View Full Version : Tipping guidelines in the USA

06-04-2009, 07:11 PM
From Tip20

Tipping Standards - United States
Note: There are no hard and fast rules about tipping, nor are there laws requiring tipping in the United States. The list below are generally accepted guidelines.

Waiters/Waitresses: 15% - 20% for average - good service
More for exceptional service.
Headwaiter/captain: May get a cut of table server's tip; so tip your server extra to reward captain, or tip captain separately.
Bartenders: $1 - $2 a round -or- 15% to 20% of the tab, with a minimum of 50 cents per soft drink, $1 per alcoholic drink
Cocktail Waitresses: $1 - $2 per drink
Sommelier or wine steward: 15% of cost of the bottle
Buffet Servers: At least $1 per head if you get your own beverages. If you order beverages (or more) from the server, then you should tip 10-20% of the bill based on service quality.
Coatroom attendant: $1 per coat
Room Service: 15% - 20%
Valet Attendant: $2 - $5 average for each trip to the car, more may be appropriate given conditions. (Like weather or location)
Pool Attendant: $1 - $2 for each service (providing towels or lounge chairs)
Showroom Maitre d': $1 - $2 for preassigned seats
For unassigned seating, you may tip according to where you want to sit (usually a tip over $50 will guarantee your seat)
Washroom attendant: 50 cents to $1
Taxi driver: Varies depending on locality. Assume 15% will be enough; an extra $1 to $2 for help with bags.
Food delivery person: The Greater of 10% of the bill or $2.00. Should tip 15%-20% for a difficult delivery.
Grocery loader: Check with store policy if tips are accepted. If so, $1 for bringing bags to car; $1.50 to $3 if you have more than 3 bags.
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 acceptable to tip owner, unless he or she says otherwise.)
Shampoo person: $2
Manicurist: 15%
Spa service: 15% to 20%. If service is provided by owner, no tip.
Coffee/food retailers w/ tip jars: Tip is optional.
Handyman: Tip is optional.
Gas attendant: Tip is optional.
Skycap at airport: $1 per bag if you check-in curbside; $2 per bag if skycap takes bags to check-in counter.
Hotel doorman: $1 per bag for help with luggage; $1 per person for hailing a cab
Hotel bellhop: $1 per bag for bringing luggage to your room (but a $2 minimum if you have just one bag)
Hotel housekeeper: $2 to $5 per night
Hotel concierge: $5 for getting you tickets or reservations ($10-plus if they're hard to get). No tip required when you ask for directions.
Cruise: Varies. Ask cruise line about customary gratuities.
Movers: Tip is optional.
Tattoo/Body Piercing: 20%. More for custom or difficult work. Tattoo touch-ups min. $10, Jewelry insertions min. $5.00
The general rule is that you do not need to tip on tax. It has been our experience however, that most people just look at the bottom line (tax included) and just tip on that.

06-04-2009, 07:16 PM
Wow, who knew it was so complicated. I actually tend to just do the 20%, all around.

06-04-2009, 07:20 PM
Thank you Johnie!!!!

Im printing this!!

I dont think Ill use the tattoo one though... hahahaha

06-04-2009, 07:21 PM
I refuse to tip some of those positions.

06-04-2009, 07:28 PM
I refuse to tip some of those positions.

Me too.

And according to this I am not tipping nearly enough at the salon.

06-04-2009, 07:32 PM
My stylist does everything (wash, color, cut, style, etc.) so she's the only one I tip.

I've had pedicures and do tip there too. :yes:

I've never tipped a sommelier in my life and don't intend to start now. Same with pool attendent. Puhleeze! :rolleyes:

If the restaurant requires that the server share the tip I leave, that is the server's issue, not mine. I do prefer to know the house policy though, as servers often have to share their tips with the bartenders! If that is the case, and I order from the bar, pre or post dinner... well, you get the idea.

I am just so over tipping/begging in this country that I could really rant on about it for hours. :sorry:

06-04-2009, 07:41 PM
I don't tip some of these things either. My stylist IS my shampoo person as well!

06-04-2009, 08:08 PM
Oh yeah, my stylist does everything as well, which I definitely prefer.

I guess I tipped the right amount at the tattoo parlor. I figured, he did such a great job, that I would tip nicely. Not too mention, I knew I was going back.

06-04-2009, 08:20 PM
so.. from this list

who WOULDNT you tip?

06-04-2009, 08:24 PM
Personally I wouldn't tip the following:

sommelier/wine steward
pool attendant
showroom maitrede
washroom attendant (this one really annoys me too....I don't like that woman sitting there while I am trying to go to the bathroom!)
I will NEVER tip at a fast food/coffee shop place

I tip the person who cuts my hair (she does everything)
I also tip the person who does mani/pedis esp cause I would never ever want to touch someone else's feet

06-04-2009, 08:31 PM
Thank you Johnie!

woman sitting there while I am trying to go to the bathroom!)

