What You Should Tip

Ever wonder what the “right” tip was to give a service provider? Well, wonder no longer as Yahoo Hotjobs offers the following tip suggestions for a variety of workers:

* Bartender: 10-15 percent of the bar bill.
* Waiter/Waitress: 15-20 percent of the bill, 20 percent at fine restaurants or if you have a large group.
* Massage Therapist: 10-20 percent of the total, 20 percent if it is a really great massage.
* Hairstylist: 15 percent of the total.
* Concierge: $5-10 is average, more for special services or favors.
* Doorman: $1 dollar or more for help with luggage or finding a taxi on the street.
* Parking Attendant: $1-2, depending on how far they travel to get your car.
* Van Driver: $1 or more per bag, especially if they help you with your luggage.
* Musician/Singer: $35-75 per person.
* Taxi Driver: 15 percent of fare, $1 per bag up to 5 bags, $2 per bag for 5 or more bags or if bags are very heavy (50 lbs. each).

In addition, if you regularly use any of these (or other) service workers, you’ll likely want to give them an extra holiday tip this season. For guidance on what amounts are appropriate, Consumer Reports offers a nice chart on what others are tipping this season.

Now here’s the big question: will the poor economy impact the amount you tip the service people in your life? We’re guessing it will for many. How about for you?

10 Workers to Tip This Season [Yahoo Hotjobs]


(Photo: tiangotlost)


Edit Your Comment

  1. joeblevins says:

    And how much to tip at a Buffet where the waitress just clears plates and brings drinks?

    • bovinekid says:

      @joeblevins: @rydel: Yes, I think it’s absurd to tip for counter service or takeout. I’m annoyed at places that even have a tip jar or print “tip slips.”

      • Shamoononon: I shave my legs. says:

        @bovinekid: I agree. I went through a drive thru the other day that had a tip cup outside of the window. I won’t go there anymore.

      • TheStonepedo says:

        @bovinekid: You really ought to consider tipping for takeout.
        Somebody (generally a hostess or bartender tasked with taking care of dine-in patrons) is responsible for getting your order from the cold/hot/fried serving lines, getting your side dishes from various locations, putting your plastic cutlery and paper napkins in the bag with your food, and ensuring it can be picked up when and where you were told to pick it up.
        If you tip the driver who delivers your lo mein, why should you not tip a hostess who does all of his tasks less driving to you?

    • MercuryPDX says:

      @joeblevins: We leave $1-$2 per person at a buffet.

      I don’t tip for counter service or takeout (unless it’s delivered).

    • MercuryPDX says:

      @joeblevins: Also it’s completely based on how quick they are on refills and plate clearing.

    • ludwigk says:

      @joeblevins: I have a friend who tips for takeout, but only from places they really, really frequent. And, I thought this was totally stupid, but then my GF and I started doing it at this one greek place. When we can stuff ourselves silly on gyros, great french fries and a greek side salad for like $17, it seems like its under-priced. Usually just a dollar or two.

      • humphrmi says:

        @ludwigk: I tipped a guy who was particularly quick on my order at a counter service hot dog stand once, and now whenever I go in there they tell me to sit down and they bring the food out to me.

      • juri squared says:

        @ludwigk: I’ve tipped for takeout when they go above and beyond. For example, I got two drinks for the price of one at Red Robin; the server told me that one table drink fits in two takeout cups and therefore only charged me for one. I gave him the money I saved as a tip. :)

        • mewyn dyner says:


          That’s how I tip when things are unexpected like that. There was a time when I was at a Bennagan’s (I miss that place) and I ordered their steak. The one I got was over cooked and tasted of rotten fish (quite disgusting, I’m not one for garrum on my steak). The waitress was also appalled at the condition of the steak, she took it back, promptly brought out another, and comped it. Well, when I ordered I had intended to pay, and because she was so nice and quick about it, I still paid for the steak and tip in the tip, all in cash too. :)

  2. JuneVeto says:

    It won’t affect how much I tip, I’ll just forgoe the services of the Concierge all together.

    • jpmoney says:

      @JuneVeto: I’ve done a bit of international travel and I’m torn on whether or not to let a bellhop take my bag to my room. I travel light so its no big deal and I’d rather have my stuff in my room when I get there instead of waiting on them to get there too.

      However, in places like China they (at least act like) they need to do that so its border-line pestering so you wont be seen with your bag in their hotel.

