What is the tipping process in restaurants in the US?

I’m supposed to write down something on the bill I get?
Do I hand the waiter my credit card after doing so?

Since I need a receipt, do I wait for the waiter to bring things back?
What’s the process, from asking for the check till I can walk out with a receipt?


Normally, the sequence is this:

  1. Get the bill from the server. Check it for any issues.
  2. Give the server your credit card.
  3. The server goes off and swipes your card, coming back with your card and the receipt.
  4. There are two copies of the receipt, one for you and one for the restaurant. Write the tip on the restaurant copy and sign it; take your copy and your card.
  5. Leave the restaurant copy of the receipt on the table as you walk out of the restaurant.

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