Tipping Etiquette

OK, the lowdown on tipping . . .

This post was inspired by XBOX WIFE – her backwards WFMW was all these tipping questions that I have completely copy and pasted and answered below. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a professional on this, I can only share my personal experience (which is actually quite a lot – my family travels a considerable amount). For somewhat professional advice, consider the following:

* Wikipedia: Tip
* The Original Tipping Page
* Get Rich Slowly: Basic Tips on Tipping
* Emily Post: Holiday Tipping

And now, on to the questions! These are based on my personal experiences and opinions (and I inherited most of my tipping habits from my parents). Note that I am typically a big tipper (at a restaurant I consider around 20% to be standard, if not more). I will also leave less of a tip if my service was not that good. It is rare that I will not leave a tip at all, though I have done it once or twice for truly appalling service. But, like I said, I’m usually a very generous tipper.

* How much do you tip the security officer that brings a band-aid to your room? – I’d think a couple of dollars.

* How much do you tip the taxi driver that doesn’t answer any of your questions, or chooses to text message friends while he is driving? – Depends on the length of travel and such. For a $10 cab ride in NYC, I’d say $2 or so.

* How about the taxi driver that gives you great tips and good conversation? – Again, depends on the length and location. For a $10 cab ride in NYC, I’d probably give him $18ish total (but they were really great tips and some AWESOME conversation).

* Do you tip the doorman that greets you, the one that takes in your bags, AND the one that carries them to your room? – Are they 3 different people? If they are, then I typically only tip the one that carries them to my room (unless I have 15 bags . . . then I might consider the others). And usually it’s $1-2 plus $1 for each bag

* How much do you tip the doorman that hails a cab for you? – How hard was it to get the cab? If there was a cab in a line by the hotel, then $1. If he had to call or something, then $2-3.

* The concierge? – Did you use their services? If no, then no tip. If it was a quick question or two, then maybe $1. If they booked a tour for you and gave you 3 good restaurant recommendations, then $5 or so.

* Housekeeping? Do you tip housekeeping daily, or at the end of your trip? (I always worry that the person that has been cleaning our room all week will have the day off on the day we leave!) – If I’ve stayed at a nice hotel for a week or so and received excellent housekeeping service, then perhaps $10-20 at the end of the trip. But usually I don’t tip housekeeping. On a cruise though . . . definitely.

* Salon and spa services in your hotel? – Yes. Example: $50 massage – $10 tip

* And what about salon and spa services in your hometown ~ How much do you tip your hairstylist, the shampoo person, the manicurist, the esthetician? – Yes. I get a $120 haircut and color. The colorist usually gets $15-20, and the hair cutter gets $10. If they are the same person, then they get $20-25 total. And slip a $5 to the one who washes your hair and sweeps up the mess on the floor! Nails? If the manicure is $50, then give them $10-15 . . . and if you’re a regular, make sure to include ALL these kinds of people on your Christmas list (a small little gift, $10-20 gift certificate, homemade cookies . . . you get the idea, somewhere in there).

* The barber? – $15 harcut for the boys = $5-10 for the tip

* The shoeshine guy? – Do people still do this? I have no idea.

* Car wash attendants? – If they were super excellent, maybe $5. Typically though, no.

* Restaurants? How much? Do you determine the amount depending on the specific restaurant? How about the maitre d’? How about self-service places where someone buses your table? – I sort of addressed this already. Usually I go somewhere around 20% – regardless of how nice the restaurant is . . . those waitstaff are working just as hard at Ruby Tuesday as they are at Ruth’s Chris! At self-service places I usually leave a dollar on the table for the busboy. Unless the matre d’ has done you a special service, I usually don’t tip.

* Airports! How much do you tip the guy who unloads your car and the separate guy that checks your bags before you ever actually get into the airport? The parking attendants? The bus drivers for long-term parking? – Usually $1-2 plus $1 for each bag that you have. This goes for the shuttle driver and the skycap. The parking attendant in the little booth – no tip usually.

* Valet parking attendants? – $1-2 when you give them the car and another $1-2 when you get it back.

* Grocery store baggers and car loaders? – I usually forgo using them, so it’s been a LONG time since I’ve done this . . . I would imagine $5 is good if you’ve got a big carful of groceries.

And I’m gonna toss one in here for myself – TIP YOUR BARISTA! If you’ve had good service at Starbucks (or any other coffee shop for that matter), toss your change or a dollar into the tip jar, ESPECIALLY if you’re in the drive-thru . . . it’s factored into our pay like a waiter’s would be, and the drive-thru stores are notorious for getting awful tips, which is quite unfortunate because the work is harder. ::Steps off soap box::

Any other things you’re wondering about for tips? I’d love to keep going!!!

2 thoughts on “Tipping Etiquette

  1. spaghettipie

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m enjoying poking around yours, and I’m definitely appreciative of some great ideas for being a better steward. I look forward to coming back!

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