  3. rydel says:

    And how much to tip at chain restaurant take out counters? I have had a few print “tip slips” when I pay for take out.

    • samurailynn says:

      @rydel: I know that at least at some chain restaurants, they have a take-out person instead of just a regular server who rings up those orders. The take-out person is typically paid $2-3 more per hour than minimum wage.

    • ludwigk says:

      @rydel: By “tip slip” do you mean a receipt with a place for a tip? If I haven’t received table service, I just ignore that part and put a slash through it. They save time and resources by not waiting on me, and I am not obliged to tip. Win-win.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ludwigk: I’ve been involved in a hybrid situation recently. There’s a Mexican restaurant on the way home from work which is also near where I pick up my drycleaning. What I do is I go in there, make a carry-out order, then have the waiter bring me a beer while I wait. No chips and salsa. I finish about half the beer before the food’s ready. I tip $1.00 for the beer but do not tip for the carry out. Does that sound about right?

      • johnnya2 says:

        @ludwigk: Not waiting on you? A take out order required a person to put your order together (bag it, get the cutlery, napkins, condiments, take your payment method, AND the IRS has deemed a per cent of their SALES be declared as tips. When you don’t tip it actually costs many servers money because they are required to have money withheld from their paycheck. This is not the case at fast food or non sit down restaurants

        • CFinWV says:

          @johnnya2: Wow, I used to put orders together, place them in bags and take your payment method and I never got tips… at a restaurant! I got an hourly wage. Seems like they should be coded differently than true servers who work for tips.

          • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

            @CFinWV: As far as I know it depends on the CC machine they’re using. There’s one place that *asks* you if you want to put a tip on the card when you pay, instead of printing a tip slip. All the chinese restaurants print tip slips (but they only have one CC machine for their take-out and sit down services) so you can’t blame *them* for printing a slip wiht “tip” on it. If you don’t feel like paying just slash through it.

  4. MyPetFly says:

    Good question about the buffet. I figure we’ve probably done the standard restaurant tip.

    At regular restaurants, I usually calculate 20% and then round up so the final bill is an even dollar amount, or for more expensive meals, maybe round up to the nearest $5 point.

    • Pop Socket says:

      @MyPetFly: That is my method exactly. I like rounding up to an even dollar because that makes data entry into my finance software easy. I have no idea if the wait staff appreciates the extra 41 cents or whatever.

    • Wormfather is Wormfather says:

      @MyPetFly: 15% they get your drinks and clean your plates.

  5. bovinekid says:

    I take tipping seriously and cannot stand the thought of leaving a bad tip (unless someone deserves it, of course). If I can’t afford to give someone the tip they deserve, I won’t give them a worse tip, I’ll simply not employ their services to begin with.

  6. MercuryPDX says:

    More info to be had at kiplinger.com as well.

  7. Pylon83 says:

    While I “play the game” and tip between 15 and 20%, I hate the expectation. I think tipping is an antiquated practice that was designed to allow employers to underpay the employees and force the customer to pick up the difference. There is no reason a restaurant can’t pay their workers a “real” minimum wage. The fact that tips are simply expected dramatically drives down the quality of service one receives at restaurants. I suspect most servers have figured out that regardless of what kind of service they give, they’ll get a decent tip because people don’t want the social stigma of being a “Bad tipper”. Armed with that knowledge, they provide half-assed service to everyone and still expect everyone to give them 20%.
    To the commenters re: counter service and take out: This is where I draw the line. I refuse to tip at a restaurant that doesn’t actually serve me when I sit down. I don’t tip at Sonic (Drive-in) and I won’t tip for take-out. What the hell am I tipping for at these places? it’s not for service. The only conceivable reason to tip for those “services” is the social expectation that anyone that does anything remotely service related deserves a tip.

    • Tristan Smith says:

      @Pylon83: I agree with you 100%

    • z4ce says:


      Ha. Spoken like someone that has never been to a non-tipping country. Come to Australia. Experience the level of service here where the base wage is pretty good and tipping is not expected. It is FAR lower.

      My aussie wife used to say the same thing about tipping being antiquated and unfair until she actually saw how much better the service is where tipping is expected for good service.

      • TechnoDestructo says:


        Try Japan or Korea or China.

        This difference isn’t about tipping or not tipping.

        • z4ce says:


          I would argue that Australia is MUCH more similar to American culture than Asian countries. I think you could pretty easily expect service to quickly resemble Australia if you removed the tipping expectation.

