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Written by
Libby Wells
Written by
Libby Wells
Contributing writer
Libby Wells is a contributor covering banking and also deposit products. She has much more than 30 years’ suffer as a writer and editor because that newspapers, magazines and online…
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Libby Wells
Dec. 7, 2020/5 min read
Dec. 7, 2020/5 min read
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Tipping someone who does you a service, whether it’s lawn care, a haircut or grocery store delivery, is a customary method of honoring that human being for making your life easier. It’s a display of gratitude. It’s also a exercise that confuses a the majority of people.

Many world don’t understand when to leave a gratuity, or how much. Michael Lynn, a professor at the Cornell University school of Hotel Administration, claims he has done nationwide surveys on just how much to tip in restaurants and also the results surprised him.

“Only about two-thirds of world give an answer of 15 to 20 percent,” he says. “A third of the country don’t know you’re an alleged to tip that much in restaurants.”


Knowing a few guidelines can take the awkwardness and uncertainty the end of tipping. And also it’s a an excellent time come learn, provided how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted service-industry workers.

“The pandemic has completely upended tipping etiquette,” says Jodi RR Smith, owner and also president the Mannersmith Etiquette & Consulting, outside Boston.

“In a regular year, end-of-year tipping is a ‘thank you’ because that services noted over the last year. In a pandemic year, it i do not care critically important,” blacksmith says, “because most jobs we pointer for room at the lower end of income production. It deserve to really affect their ability to pay your bills.”

Cardinal rules because that tipping

Use common sense once tipping. The more difficult the task, the bigger the gratuity should be. “Tipping should be scaled to the service,” blacksmith says. “If the is cold, rainy, snowy, if that is something difficult to procure, if the is heavy, bulky, an overwhelming … then ns am walk to pointer more.”

Here room a few more hard and also fast rules for providing gratuities:

Default top top the side of generosity: If friend can’t afford to tip, identify your appreciation some other means — a handwritten map or a tiny gift — until your finances improve, then provide a tip.Don’t for tipping as optional: “If ns can’t guideline these people, I need to stop utilizing their services,” smith says, noting the many civilization who work for tips depend on lock to earn a living.Tip according to the company provided: You wouldn’t guideline a restaurant worker who delivers a enjoy the meal to her car more than you would certainly someone who loaded heavy building materials into the back of your SUV — during a downpour.Cash isn’t have to king: During the pandemic, plenty of places discourage, or also forbid, paying by cash. Lynn that Cornell University states that people tend to leaving bigger tips once they usage credit cards. “If civilization pay with a credit card, (workers) will certainly be tipped more,” that says. Girlfriend can additionally ask the person if they choose to it is in tipped via a peer-to-peer payment platform, such as Venmo or Zelle. If you execute tip with cash, you can avoid handing it come the person by placing it in one envelope and leaving it for them.

The pandemic has completely upended tipping etiquette.

— Jodi RR SmithOwner and president, Mannersmith Etiquette & Consulting


Tipping delivery drivers

Many human being started having groceries and goods delivered to your homes during the pandemic. Smith thinks those workers must be tipped much more than usual due to the fact that of the danger they space undertaking.

“If you’re in a red zone, you’re literally tipping for combat pay,” she says, introduce to areas where COVID-19 deaths and also diagnoses are spiking. “They room literally putting their resides on the line.”

Instacart, Shipt or other shipment service: pointer 10-15% per distribution in a typical year, yet 20-30% or more during the pandemic, states Smith, adding that other extra in ~ year’s end is appropriate if you have the exact same driver.Takeout food delivered to your car: $2-$4, or at the very least 10%.

Tipping at restaurants

The dimension of a restaurant gratuity counts on how well you room served, including whether her order is correct and your server check on you after you get your food.

Even if the service is bad, the is encourage you leave something. Inspect your tab carefully, as some places add a gratuity come the bill. You may or might not desire to complement that.

