Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tipping Etiquette

I have a secret….and that secret is a serious obsession with etiquette! With the holidays underway I thought it would be nice to get a little refresher on tipping etiquette. Here are bits from a few good articles I found…hopefully you find it helpful!

Day to Day:

  • Food delivery person: 10% of the bill (excl. tax), at least $1 for bills up to $10. Should tip 15%-20% for a difficult delivery.
  • 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%. (It is now acceptable to tip owner, unless he or she says otherwise.)
  • Shampoo person: $2
  • Manicurist: 15%
  • Spa service (e.g., massage): 15% to 20%. If service is provided by owner, no tip.


  • The usual tip is fifteen (15) to twenty (20) percent on the pre-tax amount of the bill.
  • Self-service restaurants: 10%.
  • Extra accommodating waiters: an extra $5.00 for extra special service.
  • If your meal costs much less than the restaurant average. If you eat light, or use a coupon, it is thoughtful to leave a tip commensurate with a full-priced meal.
  • Unless you are a frequent patron, it is not necessary to tip the maitre d'. However, if you are a regular, you may want to give the host $10 to $20 every once to cultivate your relationship and to say "thank you" for special services.
  • As you wait for a table, you can either pay for drinks as you order or run a tab, which will be added to your dinner bill. Leave a tip for the bartender before you leave the bar. $1 per drink is standard.
  • Tip washroom attendants at least $1.00 for handing you a towel.
  • Tip the parking attendant $2.00.
  • If there was a problem that wasn't taken care of or your waiter was surly, tip eight percent. (According to the Internal Revenue Service most restaurants report eight percent of their take as wait staff income, so reducing the tip any further actually costs the server).


  • Staying in a hotel? I leave between $3-$5 per night for the housekeeping crew.
  • If you are checking your bags curbside at the airport, $1-$2 per bag is fair.
  • If you use a hotel concierge, you should probably tip them at least $5 for getting you tickets or reservations to a show. Give more if they help more, as you never know when you may need them.
  • For taxis, a pretty standard tip is 15% of the final bill.
  • For limo drivers, 20% of the bill is fair.
  • Ever travel overnight on Amtrak? I have, many times – and the sleeping car attendants can make or break your trip. A tip of $3-$5 per day/per passenger can make all the difference.
  • When taking the shuttle from the rental car place to the airport, most people tip the drive $1 per bag (if they help you with it).

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