          It pretty much makes sense too. In America if you work hard as a waiter you can make good money. In Australia, as long as you don’t get fired you make decent money. The service you receive reflects those incentives.

    • angryhippo says:

      @Pylon83: If I have to drive down to a place and pick up my food, why the hell would I give a tip to the person who moves it from a shelf to the counter? The tip jar at the take-out counter is insulting at best.

    • mtaylor924 says:

      Tipping works well to encourage good service at places you frequent – salons, doormen, massage, etc. where you get the same person each time. It lets the person know you appreciate their work (or that you don’t, if you tip poorly and stop coming back).

      Where it doesn’t work is for one-time services, like restaurants, taxis, etc. The service worker is not getting the tip until after providing the service, so if they think they will never see you again they have no incentive to improve their service after a bad tip. If we all started telling our servers up front what their tip is, then letting them know how it is rising or falling based on their quality of service, the tip would actually be worth something on a larger scale.

      That’s all great in theory…but I’m not gonna be the a**hole who slaps cash on the edge of the table and tells my waiter that it’s up to him how much of it he ends up with when I’m done eating.

    • veronykah says:

      @Pylon83: I bartend for a catering company and when they know there is a high expectation of tips, they drop our wage from $14.25/hr to the minimum in California which is $8.25.
      When I worked as a bartender in NYC, most places didn’t even PAY me to work there. All I earned was from tips.
      Just so you know…

    • mac-phisto says:

      @Pylon83: i tip at the dunkins i frequent (usually only a quarter or so) & am rewarded by not having to explain my order & having it ready for me when i step to the counter (i have a regular drink order). i think that’s worth the spare change. maybe you don’t – that’s fine.

      @mtaylor924: i don’t entirely agree on your 2nd paragraph. when i used to deliver pizza, i would bust my ass (& my car) to get it to you as fast as possible with the hope that piping hot pizza in 10 minutes was worth a couple bucks to you. even if you never used my service again, it wasn’t about generating repeat customers so much as maximizing my potential earnings. i got satisfaction from repeatedly hearing “holy crap! didn’t we just order that like 5 minutes ago?!?” & getting rewarded with an above average tip.

      i think many employees that work for tips operate under a similar premise – good service equals a good tip. exceptional service equals an exceptional tip. obviously, there are some workers who don’t understand this concept, just as there are certain customers who don’t understand it. but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

      • Paperclippe says:

        @mac-phisto: I agree with you. My fiance midnights as a pizza delivery guy, and makes minimum wage, using his tips to pay for gas (and then some, now that the price has fallen), so he actually makes a pretty decent income that way (and when he can, he give me the singles for bus money so I don’t have to empty my bank account for transportation, nor does he). Needless to say, he works as quickly as he can in crappy Pennsylvania winters. It’s a good system.

    • johnnya2 says:

      @Pylon83: When you buy a car do you negotiate out your salesmans commission? The Server at the restaurant is a commissioned salesperson. They are selling for the restaurant. If you want the system changed you need to take it up with the legislature which allows this to happen. All tipping could be banned, and then you will pay 20% more for your meal when you go out, and do you think your service would improve?

    • juri squared says:

      @Pylon83: I know servers who make less than minimum wage on a regular basis. Their manager stiffs them a good shift one night, it’s slow the next night, and there’s a crappy table the third night. Bam, you’ve made $3/hour for the whole week!

    • eyemandy says:

      @Pylon83: I concur! I despise the antiquated tipping policy that was put into place during the great depression. I would rather pay 20% more for my service than deal with tipping–especially when it comes to people like valet, concierge, and doormen for whom I have no idea what to tip. It makes me feel guilty and simultaneously taken advantage of. As for people not doing their jobs well if not given an incentive, I think that’s rubbish. If people don’t do their jobs well, they’ll lose me as a customer, period.

    • HooFoot says:

      @Pylon83: I usually dump whatever change I have leftover from the transaction into the tip jar at the take out places that I frequent. The owners and employees recognize me, they work hard, they put up with my silly requests, they’ve never screwed up my orders, and while these businesses are getting by, they are by no means raking in the cash. I don’t feel obligated to tip; I do it to reward the good service and don’t mind giving them something extra.

      Now tip jars for a run-the-mill transaction at Starbucks or another chain place? I don’t understand it unless the employees goes out of their way to help you.

