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Traveling to Chicago



Going to Chicago for 2 weeks for a conference and then holiday. The first question is the tipping. How much do we tip at restaurants, 10 % or 20% or as we wish? What is acceptable or unacceptable?

My question is the mobile phone cards. What is the best way to go with it? What company do you suggest for ready paid cards with wide coverage?

Thanks for advance for the tips.


It used to be 10% = bad, 15% = average and 20% = good, but it's becoming more like 18% = average and 25% = good. It's never mandatory (unless specifically stated on the menu, typically for groups of 6 or more), so it is entirely up to you. Most waiters in the US, though, make a base wage of $2.13 per hour, so they definitely rely on tips. As a former waiter, please be kind to them if they deserve it :)

Regarding prepaid, there are only two GSM networks in the US: T-Mobile and AT&T. They both have decent pre-paid plans where AT&T generally provides better coverage and slightly faster speeds and T-Mobile is much cheaper. When I was in the US in November, T-Mobile had a $2 per day plan that was unlimited text/voice/data only on the days you used it. In that case, $20 was good for me for the 2 weeks I was there.

Jun 26, 2013 09:17

The problem with tipping also in the usa is that nowadays servers expect you to tip extremely well even when they provide a crappy service.

My friend is a waiter in the south florida area so when we go out to eat, he pretty much tells me what the tipping should be, and in that area, 20% is still excellent, 15% good, 10% average.

When I go out to eat with him, he usually tips 15% and he tells me many of the things the server forgot to do and why is not a 20%, which is quite amusing, so I myself never tip 20%, unless the server went above and beyond their job, and in that case, I even tip more than 20%.

And like Dani said, T-mobile probably the way to go, as it is the cheapest and it works in most areas.

Jun 26, 2013 17:50

Unlike in Europe, waiters in the US depend on tips as the majority of their income. You should try to stay within the 15 to 20 percent range. That is standard there. 10 percent is considered a horrible tip and your waiter needs to have done something REALLY AWFUL to get that.

Jun 26, 2013 18:04