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You are not legally required to tip in the USA but it is highly appreciated. In fact, some restaurants do include gratuities as part of your bill, and in such instances, you will not have to tip extra. That being said, it is common for tourists to be chased by waiters if they leave a restaurant without giving a 15-25% tip. For that reason, we recommend you to tip when on holiday to the US as it is part of their culture.
Why do they tip in America?
The reason why they tip in America is that waiters generally do not earn much per hour. Under the American federal law, employees who earn tips are entitled to a minimum wage of approximately US$2.13 while for those who don’t it is US$7.25.
As compared to other countries around the world (like the UK), in the USA, people do not simply tip as a bonus for great service, but actually, pay for the service as a whole (not as an extra). It is a bit like you’re in a social contract with the person. That being said, if you do not want to tip, it is recommended to simply order a meal to go than break America’s tipping culture.
What happens if you don’t tip in the USA?
Since tipping is not compulsory under the law, nothing much can happen to you if you don’t tip in the USA. However, be ready to receive comments from disgruntled waitstaff. Most of the time, if you do not tip in the USA, you will be subjected to some questioning from waiters as well, demanding what went wrong as for them it might come as a sign of bad service. To add, when you do not tip in the USA, restaurants are required to pay the difference to their employees.