6 Tips on Tipping

We all know 15 percent is the standard tip for restaurant servers, but what if the service was way above standard? Or way below? Tipping is such a mystery because there aren’t any ironclad rules. And tipping can be stressful because we’ve all heard how servers depend on their tips for their livelihood.

Before we offer you some tips on tipping, here are some facts: Waiters and waitresses can be paid as low as $2.13 an hour, but if their tips don’t bring them up to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the government requires employers to make up the difference. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average restaurant server earns about $8 an hour, with the top 10 percent getting around $14.25 an hour.

But that’s just waiters and waitresses. Who else should you tip? Follow the advice below for other common encounters with tipping.

Plus: 5 Tips from Your Server: How to Get the Most Out of Eating Out

Tip a percentage

• Take-out preparer: 10 percent
• Taxi driver: 10-15 percent
• Tattoo artist: 10-20 percent
• Barber/stylist: 15-20 percent
• Bartender: 15-20 percent

Tip a flat figure

• Pizza delivery guy: $2-5 based on distance
• Coffee at mom-and-pop shop: $1 per drink (Chain coffee shops? Optional)
• Valet parking: $1 or $2
• Furniture delivery: $5
• Housekeeping: $1-5

Plus: 8 Tips to Save at Any Hotel

More advice on tipping

1. On average, it’s typical to leave 10-20 percent for just about anybody worth tipping. But adjust that based on circumstances: If your delivery guy rushed over in a thunderstorm and is dripping on your doormat, toss him a little extra. Reward people who go out of their way to help. If your server provides poor service, give a poor tip – but leave something so it’s obvious you didn’t just forget.

2.
Pay attention to what’s included in 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.

3. If you have a regular barber or bartender you’re buddies with, don’t let that relationship sour over tipping. Treat well those people you’re likely to deal with often.

4. Try to avoid leaving cash lying around. Hand the tip to your server, leave it in the holder the check comes in, or put it on your card. For housekeeping, leave the money in a marked envelope so they know it’s for them.

5. Always calculate tips based on the original bill, not based on any discounts or coupons you used.

6. Some people can’t (or won’t) accept tips. You can still give them a card, a warm handshake, or a genuine, “Thank you.”

Plus: Dining Out: How to Split the Check

Source: MoneyTalksNews

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43 thoughts on “6 Tips on Tipping

  1. I tip what I can afford and really should be left up to the customer what they feel is appropriate.

  2. America believes that we all should take a percentage of whatever your doing! It’s the American way…take your money for practically doing nothing. It’s like that with real estate all the way to waitressing. The new motto…”get paid for less, I don’t earn enough, so I deserve it, I smiled at you”.

    It sucks frankly! I don’t think it’s right…we are being fee’d to death as it is..just look at everything you do, eat or sell. Seriously people.

  3. I agree…tippping has gotten way out of hand.  It seems like many in the service industry state we shold be tipping 20% minimum…way too much for a minimum or average tip.  The truly great servers will make their 20%.  Those who want 20%…put out the effort, and it will come..its a tip, not a rate.   If a server is not getting good tips, maybe they better look into changing how they are doing their jobs, or find a job in another field.

    Also, tip jars need to go….period.  I think they are tacky, and have seen them pop up in more and more places, such as a bicycle repair shop. Also, many people in the service indusry feel that if they provide a service, they deserve a tip.   Should that include doctors, dentists, plumbers, electricians, builders, and the like?  No.  Everyone is sticking out their hand for a tip. 

    Many businesses are also pushing onto the customer the obligation of paying their help via the tips.  Businesses want us to tip more people, more money to take the pressure of of them to pay them.  In Japan, the servers their do not work for tips; you do not tip them; they are actually insulted if offered a tip, and they give great service!  The restauarnts there seem to thrive by paying them a good salary, without tips.  The tip mentality in the US is the worst!!

  4. lets get rid of all this silly tipping nonsense.your pay is between you and your boss DUH! why should i have to supliment someone else’s business payroll??  i install and repair ceramic tile in your bathroom, i provide a service, where’s my tip???? being a waitress or pizza boy is NOT a profession to aspire to.  if you dont like the money generous people give to you panhandlers, go back to school and get a better job. DUH!

