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Tipping Guide

Tipping Guide: How Much Should You Give?


If you've cut back on generous tipping you're not alone. While most of you say your restaurant gratuity is about the same, some say 2009 is the year of lousy tips.

Anyone who has worked in the service industry will tell you tipping is crucial to getting better service and making up for the employee's low hourly wage or base pay.

For my guide on how much you should give to whom, read more.

If you are unsure how much to tip a service provider start with 10 percent of the cost of the service, which is usually the correct amount or close. If a service is more tedious or dirty consider what you'd like to be paid if you were doing the work and compensate fairly.

Service Suggested Tip
Barista You're not required to tip your latte maker, but if you pay in cash and have a few coins left over throw it in the tip jar for good measure. Making friends at your favorite coffee shop may offer the perk of quick service and occasionally a free coffee or sweet treat.
Babysitter Tip your sitter 15 percent. Consider an extra bonus during the holidays or when they stay extra late or overnight. Always round up to the nearest $10. They're taking care of your children, after all.
Bartender You should tip your bartender $1 per drink or 15 percent of the total bill. If you tip when you order your first round you may get better service.
Cab Driver Give 10 percent, or a $2 minimum.
Dog Groomer Make up for Fido's stink with a 15 percent tip.
Dog Walker Thank your dog walker with a 10 percent tip.
Food Delivery Person Fork over 10 percent tip, or at least $2.
Furniture Delivery Most people suggest dishing out $5 to $20 to anyone who does heavy lifting for you and up to $50 for giant items. You might also offer them a coke or glass of water.
Take Out You don't need to offer up a tip if you take out, but if you made special requests consider putting a dollar or two in the tip jar.
Hairstylist Gift your hairstylist a 10 to 15 percent tip for a medium range haircut and 15 to 20 percent for a do at a super fancy salon. If a special shampooer washes your hair the tip you give your stylist will likely be split, but ask the person at the front desk if they're covered when you pay.
Bellhop Slip him $1 to $2 per bag, or $5 total.
Hotel Housekeeper You should reward your housekeeper $2 to $5 for each day of service. Some suggest tipping in a lump sum at the end of your stay, but I've always found tipping daily means your room will get extra TLC.
Hotel Concierge Tip $5 to $20 depending on the service. You don't need to tip for directions, but if they set you up with coupons, reservations and services they should be compensated.
Hotel Room Service $5 minimum (unless gratuity is included in check)
Manicurist You should tip your manicurist 15 percent for making your nails pretty.
Parking Attendant Tip your attendant $1 or $2 if they carry packages for you or have to use an elevator to get your car to you.
Powder room Attendant If you don't use the powder room attendant, you don't have to tip. If you do, consider giving her a dollar or the change left over from whatever you purchase.
Spa, Facialist, Hair Removal or Masseuse Reward your beautifier with a 15 to 20 percent tip.
Spa Owner It's not standard practice to tip the owner of a salon. This unspoken rule stems from the idea that the entire cost of your treatment goes to the house.
Tow Truck Operator Tip your roadside assistance crew $5 or more for a jump start, $5 if you were locked out of the car and $10 for a tow.
Waiter Dish out 15 to 20 percent of bill. If you are at a fancy place a 20 percent or greater tip is common. Tip a maitre d' $20 to $100 depending on the restaurant.
Valet Tip you valet $5 to $10 depending on the lot. If you tip in advance you may get your car parked closer to the exit.

This guide is based on my personal experience and various forums I found online. Tipping etiquette varies per county and region. Check out The Tipping Page for more suggestions.

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