It doesn’t matter where you go anymore, tip jars are planted everywhere! From coffee shops to smoothie stands and everywhere in between.
When I travel, especially if it’s just me and my tot, I know I need the extra help so I load up on one dollar bills for shuttle drivers, cabbies, doormen, bellhops, etc. but what’s the rule when it comes to every place else? Here are some general rules:
- One stylist – 15% of bill
- More than one stylist – 10% of bill to person who sets hair; 10% divided among others
- Manicurist – 15% of bill
- Spa service – 15-20% of bill
- Masseuse – 10-15% of bill
- Waiter – 15% for adequate service, 20% for exceptional service. For poor service, leave 10% or less. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s okay to leave nothing for exceptionally poor service, but be sure to bring it to a manager’s attention. This may not make any sense to you, but I always tip breakfast staff more because I feel like they got up so much earlier to provide me service. I also over tip when my son has left a larger than usual mess (I have also been known to get down on my hands and knees and help clean up said mess, too).
- Barista – No matter how fancy your drink order is, no tip is required, though many suggest throwing coins into the tip jar. This rule of thumb applies for your favorite deli counter, juice stand and bakery, too.
- Bartender – $1/drink (or 15% of total bill).
- Delivery person (including pizza) – 10%, $2 minimum
- Bus driver (not mass transit) – $1 to $2, if luggage is involved
- Cab driver – 10%, $2-$5 minimum
- Chauffeur – 10-15%
- Gas station attendant – No tip is required, but if you feel obliged, $2-$4
- Porter/skycap – $1 per bag. $2 for heavy items, or if porter brings luggage to counter.
What about tipping during the holidays? Tipping service people with whom you have regular contact can build goodwill, better service and loyalty. I found these recommendations:
- Babysitter/Nanny – one weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pay or a nice gift certificate from your child
- Doorman – Bottle of wine, box of chocolates or nice gift certificate
- Garbage collector – $15 to $25
- Gardener – One weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pay
- Housekeeper – One weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pay
- Janitor – $15 to $25
- Mail carrier – $15 to $20
- Newspaper delivery person (does anyone still get a newspaper delivered?) – $15 to $25
- Parking attendant – $15 to $25
- Personal trainer – $20 to $50 (tip discreetly)
Other tipping tips to keep in mind:
- If you are using a coupon or gift certificate, calculate your tip based on the total before discount is applied.
- Tip above average only if service is exceptional, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been a burden or you are a regular client.
- DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tip if itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not deserved. Poor service should not be rewarded.
- In some circumstances, if you offer an initial tip Ã¢â‚¬â€ especially a large initial tip Ã¢â‚¬â€ youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get better service.
- If you take up a restaurant table for a long time, tip extra.
- Tip discreetly.
- When in doubt, tip.
Tipping should never be considered mandatory or automatic. Too often, tips are taken for granted or expected regardless of the quality of service. Tipping should be done at your discretion and as a reward for good or superlative service.
Ask a manager if you are uncertain and as with most things these days, there is an app for your smartphone to help you navigate through tipping. My favorite is CheckPlease Lite Tip Calculator (free and compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.0 or later).
For more information on proper tipping etiquette, visit tipping etiquette.
Photo credit: katybird