Practical Etiquette: Tipping Basics


Restaurants (pre-tax)* 15-20%
Coatroom attendants $1 per coat
Valet $3 – 5 (at pick-up)
Host no obligation; $10-20 for finding you a table on a busy night
Bartender $1-2 per drink, or 15-20% of tab
Home Delivery 10-15% of bill; $2-5 for pizza delivery
Take Out no obligation; 10% for curb delivery or complicated order
Barista or Tipping Jar no obligation; $1 if something extra provided or you’re a regular
Buffet $1 per diner

*Without being told what is recommended for restaurant tipping, here are the anonymous poll results from our readers on what they are tip for great service at a restaurant. What a generous crew! pie-chart-tipping


Housekeeping $2-$5 per day on bed, left daily with a note marked “Thank you”
Concierge arranged reservations or tickets $5-10, or $15 or 10-20% of the ticket price for hard-to-get tickets
Valet $3 – 5 (at pick-up)
Doormen A “thank you” and friendly smile when he opens the door $1-$4 beyond the call of duty (carrying luggage, hailing cab)
Bellhop $2 first bag, $1 per additional bag $2-3 for each additional service, such as room delivery
Taxi 15-20% is standard in most communities


Hairdresser (manicurist, facial, waxing, massage) 15-20% split between all who served you
Ski Instructors 15% for groups; 10% for individuals
Tour Guide $1-2 per person for group tour, more for private tour




3 thoughts on “Practical Etiquette: Tipping Basics

    • Brooke says:

      The purpose of the tip is “to insure proper service.” So, by definition tipping for negligent service is unnecessary. However, as LeSean McCoy has taught us over the past week, not tipping makes the patron look poor rather than encouraging the server to be more attentive next time. In addition, working with the hungry public is difficult work, and servers in the U.S. often get paid well-under minimum wage, relying on tips to subsidize their pay. Taking into consideration the staffing for the busyness of the restaurant and the attitude of your server, I would recommend writing a note of encouragement on the bill with your tip to turn things around for the rest of the night for your stressed server. If the service was exceptionally rude or negligent, tip less (10-15%) than you would for great service and consider speaking to the server and/or manager depending on how poor the service was.

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