How do I Know Whom to Tip?

Deciding whom to tip can be challenging. In the US, many in service industries base part of their income on tips. Further, some people, who are not tipped regularly, may expect a small yearly gift, particularly when you can afford it. Knowing whom to tip in other countries can be confusing, since some countries have changed their customs.

In the US, the following workers should be tipped at point of service:

  • Waiter/waitress — 15-20% of check
  • Bartender — 1-2 US dollars (USD) or 15-20% of total tab
  • Pizza Delivery Person — 10-15% of tab
  • Hairstylist — 10-15% of amount for service
  • Manicurist — 10-15% for total amount
  • Masseuse — 10-15% of massage price
  • Shampooer at Salon — 1-2 USD
  • Taxi or Limousine driver — 15% of total
  • Valet Parking — 5-10 USD upon taking your car and upon receiving it back
  • Garage Attendant — 5-10 USD upon taking your car
  • Skycap or Hotel Valet — 1-2 USD per piece of luggage
  • Room Service — 15-20% of tab
  • Hotel Housekeeping — 1-5 USD per night
  • Furniture delivery — 10-20 USD per piece of furniture or appliance
  • Floral delivery — 5-10 USD
  • Catering waitstaff that you have hired — 20-100 dollars per waiter/waitress depending upon the size and demands of the event

If you can afford it, those who provide you with regular service should be given a year-end tip as well. These include:

  • Newspaper Carrier — 20-40 USD, more if you can afford it
  • Regular babysitter — 1-2 nights of babysitting pay and a gift from your child or children
  • Nanny — 1 week of pay and a gift from your family or child
  • Hair stylist — price of one session, from 10-100 dollars
  • Apartment Door Attendants — 10-100 dollars
  • Apartment Garage Attendant — 20-30 per attendant, especially if you don’t tip on point of service
  • Personal trainer — price of one session
  • Regular masseuse — price of one session
  • Housecleaners — one week’s pay
  • Personal assistant — one week to one month’s pay
  • Landscaper or gardening service — 20-50 USD per worker.
  • Dog walker — one week’s pay

Some people should be given end of year or end of service gifts instead of money. These include postal workers, teachers, private nurses, and people who make regular deliveries. Many delivery people, as well as postal workers, can accept a gift but not cash. Giving teachers money is insulting; however, a gift certificate is usually quite welcome.

Canada employs similar tipping practices to the US. Until recently, Australians did not have a tipping culture, although now some restaurants and hotels do expect tips. Some countries in Europe add a gratuity onto the bill, which you should check prior to tipping. For example, many places in Austria add a 10% service charge. However, it’s expected to add about 5% more. In the UK, restaurants in England may add a service charge. Tipping at pubs, however, is not expected. In Ireland, most restaurants already add a gratuity, but if none exists, follow tipping practices for the US.

Even though places in most European countries charge a service charge, this doesn’t mean one cannot offer a 10% or higher tip. When no service charge is assessed, you should definitely tip. In Australia, you may simply want to inquire what tipping practices are common where you will be staying and eating. Inquire this of the manager instead of the service person, because it puts the service person in a difficult spot where he or she must request money of you if a tip is expected.

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