I also tip the person who does mani/pedis esp cause I would never ever want to touch someone else's feet

Im right there with you !!! :yes:

06-04-2009, 08:51 PM
And here is a news flash for you. If the cabbie is a brat, I won't tip him either. :dozey:

I've had a few (granted in NYC) and no, they weren't happy but they have a little tiny card in the front of their cabs that says TIPS ARE NOT A REQUIREMENT OF SERVICE!!!!

That only works if you know the area well, of course. Take too long, or take me the wrong way and you just blew your tip buddy boy. I had one cabbie run the meter because he sat at GREEN lights balancing his check book. He also took me to the furthest door of the Javits center (not an insignificant walk) when I specifically told him which door and level. His tip? "Get an accountant to help with your checkbook and work on the memory to help with drop off directions." Whooeee, he was not pleased, but then neither was I. :hopmad:

07-04-2009, 11:10 AM
Just out of curiosity folks, why would you NOT tip the Sommelier?

07-04-2009, 12:31 PM
Because he is a Master at his work (or should be to use the term sommelier) and as a Master s/he is above taking tips. Andrea Immer (now Robinson) did about 20 minutes on the lack of professionalism creeping into the field of Sommeliers and she was NOT kind about it.

I don't tip Maitre d's or Table d'hotes either. :shrug: As I said, begging had gotten out of hand and that is what much of the so called "tipping" custom has become in this country. Begging. :( (Sheesh! Sorry to be so harsh sounding, but as you can see it's a serious pet peeve of mine)! :sorry:

07-04-2009, 01:10 PM
This is fascinating the whole 'tipping' culture simply does not exist in the UK - is this because these postions are poorly remunerated?

07-04-2009, 01:18 PM
For the servers, yes. They make some stupid amount like $2-3 per hour and make up the difference in tips.

For the rest, NO! They are all paid a wage or salary, some are licensed, educated (not that servers aren't, what I mean is that some are working under a degree that they've earned, there is no degree in serving :) ) and make more than I'll ever hope to make.

It's totally gotten out of hand. Tipping should be for going above and beyond as far as I'm concerned. If as a doorman your job requires you to hail a cab for a guest at the hotel, why should the guest then tip you for doing your job??? :hopmad:

Ugh. Really. I'm so not rational on this topic. :sigh:

07-04-2009, 01:22 PM
I completely agree Tink. It IS out of hand. I'm in a direct service position and do a heck of a job ifIdosaysomyself :yes: but I don't get tipped and would never expect too.

07-04-2009, 01:35 PM
If someone attempted to tip me I would not only be horrified, but totally offended. I am proud of the work I do, and my excellence is based on my personal work ethic, not renumeration. (OooooooOOOOOooo, snooty bit aren't I)? :spring:

Seriously though. Tipping a server is absolutely fine. I don't even object to tipping pedicurists (I don't do manicures) because they don't make much either, but enough already.

I once had a person in a hair cut place (one of those inexpensive ones) ASK me if I were going to tip once we got to the check out counter. I said, yes. He said, "How MUCH?"

He got 10% and I never returned to that shop.

07-04-2009, 01:35 PM
See thats where we are at in the UK - people are paid a wage and tips only happen if you provide service over and above - ther eis none of this 15-20% expected or giving the barman a pound for providing you with a drink

Its all very strange

07-04-2009, 01:39 PM
This is fascinating the whole 'tipping' culture simply does not exist in the UK - is this because these postions are poorly remunerated?
This certainly applies on the cruise ships.
The crew are only on a 6 month contract and although their lodging and food is obviously provided on the cruise, their tips account for the vast majority of their income.
For this reason, DCL [and probably many of the other cruise lines] provide envelopes in your stateroom just before the end of your cruise for you to place their tips which you give out on your last night. They also have a recommended rate for each particular crew member.
This is one of the few occasions when I don`t begrudge tipping at all because they all do a fantastic job and go out of their way to make sure that you have a great time.

07-04-2009, 02:23 PM
I don't think we should tip for someone doing the job that they were hired for. Plain and simple.

08-04-2009, 01:17 AM
Cruise ships. :yes: Didn't think of them, Slowhand. We tip there. We prefer the cruise lines that add the tip automatically, so we don't have to mess about with the envelopes (and scraping up the leftover bits of cash! :eek: ) at the end of a cruise. We don't much use cash on them at all, eh?

Tony G
07-11-2013, 06:26 PM
What an enormous breadth of viewpoints - I love it!

Funny you mention cruise line - I was just listening to the ItM podcast which aired an interview with a Disney Cruise Line cast member who said a comment on the guest feedback card is worth so much more than a tip.

I used to tip my barber every time, then we had a conversation about his field and horses and I realised I would never earn that kind of money - I've never tipped him since!

07-11-2013, 07:59 PM
I used to tip my barber every time, then we had a conversation about his field and horses and I realised I would never earn that kind of money - I've never tipped him since!