    • narq says:

      @Pylon83: It’s all about economics. If you pay a better wage a higher class of people will be willing to take the job. In our society we take bottom rung inexperienced people and pay them nothing and figure if they suck at their job they’ll quit because they get paid nothing. If their good people will tip and they can make out well. That’s bad business. You should pay a better wage to hire dependable kind people. You get bad staff all the time, people who could care less about tips.

      In Japan you don’t tip. Things run really smooth and everyone is prompt and helpful. They get paid well and everyone is generally much better at their job than in America. I don’t like the idea of tipping 20% because from the few restaurant workers I knew… on good days they could make over $15 an hour in tips alone. When I worked retail and though that was a much harder and more demanding job I was paid far less than wait staff can earn. Tips are very outdated.

      I have always lived by tips are for above and beyond, like raises. If you treat me like any other person would, you don’t get a tip. If you do great service or try really hard when I notice it’s busy, tip. This is why I am not allowed to pay at restaurants though.

      • richcreamerybutter says:

        @narq: Japan’s history, culture, and racial and class homogeneity has resulted in a society with differences (with some positive, some negative) you can’t possibly compare to the US.

        When you say, “In Japan…blah blah blah does this and this,” all you can do is make the observation. Applying some random customs to US culture is pointless.

  8. bwilliams18 says:

    My tipping for taxi drivers has gone down by about a dollar unless it is at the _.90 mark i just round up to the highest dollar when i used to round up and add a dollar

  9. dohtem says:

    How about all these “good-food-fast” places (Daphne’s Greek Cafe, for instance)?

    You walk up to the counter to order, and when your food is ready, they yell out your name and you go pick it up. You also get your own drinks from a fountain as you need.

    It irks me that places like these have a line for tip.

    • samurailynn says:

      @dohtem: There’s a place around here that you order and pay at the counter, then go get your own drink, find your own table, and they bring the food to you and clear the table when you leave. I really hate having to tip up front, but since I like the place and they always have good service, I’ll do it at this place. But, since they do a lot less “service” than a regular restaurant, I’ve decided that $1 per person in my party is good.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @dohtem: So leave it blank and leave cash if you feel their service was worth it. Is that so hard?

      • fjordtjie says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: i think they would fall into the category of “don’t want to be the bad tipper”. They’re not an asshole for not wanting to tip, but if they don’t tip, and they’re the only one, they’ll look like as asshole.

      • samurailynn says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: Not everyone carries cash everywhere they go. I don’t want to carry an assortment of cash just in case I need to leave cash tips somewhere.

  10. D says:

    As a former valet, I can tell you that, if you care about your car, you should tip at least $5 on the way in.

    • Orv says:

      @D: If you care about your car, you probably shouldn’t be handing the keys to a stranger.

      • D says:

        @Orv: Definitely true, but some establishments leave you with little choice, and a little extra up front helps them to be motivated to watch out for you. Grannted, though, that it’s kinda like paying the mob “protection money”.

      • dohtem says:

        @Orv: Reminds me of something I heard on a TV show once.

        People go out to dinner with the whole family and hand the valet the car keys. Which usually has the house keys on the same ring. So now a stranger has your house keys, your car keys, your car with GPS and your home address programmed in.

        It really makes you think.

        • D says:

          @dohtem: Very true…scary! How often do you just let that waiter/waitress run off and do who knows what with your credit card too?

        • Orv says:

          @dohtem: It used to be many cars came with a separate “valet key.” It would unlock the door and start the car, but wouldn’t open the trunk or glove compartment. On some high-end sports cars it also triggered a special reduced horsepower mode.

      • veronykah says:

        @Orv: Welcome to LA. Good luck finding a place where you can park your own car. Its valet or the wilds of street parking here for the most part.

        • Triterion says:

          @veronykah: One of the reasons I hate going to LA…

        • airren says:

          @veronykah: I lived in LA for six years and never once valeted my car. So it *is* possible. You do need to be a little creative sometimes.

          (Nothing against valets in general, I just had a very strange car that I didn’t trust anyone to drive but myself.)

    • zentex says:

      @D: and people wonder where “hard work” and “honesty” went.

      If you don’t make enough money, get a better job…don’t take out your frustration on someone’s property. It doesn’t matter what a valet is paid, no one forced them to work there.

      @Orv: very, very true.

