Tipping Etiquette Guidelines – How Much to Tip Hairdressers, Movers, Hotel Staff, Valet, Cab Drivers, Food Delivery, Waiters and More
Ever wonder who you should tip, when you should tip, or how much you should tip? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone – not even close. Most of us take a guess at the amount and hope for the best; hoping we left enough to be remembered in a good way rather than a bad way! And while most of us tip for service in restaurants and bars, there are a lot of other places where tips are a way of life. Like them or not, tips can make or break the service you get for your money or even more importantly, help people make ends meet due to the low pay at their jobs. I am of the mind to tip most of the places we are “supposed” to tip, out of courtesy and thanks to those I am tipping, while some friends of mine only tip if service is exceptional. These opposite ends of the spectrum on tipping seems to account for the majority of people, so who really knows what the “right” way of doing things is? For me, that means tipping well for many different services. So for those of you looking for advice on when/who/how much to tip, I went and did some research and found out a bunch of info that I hope is helpful to you next time you are out and about. Let’s take a look…
- For waiters at a restaurant (not fast food) a standard tip is 15%-20% of the final bill.
- Buying a drink at a bar? $1 a drink is pretty standard.
- Staying in a hotel? I leave between $3-$5 per night for the housekeeping crew.
- If you are checking your bags curbside at the airport, $1-$2 per bag is fair.
- Getting your car washed at one of those “top to bottom” car washes? $3-$5 is a good tip for the main guy working on your car.
- While I rarely see this anymore (although that could be because I don’t hang out anywhere “nice” anymore!), an attendant in a coatroom should be tipped $1 per coat.
- Seeing a massage therapist to work out the knots from the day job? Between 15%-20% of the massage cost is standard.
- I tipped my tattoo guy 20% of the cost for his work because, well, if I go back I want him to spell everything correctly!
- Get your hair cut at a salon? Tipping 15%-20% of the haircut cost is good, and maybe a little more around the holidays.
- If I ever have to valet my car, I usually tip $2 to the valet driver when he or she brings my car back around.
- When in need of wheelchair service at the airport, a tip of $5-$10 would be nice to give to the “driver”.
- Pizza delivery drivers, on average, get between $2-$5 depending on weather, your neighborhood, and distance driven to get there.
- When taking the shuttle from the rental car place to the airport, most people tip the drive $1 per bag (if they help you with it).
- For movers, I always tip $20 per guy. This comes in especially handy if you are like me and move often using the same company!
- If you use a hotel concierge, you should probably tip them at least $5 for getting you tickets or reservations to a show. Give more if they help more, as you never know when you may need them.
- For taxis, a pretty standard tip is 15% of the final bill.
- For limo drivers, 20% of the bill is fair.
- Ever travel overnight on Amtrak? I have, many times – and the sleeping car attendants can make or break your trip. A tip of $3-$5 per day/per passenger can make all the difference.
- While I am not a gambler, most blackjack players will tip a $5 chip upon leaving the table – more if at a high stakes table or you won a ton of money.
- The ladies at the nail salon would truly appreciate a 15% tip for cleaning up your fingernails.
- When getting your shoes shined, a good tip (on top of the bill) would be $2 per pair of shoes.
- Got a young kid in school? While you don’t need to tip, per se, a small token of appreciation is nice at the end of the school year. That being said, as someone who was married to a teacher, please avoid giving personal pictures of your child, home decorations, or body lotion. A gift card to a bookstore or Starbucks is a much better gift… trust me.
A few other things to keep in mind that I just thought of that may be useful:
If you purchase goods/services with a coupon of any sort, tip on the full amount of the bill – not the discounted price. Otherwise you just look like a cheap bastard and it’s not fair to the server, who has no control over the prices of the restaurant or the value of the coupon.
And lastly, if you are traveling abroad, pretty much throw this entire list out the window. When people from other countries come visit the US, they don’t understand why we tip everyone so much money. In France (the only country I have spent any amount of time in), tipping was generally frowned upon, especially in professional jobs like being a waiter or a taxi driver. We Americans still tipped a little, but locals tended not to tip because they know that these jobs are paid professional wages, and tipping can be seen as insulting by some.
Got any more tips about tipping? Do you tip often or rarely? How much do you tip? Please let us know in the comments!