Tipping is arguably the most stressful part of eating out. If you asked 20 people how much to tip in a given situation, you’ll get a slew of answers and strong opinions about the “right” thing to do. But is there even a “right” thing to do? There are no set rules that tell you the exact amount you should give for each service provided to you. Often, I’m left guessing how to convert service quality into a few dollars.
Clearly, I needed to do some research on the tipping predicament. With my findings I have compiled a list (thanks to CNN Money, MoneyTalksNews, and the Original Tipping Page) which shows just how much you should have been tipping this entire time, for any given situation!
Waiter/Waitress: 15% of bill (excluding tax) for adequate service; 20% for very good service; no less than 10% for poor service
Bartender: 15% to 20% of the tab, with a minimum of 50 cents per soft drink, $1 per alcoholic drink
Coatroom attendant: $1 per coat
Parking valet or garage attendant: $2 to bring your car to you
Washroom attendant: 50 cents to $1
Taxi driver: Varies depending. Assume 15% will be enough; an extra $1 if the driver helps you with your bags
Grocery loader: $1 for bringing bags to car; $1.50 to $3 if you have more than 3 bags (if the store’s policy allows tipping)
Barber: 15% to 20%, minimum $1, for a haircut. For other services (shampoo, shave or manicure) tip $1 to $2 to service provider
Hairdresser: 15% to 20%
Shampoo person: $2
Spa service: 15% to 20%. If the service is provided by the owner, no tip.
Staff at coffee shop (tip jar): No tip required. This is 100% optional
Handyman: No tip
Gas attendant: No tip
Hotel doorman: $1 per bag for help with luggage
Hotel housekeeper: $2 to $5 per night
Hotel concierge: $5 for getting your tickets or reservations. No tip required when you are asking for directions
Cruise staff: Varies. Ask cruise line about customary gratuities. Some cruise lines will have them already included in your package.
Other tips on tipping:
- Before you tip, check and see if a gratuity has already been added to your bill
- Always calculate tips based on the subtotal of the original bill, not based on any discounts or coupons you may have used.
- Pay attention to what is included on a bill and who it’s going to. At restaurants, a table of six or more is often charged an extra “gratuity” or “service fee” that may (or may not) go directly to the server. A delivery bill may likewise have a service charge for gas that doesn’t go to the driver, and a tip may already be built into the bill.
- Don’t leave your tip out in the open. Give it to the server directly, put it in the holder the check came in, or use a credit card.
- If people can’t or won’t accept tips, still make sure to give them a handshake and a sincere “Thank you.”