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Tipping Guide

Your Go-To Tipping Guide

Wouldn't we all love a magic formula that helped us figure out how much to tip for any occasion? No one wants to stiff someone for their service, but an oversize bonus can do damage to our bottom line. To help you figure out the correct amount, we're breaking down services. And if you don't see what you need, keep this general tip in mind: 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. Without further ado, our guide:

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 extralate 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 a 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 superfancy 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 the 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 your valet $5 to $10 depending on the lot. If you tip in advance you may get your car parked closer to the exit.

Of course, tipping etiquette varies per county and region. Check out The Tipping Page for more suggestions.

Image Source: ShopStyle Photography
Product Credit: Tibi Dress, Vince Coat, M2Malletier bag, Miansai Necklace
Join The Conversation
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Anonymous, I don't think the author of the article was referring to a bonus, but rather a tip. If you tip 10% each time someone walks your dog, you'll actually wind up tipping about 5 weeks worth of pay by the end of the year.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Ya $400 tip, ya right!!
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I only tip if the service warrants it. I usually round up to the nearest $10 and let them keep the change. That is for everyone. I try to give at least a $4 to $8 for most services.
graylen graylen 8 years
The tipping the waiters always gets me the most. My boyfriend waits tables for a steady income and it has become anything but steady. So many times lately, he's gotten a $5 tip on a $100 tab. Don't go to a restaurant if you can't afford to tip!
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
Yea, I remember the TOGO person getting lots too, or else it was the bartender who still made more than the servers. Also one of my friends who delivered pizzas for awhile told me that they get a small % of the delivery fees otherwise the rest went to maintenance fees for the cars, whether that was a lie or not.
MrsRachel MrsRachel 8 years
Interesting... I had no idea that you were supposed to tip the tow truck driver. Its rather strange too... For most people, at least for me, that was a very traumatic experience and I was already mentally calculating the costs of medical bills, insurance deductibles, bus fairs, and oh yeah MY CAR WAS JUST TOTALED. Also, at the restaurant were I worked for over a year the To-Go person was one of the most well paid people. Her hourly rate was between 10-12 (compared to my 2.13). Granted she did have stay later and clean the alley, but I had to stay late and clean the dinning room. I never thought that it seemed fair that she got mad when people wouldn't tip her.
silligirl23 silligirl23 8 years
You really should throw a buck or 2 (depending on the size of the order) to the take person. I always get stuck doing the to go orders at our restaurant, which takes away from my tipping guests. People that I know who will not tip me don't get the same service as those who do tip me. Why should I work for free? I make sure they have everything, but I don't go above and beyond. It's especially annoying when the non tippers want every box labeled with the person's name on it and then they are rude and don't tip.
sorano916 sorano916 8 years
For takeout, what's exactly the delivery charge? One of my friends told me that what I pay for tip should minus the delivery charge since that's going already to the driver. What do you think?
Anne-B Anne-B 8 years
I don't have a car, but what's the difference between a parking attendant and a valet?
allthingsgrow allthingsgrow 8 years
i NEVER get tips for babysitting. sheesh, i need to work for people who read savvy sugar!
brielleblonde brielleblonde 8 years
you should always tip with takeout! the person who is expo-ing your food usually only makes minimum wage....
prencesschris prencesschris 8 years
that is really nice to kno...thanx :D
HaterTot HaterTot 8 years
Some of these seem low to me. Especially the bartender one. I think I tipped a dollar per drink in college in the early 90s. Now I tip a bartender the same as any waiter - 20% of the total. A dollar is fine if your drink is $5, but if a drink is >$10 (pretty common for a cocktail in a bigger city), a dollar is certainly not enough.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Thanks for the chart! I always tip my bikini waxer 20% because it just seems like a fair thing to do, considering what her job is. Thanks for putting tow truck driver on there as husband used to drive a tow truck in college and sometimes he had to drive 30-40 miles to pick up a car when he was on call. He always appreciated an extra few bucks here and there, especially in the middle of the night or if the weather was bad.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 8 years
Thanks for this handy chart! Good to know that I always tip right and don't shortchange anybody. Although I must say, I do get tempted to tip on the low end when I get crappy service. It's like they are expecting a tip, no matter what kind of service they provide. I'm not picky and don't make any weird requests, so the crappy attitude from some servers is just not cool.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I work in a restaurant and see that people are cutting back on the tips. I want to say hey if you can eat out then you can tip at least 10%-15%, these people are getting $2 an hour! But I know that wouldn't be right and somewhat unprofessional.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I always tip 20% minimum for delivery people and cab drivers. I think my brain just automatically computes a 20% tip.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Handy. I knew you didn't have to tip if you go get the take-out. A friend and I argued about that one day when I didn't write a tip in on the receipt. Heck, I wasted my gas to go get my take-out food! I feel vindicated.
supercoolnat supercoolnat 8 years
Another note about hotel housekeeping - it's good to tip each day, because there different people doing the work (especially during longer stays). If you tipped all on the last day, that person would get all of the $$ even if they didn't work your room the whole time.
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