This does NOT apply to fast-food joints or to places where you serve yourself,
as in a buffet. Depending on how good you are at doing mental arithmetic, working
out the tip may be no problem at all. However, late at night, following a long drive,
after a few drinks, working out 15% of $85.00 can be a little taxing...
Some Americans taught us an easy way to work it out, that is apparently well known
to the locals - (and there I was thinking their education system must give them a
superior ability with figures!)
Almost all states have a 'state sales tax'. This is added separately to the price of goods
and services, unlike our GST which is built in. The sales tax will be shown as a
separate amount on the bill. The State sales tax varies slightly between states, but is
usually about 7 to 8%. So, double the figure given on the bill for sales tax and you
have your 15% tip, close enough anyway...
A few restaurants helpfully provided a computer-generated bill which had the amount
of a 15%, 20%, 25% and 30%!! tip already calculated at the very bottom of the bill.
All the customer had to do was decide how much to tip and copy that amount into
the blank 'tip' space on the bill. How very thoughtful of them...