    • swedub says:

      @D: As a former valet I would also recommend against using a valet service if possible. I worked at places in South Florida where they would park an Acura NSX or Ferrari right out front but at least 6 Rolls Royces a night and some nice Porsche and other sports cars would be parked either in a parking garage or lot. We would do our best to test the acceleration on most of the cars in very short distances. Most valets are already into cars to begin with so when they get a car that performs nice they like to see what kind of power it has. It was one of my favorite jobs I have ever had. The only cars I drove carefully were the classics, 70’s Aston Martin, 70’s Porsche, etc because I had a lot more respect for those cars. The only time I would valet is if you had no other choice or you could see where they park the cars. It’s kind of stupid to spin someones wheels when they can see what you are doing.

      Back on topic, I rarely ever got a tip when receiving their car. I usually got tipped when giving their car back. This was 10 years ago but I would get anything from $1 to $5 usually. At a special event back then I parked a very rich mans top-of-the-line Mercedes. He owned several Fortune 500 companies and some sports teams. He only tipped $5.

      • RedwoodFlyer says:

        @swedub: Here’s where I’m calling BS on your story: I looked through the Fortune 500 list from 1990-2005 (I’m bored, sue me) and didn’t find 2 companies that were owned by the same person…so your claim that this man owned several Fortune 500 companies is BS.

      • chauncy that billups says:

        @swedub: Yeah, I’ve seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I HATE valet parking service. Why do I need to pay for something I can do myself with no effort?

    • eyemandy says:

      @D: If the valet cares about their job and/or bank account, they won’t damage my car.

    • jg88 says:

      @eyemandy: Sadly that is not the case, from my own experiences as a valet, our company policy was “if they don’t see the car damaged then as soon as they leave the lot we are not liable”. My of my coworkers damaged cars (minor scratches and dents) and didn’t lose their jobs, in fact I only know of 1 person being fired for getting into an accident (he was speeding and totaled a car).
      As far as tipping goes I personally tip $5 for valet parking but I try not to use it (I know what kind of degenerates work that job, because they hired me and my friends). However the 2 to 4 dollar range is perfectly acceptable. Whenever we used to receive $1 tips we wouldn’t run to get the car. However anything more then that would get a light jog at least.

    • unoriginal says:

      @D: I guess it’s a good thing that the only time I ever valet is when I have a rental. Don’t really care what happens to it as long as it runs when I turn it in.

    • Anonymous says:

      As a current Valet in the DFW area who has done it nearly 2 years, there are two ways in which we get paid, depending on the compainy, one is where we submit all the tipping money to the compainy and paid a hourly wage (10hr), the other is when we keep all the tips we get, rather good or bad, i can make nearly 2 to 3 times as much this way than the hourly way. The tip avg here is 5 dollars, if you dont tip at all we do call you out on it, 95% after we call you out we do get tipped (we try and embarress you infront of your date). If you still dont tip and we remember who you are (which is never) we will treat your car badly the next time you valet.

      Now to the one worried about house keys and gps, we really couldnt care less about your house and your GPS, it would be much easier to just break into a random house then go through the trouble of copying your key/address/whatever, infact we wish you would not use the valet key because of how long it takes you to take that key off the keyring, some people are so bad they give me there whole set and ask me to remove all they keys but the car/valet key.

      Also i never valet my own vehicle, its mine and i dont want anyone else touching it even though its a old truck with well over 200k miles on it

  11. dohtem says:

    I should also add; other than that, I don’t mind tipping. The gf complains that I tip too generously and she has gotten into the habit of scrutinizing tips I leave.

    But if the service is worth it, they deserve it.

    • starbreiz says:

      @dohtem: As a woman, I’d rather be dating someone who tips generously, than someone who tips poorly. I’ve had dates where the guy picked up the tab and I left extra cash for the tip because I felt bad about it. Tell your girlfriend she’s lucky ;)

      • Zulujines says:

        @starbreiz: Ditto that. I think people absolutely deserve a nice tip for good service. I’ve also went out with guys who were condescending to the waitstaff and (I suspect) didn’t tip well. In my experience, a guy who’s generous with tips is generous with other things :)

        • Paperclippe says:

          @dohtem: My step-mom (kind of a bitch anyway) is like this. If my dad leaves more than five dollars on the table, even if the bill was $100, she’ll take it and give it back to him. She’ll never leave an exceptional tip. I don’t think she’s ever worked in the food industry, and I think her practice is shameful – if the service was good. I don’t tip for bad service, or I leave a mound of change. Generally, if the service was neutral to good, I round up four or five dollars (and about the classiest place I eat is The Cheesecake Factory. XD)

  12. Orv says:

    What’s the proper tip for hotel maid service? I’ve heard $1-$2 per day in various places.

