Who Should I Tip (and How Much)?

Tipping is truly one of the more confusing customs. In the United States, it is a story with a long and troubling history that is often the subject of heated debate. This is because there are no real “rules” for tips, and etiquette can seem pretty arbitrary. Aside from differing opinions on who to tip and how much, customs also differ from country to country. Ask a dozen people when and how much they tip and you get a dozen different answers.

However, it’s nice to have some guidelines to reduce your anxiety and embarrassment without knowing if you should tip. Here’s what we found out for several categories in which you are likely to find yourself in a critical situation.

Food related people

  • The person who picks up the food / counter: The Emily Post Institute says these cans in a coffee shop or counter do not require rollover because this is not a high level of service, although you might tip a little if you are a regular customer or the server does something for you. -what else.
  • Pick Up From Restaurant: If you’re ordering from a diner or restaurant for pickup, no more than a 10% tip will do, says Emily Post.
  • Buffet: tip of 10% of the total invoice before tax.
  • Delivery Man: Most of us know how to tip food delivery people who often use their own cars; however, do you tip a dollar or a percentage? Consumer Reports says the tip should be 20% of the bill, or $ 3-5, whichever is greater. Make it cash, please.
  • Supermarket Packers: Many grocery packers are not allowed to accept tips. If your packer is doing their best – maybe they take your bags to the car and load them for you – you can ask if they can accept a tip. A dollar or two is fine. If you shop at the military commissariat, it is customary to tip your packer, as these people usually only work for tips.

Household services

  • Construction supervisor: There are also very different opinions on this. You might want to tip when Superman works with your apartment, but again, this may depend on where you live. If you’re unsure, according to Brick Underground, a holiday tip of $ 75 to $ 175 is best .
  • The Cable Guy: There is no need to tip, although offering a drink is good.
  • Home service providers (e.g. electrician, plumber, lawn maintenance): Tipping is not required. If you have a relationship with someone who is often at your home (such as a helper), you can offer a one-off tip for the holidays, according to Angie’s list .
  • Fighter: As this may vary by region, call the company before providing service and ask what is normal.
  • Household Contractors: Angie’s List says most contractors say they don’t expect a tip (but they certainly appreciate it). saying that contractors expect to do the work for you at a certain price. However, if the workers are not doing what is usually expected, tip. Angie’s list says tip no more than 20%, but if the job is expensive, don’t be pressured to tip a certain percentage of the bill.
  • Furniture / Appliance Delivery: $ 5-20 per person, depending on the volume and complexity of the delivery. “Make sure you don’t already have it on your bill,” Consumer Reports said .
  • Deliveryman Flowers: Teleflora advises to give a tip of 2 to $ 5 or $ 10, if the plant is heavy or large. If the delivery is for an event (like a wedding), you can add a little more.

Automotive services

  • Gas Station Petroller: Tips are not required if you are in the last lonely state where you cannot refuel your own gasoline . If you decide to use the services of a gas assistant, tip $ 2-3 .
  • Mechanic: No tip needed.
  • Tow Truck: $ 5 to $ 10 if assisted when locked out, $ 3 to $ 5 for an external start / tire change; $ 5 or more for towing.
  • Valet / valet: $ 1 to $ 2, according to Consumer Reports . If this person helps you regularly (for example, in your garage at work), then the tip should be $ 1-2 per day.

Travel related services

  • Concierge: $ 5 to $ 10 per booking, according to Consumer Reports. If they go on and on – say, they make you a table at a popular restaurant or at a show – you can tip $ 20 or more. If your request is simple (like referral), you don’t need to tip.
  • According to Emily Post, hotel cleaning: $ 2 to $ 5 per night. Place the nib in a clearly marked envelope.
  • Messenger or cap at the airport: $ 1 per bag, or more if heavy. Consumer Reports recommends up to $ 5 per bag.
  • Shuttle driver with rented car: $ 1 or $ 2 per bag if they help with luggage.

Entertainment and other services

  • Theater / Arena Goer: The New York Theater Guide says it is not customary to tip waiters, but if you want to tip, $ 1 to $ 5 is fine.
  • Operator on duty in a casino: $ 1-2 after servicing the machine, according to Casino.org .
  • Counselors: Depends on the camp. Some camps do not allow their counselors to tip, while others send a letter to parents with the recommended tip amount (e.g. $ 1 per day). If in doubt, call the camp to inquire.
  • Children’s party animators: $ 15-25 depending on the performance.
  • Walking the Dogs: Emily Post recommends tipping at the end of the year in the amount of up to a week’s wages.
  • Tattoo artist: 15% is the minimum, 20% is the norm, according to Inked magazine .

Holiday tip

Since the end of the year is a time to show your appreciation for the people who have helped you throughout the year, many people give holiday tips. We have a whole guide for that.

General rules for capsizing

If you are in doubt about whether or not to tip and how much, ask ahead of time. The Emily Post Institute, for example, says that if you ask the receptionist or delivery coordinator if tipping is customary, you can get away with it when it’s time to tip (or not tip).

If you’re still in doubt and want to tip, you can’t go wrong with 15% -20%. It depends on how good the service was.

Tipping is an expression of gratitude. The above recommendations are just guidelines. You should follow your instinct and decide whether to tip or not based on how often you see the person, how much they help you, and perhaps how much their job or livelihood depends on your tip.

Hopefully the above example tips will help you the next time a rollover situation arises.

This post was originally published in 2012 and was updated on 11/27/2019 to reflect more recent information.


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