Agadir, Morocco- Unlike in most countries of the world, tipping in the USA is rather a special case. For different people who provide services for your convenience as a customer in different public places, you are supposed to give a more or less regular amount of money as a tip.
In Morocco for instance, tips given at cafes and restaurants depend pretty much on how satisfied the customer is but there is also that dimension of how generous he or she may be. Generally in Morocco, tips and gratuities remain a matter of individual judgment and appreciation but overall do remain rather modest in substance.
In the US, a foreigner needs to be put in the picture about this peculiar American phenomenon of tipping and gratuities. For each service received whether be it waiting, home delivery, hotel housekeeping, doorman service, bartending, or transportation by taxi or else toilet attending there are fixed rates or percentages for each service that the customer has to observe. These rates and percentages feature both a minimum under which the service provider may feel displeased and a maximum that you may very well exceed depending on your generosity and on how pleased or satisfied you were with the service.
To illustrate the notion of percentage in tipping, here is an example: you go to a restaurant, you order a meal and once you are through you get your bill just like in any other country but what does not figure on the bill is the waiter’s tip. This you have to figure it for yourself as there are set percentages calculated with reference to the sum in your bill.
In this case, it is 15 to 20% of the amount figuring in the bill. For buffets the percentage is 10%. The home delivery service (for food) receives 10 to 15% of the total amount of the delivery. At hotels, tipping does not depend on any percentage, it is pre-established. For instance, to a hotel housekeeper you need to give a daily sum that varies between 2 and $5. To a doorman, a tip of 1 to $4 sounds appropriate depending on the bulk of the luggage. You may also wish that the doorman hails a taxi for you in which case you ought to give him a 1 to $2 tip.
In rest areas, on highways and in other public places, toilet attendants receive tips ranging from 50c to $3. Finally, to a cab driver who got you to your desired destination, you need to pay what the cab- meter indicates plus a 15 to $20 tip. Most people in other countries do not do this but in the US this is pretty much the general rule. A final piece of advice to wrap this article up: while in the US, do as the Americans do.
Articles written by Mohamed El Hassan Abou El Fadel in Morocco World News are taken from his Cultural Journals. The articles feature his reflections on an important part of his educational and cultural experiences in the US as an American Field Service exchange student, a Fulbright exchange teacher and a University of Delaware alumnus.
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