  5. I’m a server at a local “Mom-and-Pop” bar.  I’m working my way through college and pay off student loans making 3 dollars an hour before taxes (after taxes it averages to about a dollar).  I give the same great service to everyone who comes in, even if I know they’re cheap.  I’ve had random customers request me because they’ve heard how wonderful the service I give is.  I personally believe 20% should be a minimum gratuity given to servers.  On nights where I haven’t made at least minimum wage off my tips, the owner does not compensate.  Most nights not only do I serve your drinks and food, but I make your salads, half of your meal, make your drinks and bus your table after you leave.  If you don’t want the “burden” of making my life better, stay home.  You don’t always see whats going on behind the scenes at a restaurant, your server could be working A LOT harder than you think.  The worst is when a customer tells you how great of a job you did then tips you 10 or 15%.  If you don’t like tipping or can’t afford it, don’t eat out!

    1. I agree but I think I need to add something since you work at a bar. Since saloons went “smoke free” I tried to go at first and simply found going outside to be no fun. Rather than stiff people like you, I stopped going entirely. Ive talked to people my age(40) who worked THEIR way through college like you did and I can promise, the money was much better back then. So direct some of that well-earned anger at your government officials, too!

    2. So, do you eat out? Do you tip 20%? I went to college, paying back student loans, working as a dental hygienist intense position, sharp instruments under soft tissue, and receiving no health or retirement benefits. I don’t get tipped. So…why should you? Seriously, if you feel like your under paid..get a better job! It’s that simple. There is no skill required in having a person bring my plate from point A to B.

  6. I am a very good tipper and believe that a waiter or waitress deserves those tips based on the service they provide, not by the amount of the final bill. That being said I was having lunch with a friend at Applebee’s and our waiter was very rude. He would ignore our requests for refills and when I finally got up to fill MY OWN DRINK I found him sitting a corner booth in the back of the restaurant chatting it up with other waiters complaining about his job. So my tip to him was written on a napkin basically saying he was rude and deserved nothing for his service and if he wants tips not to be a douche to his next customers. That was the only time I never left a dollar amount tip for a waiter or waitress and I feel the guy deserved it.

  7. Where is the section as reported on facebook about “WRITE THE FIRST LINE FROM A LOVE LETTER’. I do not see anyplace to hook up with this??????e.ranney@verizon.net

  8. Time for restaurants to pay their people and charge the real price of the meal.  I HATE THIS SYSTEM!

    1. It depends on the kind of restaurant you are in, I manage a waterfront restaurant and the view is not free and the kind of food we serve is high end, if we were to charge what a meal really costs after you consider the rent, heat, lights, delivery, prep, waste, cooking the food, wear and tear on the furniture, linens, carpets You get the picture?? how the hell are we supposed to pay the staff 15-25.00 an hour? you and everyone else would be left using a drive thru because you wouldn’t be able to a dine in a nice establishment. Bill Gates on the other hand could. Think about that next time you think about stiffing a server; yes the server needs to provide great service if they want a great tip. After all it is still called gratuity and you would be showing how grateful you are to get great service.

  9. My son worked as a part time server at Olive Garden. He enjoyed his job, he’s a people person. He just got a full time job and is much happier. The tips he recieved were great, but he had to throw them in a community kitty for all servers and bus people. When he went home at night he wasn’t very happy. The bus people should have been paid minium wage, and servers should have kept what they made. I had a friend that worked at Red Lobster, as a server, ten years ago and came home with $185 on Saturday night. Doesn’t matter where we go out to eat we tip minium 15% and up to 25% for excellent service.

  10. I only have a problem with tipping when the service is poor or when it’s automatically put on my bill. For large parties I can see if they have good service. My main pet peeve is when a server has the attitude they are entitiled to a tip no matter what. We all know there are a few who do. Let’s not forget not everyone gets a cost of living raise.