    How about pizza delivery drivers?

    • mac-phisto says:

      @Orv: on pizza, $2-3 is usually plenty. the exceptions are if you are really, really far from the pizza shop, there is exceptionally bad weather (snow, sleet, etc.), or you are absolutely amazed that the pizza arrived as fast as it did. in these cases, it would be nice to show your appreciation for having the driver do a little more. from my experience, if i saw a fiver, i was f-ing ecstatic.

      please don’t ever tip (or pay for delivery) in change. that’s just wrong, man.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @mac-phisto: My boyfriend delivered pizzas for about a year for Donatos. He was probably the happiest I’ve ever seen him while he was doing it to.

        One night, a guy handed him a $50 for 1 pizza and didn’t ask for change. Granted the guy was high as a kite, but he was exstatic about it when he got home.

      • adamondi says:

        @mac-phisto: Oh, yes. The worst thing in the world as a pizza guy is to have to drive 15 minutes one way to deliver a pizza completely away from the store, just to get no tip. It costs me more in gas to deliver the pizza than I am getting paid for that run. Plus, being away from the store that long means that I cannot take out another order for which I might actually get tipped decently. Plus, the next time I get an order for that address, I have no incentive to hurry over there or prioritize your order over other orders where I get tipped better.

        • Paperclippe says:

          @adamondi: You wanna heard bad? My fiance drives a tiny car when he delivers pizza. One night he had a family who ordered more than $100 in pizza and drinks for a party. They lived more than a half an hour away, he had to make several trips to the car in the rain to get all of their stuff, they complained he wasn’t fast enough, and they tipped him three dollars.

    • dohtem says:

      @Orv: Something to add about tipping hotel maids. I worked at a 4-diamond hotel for a little bit and they typically got $2/day left on the pillow or nightstand. But $5 wasn’t uncommon and $10 happened every once in a while.

      From talking to the maids, I learnt that the worst tippers were NBA players (this was in a city with a great NBA team). When the away players came into town, the maids felt sorry for whomever got to clean their rooms. They made a helluva mess and tipped nothing. Only the coaching staff tipped. :(

    • bobcatred says:

      @Orv: Yeah. $1 a day at your average hotel is usually good practice. At high-end hotels, you’ll want to bump it up, particularly if they offer special services or goods.

      Admittedly, it’s been a while since I ordered pizza, but we used to tip according to current gas prices. Never less than a dollar, but if gas gets up to $4-5 again, definitely tip more, since it’s costing more to deliver that pizza to you.

    • mewyn dyner says:

      For hotel maids, I think it’s about $1-$2 per night… although when I was last at Disney we had a group of 3 adults in the room, and we were all impressed with the service, and we tipped generously because of it. The room was always spotless, toiletries very well stocked. Best thing… the towel animals! What we did was had this little “war”. Nancy would make towel animals and we’d do creative things with the bills for the tip in the animals, like having them hold it, or folding the bills into hats and putting them on the animals. She wrote us a note at the end of our stay saying that she loved what we did. :)

  13. JPropaganda says:

    I was told that if the owner of the salon cuts your hair, you’re not supposed to tip him. Is this true?

    • samurailynn says:

      @JPropaganda: Some salon owners will post a sign saying that they do not accept tips. I assume that unless a sign like that is posted, they will appreciate the tip.

    • floraposte says:

      @JPropaganda: Theoretically, you don’t tip the owner of anything, whether it’s the owner of the restaurant or the owner of the salon; it has in fact been considered insulting in the past to do so (you’re treating the proprietor as hired help). I’d say the contemporary trend is to consider nothing insulting as long as it’s profitable.

      I consider my massage therapist a health care professional, and I don’t tip those. She gets a holiday gift. But I do tend to tip a full 15-20% when I’m getting takeout from a sit-down restaurant, because I’m taking a tipped employee’s time away from tip work (I’m particularly aware of that at places where the takeout is handled through the bar).

      My best, though, was when I dropped in to buy a brownie from a restaurant counter. The price was fifty cents (it’s back a few years), I handed over a dollar, and I was asked if I wanted my change. You mean as opposed to tipping 100% for you to reach below the counter at which you’re standing? Sheesh.

      • Zulujines says:

        @floraposte: I bought two cupcakes awhile ago and the total was 98 cents. The lady behind the counter asked, “Do you want your two pennies?” and I guess I don’t really need two pennies, but it kind of makes you feel like an ass if you say, “Yeah, give me my two pennies.” I can’t believe people now ask if you want your change.

