Tipping in Las Vegas: What You Need to Know
No matter what you are into, you can find it in Las Vegas: whether it be a night at one of the most extravagant clubs in the City of Sin or a succulent meal at one of its best restaurants. But, the catch is, you won’t get in the door at any of those places, if you are not willing to take care of the people that are responsible for making your trip the best ever i.e. doormen, valet, servers, etc. So, no matter how much you spend on drinks or lose at the tables, make sure you know who to tip, when to tip, and how much, thanks to the following guide:
1. At Dinner
You get what you pay for, so tip the wait staff handsomely or risk looking cheap. There’s nothing worse than seeing the look of disgust on your date’s face after they’ve seen you splurge on food and drinks, only to stiff the staff that took care of you while on the premises.
When it comes to tipping, the general rule of thumb is 15%, but you should consider this number to be the bare minimum, reserved for when you receive truly bad service. Many wait staff rely on their tips to pay their bills, so use 20% as your standard for meals and make adjustments based on the quality of the service received.
2. The Valet
Those who come to town from places like Chicago and New York are sure to appreciate all the free parking spots that can be found on the Strip. But, the problem is, many of these parking garages are located behind the casinos, which translates to a ton of walking for you. To minimize this issue, Vegas offers free valet services at most of its resorts so you can easily drop off your vehicle at the front door. This perk is especially helpful when you are running late to dinner or to catch a show.
• Tip when picking up your car, not when dropping it off
• $2 is the standard tip, but feel free to pay more, especially if the valet offered impressive customer service
3. The Hotel
Your hotel room represents your headquarters while you are in Sin City, so it is important to do everything you can to make your stay as comfortable as possible when plotting your next adventure:
• Front Desk: The benefits of tipping the receptionist can be as lucrative as an instant upgrade at certain resorts on the Strip. But, it’s important to note that, this isn’t a guarantee, especially if you are in town during a busy holiday or if there’s a big fight taking place nearby. Tipping Points: $20 is an acceptable tip and don’t worry if you don’t get an upgrade, you will undoubtedly receive other perks.
• The Bellhop: Not only does the bellhop help you with your bags when you check in and out of the hotel, but he or she is also the person that is responsible for bringing you anything that you may need from the front desk or had delivered to the hotel. Tipping Points: $2 a bag is pretty reasonable, another good option to consider is, at least $5 for every trip made to your room.
• Housekeeping: By and large, the messy outnumber the neat in this crazy world of ours. So, you know that whatever the housekeeping staff is getting paid to make your room look its best isn’t nearly enough. Tipping Points: The day that you are checking out, least $5 in your room for the housekeeping staff. Add a little extra if you were there for over 2 days.
4. The Bar
When at the bar, your tipping responsibilities are twofold:
• Your server: When visiting restaurants bars or lounges, you must tip like you would at dinner (20%), especially if you like the venue and have been exploring its intricacies all evening. Who knows? Your table may be valuable real estate, so keep your piece of the pie by making your servers as happy as you were.
• The bartender: If you are sitting at the bar, the person making your drink should get some individual attention, unless you enjoy being ignored. So, increase your odds of having the time of your life by tipping your bartender at least $1 for each drink. Also, if you want to remain competitive and ensure that you remain in the bartender’s good graces, (remember most people will be tipping $1 as well) spend at least an extra $2 for each drink that you imbibe.
5. In the Club
Legends are made and myths are spawned at the posh nightclubs that call Las Vegas home. Create an epic story of your own by making sure that you take care of the ones responsible of taking care of you:
• The doorman: The best way to beat the long lines at the best clubs in the city is with a generous tip, of about $20, to the doorman i.e. the gatekeeper. Also, don’t assume that because you are on the guest list of the so-called VIP host, you will get a chance to shake your groove thing. Each club has several versions of these lists and the ones for tourists aren’t as exclusive as they may seem.
• The host: If someone in the club gets you a VIP table, make sure that you give them a generous tip (anywhere from $20- $100 each bottle) for their trouble, especially if your table is in a prime location or if you have special requests.
• The waitress: Getting bottle services? Many clubs include the tip in the bill, but this isn’t always the case. So, make sure that your server will be happy after you leave. It’s bad karma to stiff someone who has been taking care of your needs ,while wearing high heels, all night long. Tipping Points: The standard server gratuity is 20%.
6. The Strip Club
You must make sure that you have lots of extra cash to tip when headed out to the strip club, this ensures that lavish attention will be heaped on you throughout the night. The breakdown is – as follows:
• Dancers: Beyond the price negotiated between you and your private dancer, there’s no standard rule of thumb for lap dances and tipping. But, if you like the way the performer dances and want them to stick around, be prepared to keep the money flowing. Tipping Points: If your hangout of choice is by the stage, you should tip at least $1 a song. But, if you want the performer to pay special attention to you, make it rain with a steady stream of bills
• Other employees: Although it isn’t a requirement, you should consider tipping the bouncer and the host about $20 each, you might get a better table and some extra attention from the best dancers for your trouble. The DJ should be another consideration, as he or she can is in charge of the songs that are playing while you are getting a lap dance.
This list is by no means exhaustive and doesn’t include all of the service staff that will help make your Vegas trip one for the record books. So, if you aren’t sure how much you should tip someone, always aim for the higher amount. It never hurts to grease a few wheels, when it comes to new and exciting experiences.
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