's waiting staff it means the restaurant can reduce it's overall costs and hence have lower menu prices.
It's easy to argue that the USA restaurants should pay their staff the full wage so that the need for tipping is removed. If this happened then the menu prices would go up inline with what they are here in the UK.
Remember it's a cultural thing, in the USA the custom is to tip so if you are travelling to the USA then make sure you budget for the tips you will be expected to leave.
The standard tip in a full service restaurant is 15% - 20% of the total bill. If you are using a discount coupon the tip should still be based on the full price not the discounted price.
Please remember though that you are tipping for the Service not the quality of the food.
If you receive exceptional service then show your appreciation with a larger tip.
- Typically 15% to 20% for waiters/waitresses.
- For off-site self service buffets the tip is usually less than you would leave for a table service restaurant. 12% would be about right.
- Typically $1 to $2 a drink for bartenders, depending upon the complexity of the drink.
- Restroom attendants are usually tipped $1.
What to do if you receive poor service
There seems to be an un written rule that if you receive poor service then you should just leave a very small tip with a unhappy smiley face on the bill. However doing this will not get your point across as it is too subtle and you will just be seen as another 'ignorant Brit'.
If for some reason you receive what you feel to be poor or no service then please ask to speak to the manager and let them know that you are not leaving a tip as the service was poor. I know this can be hard for some British tourists as we don't usually like to complain, well not to restaurant staff anyhow. Americans on the other hand will complain if something isn't right and so when in the U.S.A follow by their example and make a complaint if the service is poor. This way the staff are in no doubt as to why they received no tip.
- Taxi drivers should be tipped 15% to 20%
- Hotel courtesy shuttle drivers don't expect any tips though $1 to $2 would go down well.
- If you pay for a door-to-door shuttle, a 15% tip pus $1 a bag is customary.
- Bus tour guides should be tipped 10% to 20% of the total bill for a one day tour. For multiple days, tips should lie within the $1 to $10 a day range.
- Valet parking attendants should be tipped $2 when your car is returned.
- Electric cart drivers at the airport should be tipped $2 to $3 per person as should wheelchair pushers.
- The porter should be tipped $1 per bag and $2 per heavy bag.
- Housekeeping staff should be tipped anywhere between $2 and $10 per day depending upon the class of hotel and the level of service. Please leave the tip each day rather than at the end of your stay as you may have different staff each day.
- Room service should be tipped at 15% of the bill
- A doorman should be tipped $1 if he hails a cab and $2 per bag if he assists with your luggage
- With regards to the concierge, they don't expect anything for advice but tip up to $5 for booking a dinner reservation, $20 for booking tours and up to $25 for booking theatre tickets.
- Pool attendants should be tipped around $2 to $5 for each service they offer
- Golf caddies should be tipped between $10 and $25.
- Activity operators (boat tours, jet ski hire, etc.) should be tipped around $5 to $10
- A spa technician should be tipped around 15% of the bill.
Before or After Tax
- Usually you would use the sub total (before Tax) to work out the Tip.