        • anithinks says:

          @Zulujines: I, for one, am never embarrassed to take my own money back. Just my 2 cents… but I’ll want them back too.

        • magic8ball says:

          @Zulujines: Some people don’t like to carry around a lot of change, especially if it’s in pennies, because there’s rarely a circumstance where you need more than four pennies, even if you’re paying cash. Considering the amount, in this case she may not have been asking for a tip per se, but essentially asking if you’d rather not have two extra pennies floating around in your wallet/pocket/whatever. Obviously at that point she would get to keep the two pennies, which technically is a benefit/tip, but … two pennies? Even if she’s making minimum wage, two cents would barely cover the time it takes to ask you if she can keep them.

    • mewyn dyner says:


      I’ve not heard of this. I always get the owner of the place I go to for my hair, and I always tip him, extra when I hit the free cut on my frequent cut card.

    • Tmoney02 says:

      @JPropaganda: Thats the way I was raised but I still give a tip – just a small one compared to what I would normally would.

      Basically I am tipping just to show my happiness with the service compared to a non owner who I tip to show my happiness and help pay for the stall renttime I took up.

    • SugarMag says:


      I’ve confirmed twice that is correct to NOT tip the owner of a salon. The owner does my hair, I don’t tip, but I do give a $100 xmas “tip” which works out to about 13% of what I spend a year with her.

      As far as the other salonepeople – I tip the amount of the serive at xmas time (ex: $50 haircut, $50 tip instead of the usual $8) because that is what I’ve always heard is the “rule”.

  14. Anonymous says:

    the way i view it, most of the time i eat out the difference between a 15% tip and a 25% tip is less than $5. while $5 doesn’t make a huge difference to me, the difference between 15% and 25% is great for the person who provided the service

  15. Tristan Smith says:

    Now even Ice cream shops are in on the tip game. While I’ve personally never left a tip, what would be an appropriate tip at a place like Coldstone Creamery?

    • DixonDaimon says:

      @rndmideas: a dollar or more and they have to sing!

    • Shamoononon: I shave my legs. says:

      @rndmideas: Nothing would be the appropriate tip.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @rndmideas: i dunno, “don’t forget to shut the freezer door” maybe?

    • Killer_Silly says:

      @rndmideas: As someone who works at a Baskin Robbins(read: Ice Cream store) we generally don’t expect tips for anything but the big-ticket items(banana splits, multiple beverages etc.) but every dollar helps.
      tl;dr: a dollar is very adequate, 2 for a large order, 3 if you’re feeling the holiday spirit. :)

    • bobcatred says:

      @rndmideas: We used to tip at Amy’s Ice Cream, where the servers would perform while getting your ice cream. Other than that, no, I never tipped at an ice cream shop.

      My thought is this: tipped staff gets paid less. If they’re getting full hourly wages, you’re not obligated to tip, though there are certain industries where tipping is considered good business practice in order to protect your goods (hotel staff, skycaps, valets etc).

      Ice cream servers get full wages, and you’re not asking them to, you know, not steal your stuff or bang it up in any way, so you’re not obligated just because they put a tip jar out.

    • AshleyKeen says:

      @rndmideas: Sometimes in a fit of generosity I’ll tip at coldstone — and I’m more likely to tip if someone in front of me in line has tipped. I think there’s a psychological experiment waiting to be hatched there…

      But my favorite ever coldstone tip, I didn’t even order anything. My roomate was having her Bachelorette and we stopped to get her a massive bowl of ice cream. As another friend paid, I told the staff that I knew they had to sing for tips… and that I would appreciate it if they sang — anything — appropriately embarrassing for our bride-to-be. They stood her on a chair, made a huge announcement, and said that although they had no “bachelorette song” they would deffinitely sing and sang “Happy Birthday” to her, along with the entire store.

      … hehe. In hindsight, I probably should have tipped them more.

    • Paperclippe says:

      @rndmideas: I only tip at Coldstone because working with hard ice cream is a PAIN in the ASS (oh, and their ice cream is more addictive than herion). I usually just give them the change left over from my dollar amount. If there’s nothing left, I don’t tip, but I figure the times my order comes to something like 9.04 make up for it.

  16. rpm773 says:

    Hotels can be a pain in the ass. I’ll leave a few dollars, but if I don’t have the cash on me each day I’m not going to go out of my way to get some. So usually I just leave a $10 at the end of the trip…hopefully the maid who cleaned the room all week is the one that collects.

