Typically Freebie Finding Mom offers tips on holding onto your money; however, this article is going to advise you on how to give it away. That’s right, we’re going to talk about tipping etiquette. Know who to tip and in what amount can be a bit stressful. You, obviously, don’t want to waste money by over-tipping. However, on the other hand, you don’t want to insult someone who did a good job by under-tipping or not tipping at all. When it comes to tipping etiquette here’s what you need to know.
Food Service Tipping Etiquette
Whether you’re sitting down to a four course meal, having a pizza delivered to your house, or grabbing a drink at your local watering hole, tipping is customary (and expected by most employees). Here’s some tipping etiquette to keep in mind when it comes to food service situations.
A tip of 15 to 20 percent of the pretax bill is standard when you’re dining at a restaurant; however, the amount you tip (higher or lower) may vary based on the quality of service and the food ordered. For example, if you ordered a complicated dish with lots of substitutions and the waitress was friendly, quick, and got it totally right you might tip 25 percent.
If you are at an establishment where you place your order at the counter and then pick your food up at the counter (think City BBQ) tipping etiquette calls for around 10 percent.
Even though you do some of the legwork at a buffet, a waitress still typically brings you your drinks and clears the table once you’ve had your fill. If you’re dinning at a buffet, tip 10 percent.
If you pick up food from a restaurant and take it home, there’s no need to tip.
When it comes to delivery, you should tip. Like waiters and waitresses at “real” restaurants, most delivery drivers depend on tips as a large part of their wages. For pizza tip somewhere between $2 and $5 depending on the size of your order. When it comes to other delivery foods (ex. Chinese), tipping etiquette dictates that 10 to 20 percent is appropriate.
If you’re kicking back at happy hour don’t forget to tip your bartender. Typically, if you’re only having a drink or two, you should tip per drink. A customary amount is $1 to $2 per drink. If you’re planning to unwind for a while (several hours), leave 10 to 20 percent of your total pretax bill.
Travel Tipping Etiquette
Traveling can certainly be fun but it can be expensive. Especially when you start thinking of all the people you’re supposed to tip. Er, wait, should you be tipping all those people? Here are some tipping etiquette guidelines to follow when traveling.
If the doorman or bell hop (or any hotel employee) holds the door for you there’s no need to tip. However, if he or she hails a cab for you, carries your luggage, or brings your luggage to your room tipping etiquette says it’s time to take out the wallet. For a hailed cab tip between $1 and $5 based upon difficulty. For carrying baggage or brining it to the room tip $2 to $5 per bag.
If the concierge or another hotel employee helps you find a show, event, or restaurant and then secures tickets and/or reservations, it’s customary to leave a tip between $5 and $20.
How much to tip the hotel maid depends on how many days you’re staying and how many people he or she has to clean up after. Typically between $2 and $5 a day is an appropriate tip.
When you take a taxi, tip the driver approximately 10 to 20 percent of the fare.
When you check your bags, offer the skycap up to $2 per bag. If you’re using their wheelchair service tip $5 to $10.
Around the House Help Tipping Etiquette
You may think that once you’re secure inside your home your wallet and its contents are safe. Unfortunately, you may be wrong. It is customary to tip many household workers or individuals that provide service at your home. Here’s a crash course in household tipping etiquette.
If you use a maid service and feel that the job was particularly difficult or well done you may want to tip 10 to 15 percent.
Moving is hard work and so while tipping etiquette doesn’t call for a mandatory payout, tipping is appreciated. If you’re moving locally, tip approximately $20 per mover. If you’re looking at a longer distance, consider a bit more.
Contractors (electricians, plumbers, carpet cleaners, etc.)
If you work with a regular contractor who cuts you a break now and again or comes out on short notice or at off hours, tipping would probably be much appreciated. However, most of the time, for regular work, tipping isn’t necessary. Keep in mind that if you have an especially difficult job or need something extra, tipping may be appropriate. Consider a tip of a minimum of $20 depending on the circumstances.
While you may have developed an acquaintanceship or even a friendship with your mail carrier keep in mind that it is against the law for civil servants to accept a cash gift (tip). However, he or she is permitted to accept gifts valued at $20 or less.
In-home health care worker
If you or a loved one requires the assistance of an in-home health care worker, you may be inclined to offer him or her a tip. After all, an in-home health care worker often assists with very personal daily tasks. However, before you offer a tip, consult with the employment agency to determine what their tipping policy is. Many companies do not allow their employees to accept tips. If that’s the case, consider gifting your in-home health care work a small token (under $20) such as a coffee mug, sweet treat, or gift card.
Miscellaneous Tipping Etiquette
Believe it or not, there are still more people you should be handing your money over to. Here’s tipping etiquette for other individuals you might encounter.
When you drop your car off, you don’t need to offer the valet a tip. However, when your car is brought back safe and sound an appropriate tip is up to $5.
Whatever salon service you’re using, whether it be a manicure, massage, hair stylist, or barber, you’ll want to tip 15 to 20 percent of the overall bill. If you thought the work you received was especially good, feel free to tip a bit more.
What you have done at a car wash will determine the amount you should tip. If you’re doing the standard assembly-line car wash, consider giving $2 to $5. For more in-depth services like detailing tip 10 to 20 percent of the total bill.
Road side assistance
If you receive road side service and you don’t have to pay out of pocket (think AAA), you may want to tip the service man (or woman). Go somewhere in the range of $10 to $20 depending on the difficulty of the service you required.
In these tough economic times, you may wonder why you should tip at all. After all, aren’t these people already collecting a salary/wage? While that may be true, many workers that are permitted to accept tips don’t make a lot per hour (ex. waitresses). In cases like that, tips are a large part of their income. If someone does a great job or goes above and beyond his or her duty, show your appreciation. Don’t you like to hear that you did a good job? Being frugal is great, but watch out for that line between mindful and miserly. Use the tipping etiquette guidelines in this article to help you tip appropriately.