  11. I agree with others that the standard for tipping today is 18-20% (not 15). If I get bad service, I leave 15% because like this article mentioned, if you don’t tip your server you are probably stiffing other workers as well. If your experience with the server is that bad, slip your bus boy/girl or whoever else is helping out a 5 and let them know you appreciate THEIR help. Also, I’m glad this article mentioned tipping with discount coupons! I can totally see how people unknowingly tip on the final bill, but it’s important to remember that if you get 2 meals and 1 was free, you need to tip on both meals!

  12. Frankly tipping has gotten way out of hand. The tip jar on the counter is tacky. People in other countries don’t understand why we put up with others with their hands out all the time.

    1. This is my abosolute biggest problem with tipping! I personally tip way above the average person. 35-40%. This is a personal choice because the service industry is a job I know I could do well and have a great respect for them. Having said that, I do not understand the tip jar at the counter or at the drive-thru!!! What am I tipping for there? And the random places where tipping is expected now is out of control. The last time my husband and I went on vacation, we signed up for and paid a pretty penny for a scuba diving adventure that included the class and 1 hour diving with the instructor. At the end we were expected to tip. I thought I had already covered that expense when I paid 200 per person. I never tipped a college professor.

  13. the pizza delivery figure is completely wrong. It is 10-15 percent, 20 if they are exceptional. anything less than  10 percent is insulting.

  14. There is one very easy way to avoid the pizza delivery tip. Pick it up yourself.                                                  Leave the comfort of your air conditioning, put your shoes back on, comb your hair, put on your cleanest dirty shirt, hopefully have a vehicle available with gas in the tank, battle traffic, find a legal parking space, OMG wait in line with other people, did you remember your wallet, pay for the pizza which at the moment is nice and hot, carry it it carefully and properly to prevent all the cheese from sliding into the corner of the box, great now it’s raining, drive home carefully, don’t brake too hard or the pizza will slide off the seat and be ruined, home at last, you don’t have a hot bag and the pizza is cold,but you didn’t have to tip anyone.
        Please, two things, pick it up yourself or tip the driver. Three things actually. Don’t show the above run on sentence to an English teacher. It could kill them!

    1. Psst…some of us don’t have the car to go get it, or that person may be sick. The last time I had pizza delivered, I tipped $5. The guy wasn’t as nice as the other delivery person, but it got here fairly fast and hot.

      1. Or the pizza place could charge for delivery and give that to the driver and the driver could turn down tips, Yeah, right.  I paid for a pizza and delivery is free.  Okay, I got my pizza, now get lost delivery guy.  You need a tip to make a living?  That wasn’t mentioned in the price.  Boo, happy , hoo, loser.

    2. Psst…some of us don’t have the car to go get it, or that person may be sick. The last time I had pizza delivered, I tipped $5. The guy wasn’t as nice as the other delivery person, but it got here fairly fast and hot.

  15. There is one very easy way to avoid the pizza delivery tip. Pick it up yourself.                                                  Leave the comfort of your air conditioning, put your shoes back on, comb your hair, put on your cleanest dirty shirt, hopefully have a vehicle available with gas in the tank, battle traffic, find a legal parking space, OMG wait in line with other people, did you remember your wallet, pay for the pizza which at the moment is nice and hot, carry it it carefully and properly to prevent all the cheese from sliding into the corner of the box, great now it’s raining, drive home carefully, don’t brake too hard or the pizza will slide off the seat and be ruined, home at last, you don’t have a hot bag and the pizza is cold,but you didn’t have to tip anyone.
        Please, two things, pick it up yourself or tip the driver. Three things actually. Don’t show the above run on sentence to an English teacher. It could kill them!

  16. Your flat fee suggestions seem outdated. $2-$5 for the pizza delivery person may have been acceptable when gasoline was 99 cents  a gallon. Here in Southern New Jersey we probably fare better than the national average. Still, in August 2011, gas averages $3.55 cents for regular. Also, the stop and go nature of pizza delivery causes a vehicle to experience very poor MPG.
           Actually, if  EVERY customer would tip $3-$6, you could make a living. However, there are regular customers that actually NEVER tip. One $4 tip and one $0 tip average one $2 tip.

