LAS VEGAS TIPPING ETIQUETTE
If you're reading this guide, chances are, you're planning your trip to Las Vegas and trying to get the lay of the land. You've made all the reservations, the hotel arrangements, and you're now in the process of taking out some pocket money for your smaller expenditures.
But how much should you take out? What kind of petty cash exchanges are expected in a tourist town that makes a lot of its money through service gratuities? Is it a big deal if you forget to tip?
In the short guide below, we will be touching on all you need to know about some of the basic tipping practices in Las Vegas!
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HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP?
The customary amount that people in the service industry expect to be tipped is about 15-20% of your bill before taxes. For smaller expenditures, like a $5 beer in the casino, it's still customary to give your waitress or bartender a dollar or two for their service.
You can also tip more, or more often, for service you feel is above and beyond the norm. Some people also choose to tip ahead of time to incentivize better service – like giving a bartender a big tip to make sure he gets to your order first at a busy bar.
Undertipping for bad service is generally frowned upon, but most staff will be understanding if they know you didn't have the best experience, and it reflects with the way you tip.
However, do NOT entirely skip out on tipping!
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T TIP?
Technically, nothing happens upfront, but any repeat business will probably earn you subpar service – and no information spreads faster amongst service staff than rude people or bad tippers.
Unfortunately, service staff who are allowed to take tips are typically paid less than non-tipped positions, so you essentially cost people money by not tipping the staff. It's a weird system, yes, but it does incentivize better service (so the staff member can earn more tips).
Even if you don't mean to, a lot of service staff will take it as an insult to them personally if you don't leave a tip (especially for significant purchases like bottle service, sit-down meals at a restaurant, etc.) and could garner you a dirty look or two. Just try flagging down a bartender at a busy bar for a second drink if you stiffed him/her on the first order!
WHO SHOULD YOU BE TIPPING?
Vegas is a service town, and you're going to be interacting with many different people who will be looking to cater to your needs as soon as you touch down. Below are some examples of people who will provide you with services that you should be aware of.
Pro Tip: Most experienced travelers will have a stack of small bills ($ 1's, $ 5's, $ 10's, and $ 20's) to keep on hand just for tipping purposes – it's a good habit to have a little bit of petty cash, just in case!
- Rideshare/Taxi Drivers/Airport Shuttles – most don't expect a big tip, but it's a nice gesture to make, especially if you require a lot of help with luggage, etc., or want to make a few stops instead of a simple point A-to-point B trip.
- Bellhops/Room Service – most people don't think to take care of the fine folk who makes your hotel stay exemplary, but if you have someone bringing up your bags or a meal, it's good manners to tip a few bucks for their service.
- Valet – most hotel valets charge a fee unless you happen to be a high enough rewards member at that hotel. Because of that (it used to be a complimentary service), tips have dropped dramatically for valet staff. If the valet charge is $15, it's courteous just to give them a $20 and have them keep the change.
- Front Desk/Concierge – there's a little gray area with front desk staff when you're checking in where they might be able to upgrade your room for little to no extra charge. Be sure to ask if they have anything available before you slide $20 across the counter – if that bill hits the counter, they're swiping that real quick! If you're booking through our services, it's unlikely that you will need to stop by the concierge desk, but if you do and they're able to provide sound advice and/or a good hookup somewhere, feel free to give them a small tip as thanks.
- Casino Hosts – if you're an avid patron of the casino and you deal with a casino host, it's a good idea to make sure you take care of them as well. Casino hosts can give out comps for meals, rooms, and other hotel amenities for their clients!
- Table Dealers – if you like to gamble and you hit a hot streak, it's customary to tip your dealer for dealing out winning hands and facilitating the games. Tip how you feel, although you're probably going to feel a little more generous after a win!
- Limo/Party Bus Drivers – this is a big one, especially for those who are getting FREE limo rides on our strip club packages. These drivers run around Vegas, ensuring they arrive on time to make sure you stay on schedule, so a nice $5-$10 tip is greatly appreciated!
- VIP Hosts – there's a little (ok, a lot) of bias on this one. Our job is to help you plan and organize your itinerary, and if you feel like we did a good job making everything go smoothly, we wouldn't say no to a little gratuity – but it is in no way an obligation, nor would we ever ask you for one!
- Cocktail Servers/Restaurant Wait Staff/Bartenders/Bussers – you will more than likely have the most opportunities to take care of your wait staff at the clubs and restaurants you dine in (mostly because of the little "tip" line on your bill). As discussed above, please tip appropriately. Also, a lot of places impose an automatic gratuity to your bill (especially nightclubs and day clubs, so be sure to scan your final bill if you don't mean to tip twice…or tip twice, if you're feeling generous!
- Side note: nightclub and day club bussers have the unenviable job of hauling the big buckets of ice, refilling your mixers, and doing all the little things that make your bottle service experience 5-star. It's not expected but sliding them a small tip on the side will make sure their efforts aren't going unnoticed!
- Restroom Attendants – if you've never had an attendant wait on you in a nightclub bathroom, then you've never felt the pressure so strongly of tipping at least a couple of bucks. To be fair, they work hard to make sure the bathrooms are kept clean, and they have amenities such as hairspray, deodorant, colognes, and perfumes you can use to freshen up with, and if you're a smoker, they will even sell you cigarettes.
- Housekeeping – this is an underrated one, and one that doesn't get enough attention. An appropriate housekeeping tip is $2 - $5 per standard guest room per night. Tip each morning and at the end of your stay as thanks to the fantastic hotel staff who kept your room looking like a palace throughout your stay (even though you messed it up right away).
While that doesn't quite cover the number of service people you are bound to encounter on your stay, keep in mind that most people won't turn down a tip (unless they flat out say they can't take one) and that tipping is a way for you to ensure you get better service.
WHAT'S THE VERDICT?
Tipping is a huge part of traveling to any tourist area, but especially in Las Vegas. While you probably don't have to tip every single person you run into, it's a good practice to take care of the people who provide you with excellent service.
Hopefully, this guide has been helpful in giving you a little bit of an insight into the world of Vegas nightlife!
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