Wait staff at sit-down restaurant: 20% of the pretax bill. “Anything much less than 15 percent and also I’m talk to the management since something was very wrong,” blacksmith says.Takeout: No pointer is vital when you choose up your own food.Tip jars in ~ fast-food counters: naught required; it’s her call. “If someone is dipping ice cream cream, $1. I’m not tipping in ~ McDonald’s or Wendy’s, yet if they went above and beyond, climate I could tip them,” smith says.

Tipping at many hotels

Expect to pay a selection of advice at hotels, especially if the hotel is a five-star property, where organization expectations are greater.

“You’re going come tip differently at the Red Roof Inn matches the four Seasons,” smith says.

Hotel porter toting your bags: $2-$3 every bag in ~ a basic hotel/motel; $5 per bag at a posh hotel.Room service with gratuity had on the bill: 10 percent on height of the gratuity added to the bill.Room company without gratuity included: 20 percent that the enjoy the meal price.Toiletry/towel delivery: $3-$5 at a straightforward hotel; $5-$10 in ~ a an intricate hotel.Doorman, if that hails her cab: $5 come $10. “If it’s pouring or snowing, I’m walking to offer them more,” blacksmith says.Concierge that fulfills guest request: $5 or more, depending on the challenge of the request. Snagging hard-to-get ticket to a popular present or sporting event merits a bigger reminder than suggesting a great place to eat.Housekeeping: $3-$5 every day because that 1-3 civilization in the room; $10 per day if 6 human being in the room; $10 every day in ~ a luxe hotel. Leaving money every day because that the housekeeping staff because they rotate. And don’t leaving the reminder on the nightstand, together that has actually sexual connotations. Put it top top a workdesk or counter.

Tipping if traveling

When you’re top top a trip, knowing just how much to tip deserve to be perplexing. If you’re traveling outside the country, perform a small research top top tipping customs prior to you go. Tips space expected in Canada, because that example, but not in Japan. And always tip in cash and in the money of the nation you’re visiting.

Cruise ships: Tipping plans vary among cruise lines, but each one speak you once you board what is appropriate.Airport curbside check-in: $5 every bag, a little more for huge suitcases.Airport spaceship bus driver: $3-$5, an ext if the driver help you with your bags.Limousine driver: 10-20% the the fare.Taxi driver: 15-20% of the fare.Ride-sharing service, such as Uber or Lyft: 10-20% that the fare. Also if apps because that ride-hailing solutions don’t offer you an option to leave a gratuity, guideline the driver anyway.

Tipping for weddings

Read the contract for the wedding and also reception venues prior to deciding ~ above gratuities, as they might be consisted of in the price. Also, take into consideration the size and scope the the wedding.

You don’t desire your guest to need to leave tips, so make sure that the bartender, for example, does not leave the end a pointer jar.

Wait staff: $20-$50 per server because that sit-down meal, even more for the captain, depending upon how lavish that is.Bartender: about $20 per hour.Coat room attendant: $2-$3 every guestBathroom attendant: $2 per guest.DJ: $50 come $150. Review the contract.Minister or other presiding official: $50-$100, but some like a donation to their house of worship and others have actually a argued honorarium.Altar boys: blacksmith advises checking with the home of worship, as occasionally they room tipped, sometimes not. A gift map or other little gift can be appropriate.Wedding planner: up to 20 percent. “The best thing you can do is refer new clients come them,” blacksmith says.”If they job-related at the (wedding venue) hotel, ask even if it is or not they are enabled to accept tips.”

Tipping because that funerals

Presiding official: $50 to $250 if one honorarium is not preset. Check with the spiritual institution. Some find gratuities insulting.

Tips for funeral house staff room handled through the funeral home. Occasionally those fees are itemized ~ above the bill as a gratuity, or they may be had in the total price paid by the family.

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Tipping for salons

Manicurist: 20-25%Hairstylist or barber: 20-25%Spa services: 20-25%

As 2020 draws come a close, take into consideration all the people who have actually helped you, whether it’s the baby sitter, the dog walker, a doorman or parking attendant.

“I’m looking at every year-round, the people who do my life easier,” smith says. “If I desire them to be around much more in 2021, I’m going come be sure I guideline them much more than I usually do.”