  17. I left out hairdressers and barbers as being part of the disgusting tip earners.  I have friends who own salons, and their service personnell, i.e., hairdresser, nail specialist, massage therapist, and facial experts get 60% of the price of the service, and then they get tipped on top of that! Do the math.  So, if a day at the spa cost you say $150 minimum, your server just earned $90.00 on the service performed, and guess what the dummy clients do….tips them another 20% for a grand total of  $120 earned ( $90 for the service + $30 tip).  I’d say that was a bit pitiful for a 2 hour service!!!!   Gee and these people keep crying that they just can’t make ends meet.  Can they?  

    I think we need to tip less.  We all have to put in a hard days work, our employers factor in our wages as part of their cost…our food, beauty etc. service personnell should be no different.

    1. Our employers factor in our wages…Service personnel SHOULD be no different.                                    Labor law says they are different. Service personnel are exempt from the minimum wage law. I once worked a job where my weekly salary provided by my employer was $40. Also, sevice personnel don’t stop working when there are no customers.
            Your employer probably hires a cleaning service or do you mop the floors and scrub the toilets and a myriad list of other drudgery many spoiled modern people would consider BENEATH them.

    2. go try and be a server for a day, when you have 10 tables all wanting their food at the same time, their bills, their desserts, and lets not forgetting about the angry customers whos food came out wrong, and trying to get people refills while bringing one table their food and going to the next table to bring them napkins, rushing to the bar to bring your other table their beer. a server does a lot more work than a “furniture delivery guy” they have one job bring the furniture to the house and put it where the customer wants it without scratching anything up. i have done delivery before it wasn’t that hard, but now i am a server and it is way harder than delivering furniture. servers are under appreciated and don’t get what they deserve.

  18.  Do people realize that furniture delivery personnell get paid minimum wage for heavy duty work!?? I work for a family owned furniture store and my heart goes out to the guys who deliver the furniture to the customers homes.  They do it in all types of weather conditions, brave traffic and irate drivers, have to find parking spaces near the customers homes, lest have to carry the heavy pieces down the street (some weigh in excess of 400lbs.), then bring it up narrow stairwells, tight corners, small doorways and hallways, and then set it up in the rooms that the customer wants.  All the while trying not to cause any damage to the furniture and the homes.  In the meantime, does the customer seem greatfull, NO, they are on top of their backs, watch them like hawks, and get miffed if there is a small scratch that is barely noticeable, and so easily repaired.  Where are the priorities!  Do people realize that the prices of furniture, albeit a high ticket item, do not maintain profit enough to cover a higher wage for the worker, even if there is a delivery charge!  In these poor economic times and given the competitive nature of retail, the delivery charge merely is a drop in the bucket, when you figure in workers compensation insurance, truck maintainence, gas, repairs, and other factors involved in bringing the furniture to someone’s home.  I think that tipping at such high rates to a restaurant server is disgusting. Oh sure, it must be real difficult to bring out a plate of food to a customer who is relaxed, greatfull to anyone who brings them the food and so happy to not have to cook that meal and cleanup after. Oh and let’s not forget that that plate of food must have weighed all of 3/4 lbs.  Whoa, that must have been real strenous!

    1. I didn’t think about all that entails furniture delivery. I suppose if I ever had any delivered and the people were really being careful-I mean like you could tell and they weren’t trying to rush-then I would offer a tip. But really, if it is such hard work, you guys should ask for better pay. I’m all for people getting paid what they deserve, but it should come from the employer first, to cover such things as gas. Tips should be yours to do with what you want. This whole economic slump needs to be fixed so people can get paid what they deserve.

    2. Please. If the work is that hard, they should stop doing it and find something not so difficult. Heck yes I’m going to watch the delivery guys like A HAWK. Furniture and appliances are NOT CHEAP, and any damage they cause they will take the pieces back and bring me damage free merchandise. I’ve never tipped a delivery guy (as you said, they make minimum wage and could possibly be more) and I’m not going to start.

