What is the tipping etiquette in San Francisco?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Katie Sweeney

San Francisco is like most major American cities and tipping is customary. A tip should be given to taxi drivers, hotel workers, waiters and bartenders.

For cab rides, give the driver a 10 to 20 percent tip. At hotels, the tip depends on the service provided. Leave a couple of dollars for the bellman and doorman who help you with luggage and hailing cabs. The maids who clean your room should receive $5-10 per night.

When it comes to dining out, note that many restaurants in San Francisco have extra fees added to the bill. A diner is not expected to pay a tip based on the bill after the surcharges — it's more of a personal thing. Generally, 15 to 20 percent of the bill should be given as a tip at bars and restaurants. 

Maria Hunt

The tipping etiquette in San Francisco is comparable to that in most other major American cities. San Francisco is one of those cities where many people make their living in the service industry and they depend on being rewarded justly for knowledgeable and professional service.

When dining or drinking, especially with a group, plan to tip at least 20 percent. When taking cab rides, it’s customary to give your driver a 10 to 20 percent tip as well.

There’s a tipping hierarchy at most hotels, too. The valet usually receives $2 to $5, bellmen who assist with your luggage at the hotel often get $2 per bag and maids receive $2 to $5 per night. If the hotel concierge goes above and beyond by snagging tickets to a show or a table at a booked-up restaurant, then we suggest you reward him or her with $10 to $20 and a genuine smile.

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