Tipping is arguably the most stressful part of eating out (besides actually choosing a restaurant). There are no set rules to tell you the exact amount you should give your server, so you’re left guessing how to convert service quality into cash. Plus, figuring out tips for other services, like travel or beauty treatments, is just as confusing. Even more confusing? Figuring out tipping in other countries while you’re traveling.
Dining and take-out:
Wait staff: 15-20 percent for average service; 10 percent for horrible service; 30 percent or more for excellent service
Bartender: $1 per drink at high volume bars; 20 percent at a cocktail bar
Take-out (whoever prepares your to-go order): No tip necessary; if it’s a complicated order, 10 percent
Delivery driver: 10-15 percent; 20 percent if the weather is bad; $2-5 for pizza, depending on the size of the order
Barista: $1 per drink; no tip necessary for coffee chain employees
Housekeeper: $2-5 per night in a hotel; leave the note with the cash so the housekeeper knows it’s a tip and make sure to read up fully on how much you should tip a hotel’s housekeeping staff.
Taxi driver: 15-20 percent; extra $1-2 per bag
Valet parking: $2
Doorman: $1-4 for carrying luggage; $1-2 for hailing a cab
Bellhop: $1-2 per bag; extra $2-3 for room delivery
Coatroom attendant: $1 per coat
Hairstylist/barber: 15-20 percent
Manicurist: 15 percent
Spa services (waxing, massage, etc.): 20 percent
Other tips on tipping:
- Before you tip, check if gratuity has already been added to your bill.
- Calculate tips based on original prices, even if it’s happy hour or your order has a discount.
- If you want to become the beloved regular at your bar, tip bartenders generously (50 percent). For the same title at a coffee joint, put $5 straight into the tip jar. Being friendly and starting conversations will also get you remembered, and getting on the employees’ good side could get you a free drink in the future.
- 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 give them a handshake and a sincere “Thank you.” Now, these are just general guidelines for tipping—you’ll want to know the proper tipping etiquette when it comes to the holidays and special occasions, too.