      One point I DO agree with you on is tipping servers. If the service was excellent, they get $5 (normally when we go out to eat, the bill is no more than $30). If the service was OK, a couple of bucks will do. If it wasn’t great, they get absolutely nothing. I’m not going to reward mediocre service with a tip.

      1. your a disgusting cheap person, cant even tip 2 dollars to a furniture delivery guy!? (I tip a lot more than that to each of them, but not even 2 dollars). you must be very poor to be this inconsiderate. your a horrible person, maybe i should start fund raising for you, since you dont have dollars to spare.

    1. I’m a dental hygienist…I offer a very valuable skilled service. I don’t get tipped! I also don’t get retirement and health benefits, and I am paying back my student loans. So..maybe you should also tip me?

  19. I’m a server in a very basic sports bar, and unfortunately, 15-20% is no longer acceptable.  20% should be a minimum.  The majority of servers are either parents of young children who can’t maintain regular working hours, students in high school or college, or older adults who were never able to finance a higher education.  For the work that they do, and the circumstances they are under, they do deserve.  If people don’t want to consider personal cirumstances, simply look at the way the dollar and cost of living has changed.  Gratuity should go up with the cost of living, 15% has been the standard since the 1980’s – that was back when gas was several dollars less than it is at this time.  Here’s a news flash, it is no longer the 20th century.

    1. Although my standard for a tip is indeed 20%, here’s a news flash for you:  Gratuities based on a percentage automatically rise with the cost of living without the percentage increasing.  If dinner for two in the ’80s cost $50, a 15% tip would have been $7.50.  That same that same dinner today would cost maybe $80-100, and a 15% tip would be $10-$15.  See?  Same percentage, more money.

      1. Great point. I too used be a server and do not see why the burden to make my servers life better is on me. If you want a better life then work for it. Tips should be based on merit and not on a percentage of the bill. Bringing out a $10 entree and $20 entree takes the same amount of effort. While bringing it them out quickly and with a smile takes effort and should be rewarded. Remember that the word TIP derives from an acronym for To Insure Promptness.

        1. Tips should absolutley be based on quality of service. That is why they are tips. And I would think as the cost of living goes up, the minimum wage would as well. And if what RD says is true and the government requires employers to make up the difference if they don’t hit min wage, then there shouldn’t be a problem. If there is, that is between the individual  and the employer. They can ask for a raise, or band together and get a union, or whatever they want to do. And I hope it works out for them. Before I knew about the minmum wage rule (which I know I heard somewhere else as well) I  couldn’t understand why someone would work for only 3 something an hour. I was all for them making min wage plus whatever tips they earned. Now I see that has been the case all along.

    2. Although my standard for a tip is indeed 20%, here’s a news flash for you:  Gratuities based on a percentage automatically rise with the cost of living without the percentage increasing.  If dinner for two in the ’80s cost $50, a 15% tip would have been $7.50.  That same that same dinner today would cost maybe $80-100, and a 15% tip would be $10-$15.  See?  Same percentage, more money.

    3. Would you be kind enough to post the “very basic sports bar” you work at so we can avoid it. Obviously you feel you deserve your tip not based on quality of service but on circumstances of life.  I have a daughter who was a server and she made very good tips…because she offered very good service.   She didn’t tell her customers she had a philandering husband who left her with two kids and bills to pay. She went and earned her money; she didn’t have an expectation of a percentage.  She graduated from beauty school, became Aveda certified and because she offers excellent service is doing very well for herself and my two grandkids. Newsflash…it may be the 21st Century, but excellent service in any century will be rewarded.

    4. Nice try.  There are people stupid enough to read this and start tipping 20% automatically.  Did you know you should tip auto mechanics?  Yeah.  But we’ll be happy to take 10%. 

    5. Maybe you should get some education and acquire some real skills for a career type paying job. I went to college as a single parent and I can’t expect the world to understand my situation. College is fundable through loans and scholarships..if there is a will there is a way. Seriously, I was a waitress, but that is no job for a mother..by the way! Also, there a lot of waiters making way more money then the people going to college by the way..so if your set on that..find a place that has the market to pay you what you feel!

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