Now for those of you wondering why I am putting this in the philosophy coffee house. Think of this as philosophy of gratuities. I often here waiters and waitresses in the USA whining that British holiday makers do not tip enough. In England the upper end of a tip is about 10% and it is usual for the tip to be somewhere between 5-10%. In the USA however it seems to range between 15-20% as the customary tip. They argue that they don't get paid enough and that we somehow don't appreciate the American custom, and that you should follow the customs of a country you are in. Here is my reply: Number one, a tip is a gratuity, you don't have to give one. It is an optional addition you give for good service. When I went to America last we went to one restaurant where we left no tip because the waitress must have had the shits or something because she spent more time in the loo and than she did serving us. The point is, that there is another thing that exists called a service charge which is a set cost you add on for service that exist which performs the function you seem to want. Secondly, you've bought tickets to America, and you've bought a hotel. You've probably spent thousands of pounds on your holiday already, you've gone to a hotel, but you don't cook. Breakfast is probably provided free but the hotel which leaves 2 meals a day you're paying for. The 20% tip is based on someone who probably has a meal, perhaps 3 times in a week period for someone who eats out more than most. If two people go on holiday, we're a family of 5 so if you imagine we spent $150 - 200 dollars a day on meals, 20% extra money is a lot. Thirdly it's not my fucking problem if you don't get paid enough and rely on tips. For the most part all you have to do to earn your 20% is your job to an acceptable level, I work in telesales, and the money is in commission, not my hourly wage and I have to work fucking hard to earn any. I can't just turn up and earn my commission, it takes effort. It's a numbers game as well where I could get tons of leads or none on any given day whereas a waiter is garunteed tips of some degree from almost all customers. The point is if you're not getting paid enough then clearly the problem lies in your countries minimum wage, not in the fact that some British Tourists only gave you $10 dollars instead of $15. As I said, surprisingly I can't afford to give away an extra 20% on top of the meal when I am buying 28 of the things within a 2 week period. The customer could be just as strapped for cash as the waiter themselves.