    I’d think hotels could come up with a better option, but I haven’t seen one yet.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @rpm773: having worked in a hotel i can say that at least where i worked, the housekeeping staff would be assigned to the same floors/rooms consistently. usually throughout their entire employment. a lot of people don’t carry cash anymore and quite often people would have us charge various [housekeeping, bellman, valet] gratuities to their rooms. the front desk posts the charge, pays it out in cash to the staff member. no big deal

  17. LeJerk says:

    I have stopped tipping entirely.

    (Cue Mr. Pink)

    • Rhayader says:

      @LeJerk: Damn, beat me to it. I’m actually surprised there weren’t more Mr. Pink references in the comments.

      Now if we could only get an explanation of the lyrics to “Like a Virgin”.

      • oloranya says:

        @Rhayader: If I wasn’t so lazy, i could copy it word for word from a poster I have with every single word of dialogue from that movie in it.

  18. Cankles says:

    I hate tipping, I don’t understand the point. It should be entirely optional and only done when there is truly great service.

    • Killer_Silly says:

      @Incognito: I agree! I shouldn’t be forced to pay for your crappy paying job!

      • adam_w says:


        America is a tipping culture. Certain service providers get tipped. But that’s fine if you don’t want to. Either A) refrain from visiting establishments/utilizing services where tipping is customary or B) expect each member of the kitchen staff at your favorite restaurant to drag their scrotums across your steak before it’s served to you.

  19. muddgirl says:

    I thought the standard for tipping bartenders was $1 per drink. At expensive bars, that’s about 10-15 percent. At smaller places, that’s more, but the bartenders at divey bars deserve a bigger tip IMO! :)

    • sponica says:

      @muddgirl: I usually do a dollar for drinks, maybe 2 for mixed drinks. Even with a 5 dollar beer, the one dollar tip is 20%.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @muddgirl: i think that’s about the standard, but if you have a regular tender, consider running a tab & leaving more of a traditional 15-20% on the tab. this is what i do & i certainly receive above-notch service. last nite’s jack & coke was more like a jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack & ck. & since there was only a shot left in the bottle, when i drank down a few fingers, she topped me off to kill it. & then when i got the bill, i swear she comped me half my drinks.

    • Zulujines says:

      @muddgirl: That’s usually what I tip as well, although it seems like a lot.

      Dive bars are always better–I go there to drink, not to be seen.

    • DikembeMeiztombo says:

      @muddgirl: at my normal bar, my cocktails are $3. I usually throw a dollar every 2 or 3 drinks. And I have to be sneaky about tipping one of the owners. He happens to be a friend of mine, and won’t knowingly accept tips from me, no matter how many drinks I have. Plus he makes my drinks extra strong.

      • Daveinva says:

        @muddgirl: Actually, at crowded bars I usually frontload my tips. The bartender doesn’t know if you’re a good tipper or not, and odds are he/she is going to be distracted by other groups (or pretty girls & boys).

        The key for me is to usually buy the first drink(s) with cash, throw the guy a $5 bill, then give him my card to start a tab. This way he remembers me, and is more likely gives me better service throughout the rest of the night in expectation of a good tip on the tab (which I always leave).

        Works almost every time, in every bar I’ve gone to.

  20. Fujikopez says:

    I hate tip jars at fast food places and the like. WTH, you slapped together some food and sold it to me. What the heck am I going to tip you for? Doing the job you are already getting paid (at least minimum wage) for?

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @Fujikopez: That fast food worker does the same work or more than a waiter or waitress. If you don’t want to tip them, why would you tip a waiter or waitress? Because the restaurant chooses to pay them less? That is not a reason to tip. The restaurant provides a server to bring you your meal and refill your drinks. Just like how they provide you a cook to make your meal. Why don’t you tip the cook? There is almost no situation I could think of that would justify tipping a server. What could a server do for you that is above and beyond their normal job?

      • Fujikopez says:

        @Corporate_guy: Servers typically get paid less than minimum wage. Also, they (are supposed to anyway) make sure you have everything you want, ask how things are going with the meal, take payment at the table, field complaints. Sometimes they are great and make you feel welcome and take care of all your needs; other times they downright suck and that’s where the flexible tip comes in.

        I’m not saying that fast food workers don’t work their asses off. My husband worked at a Taco Hell for years. But it’s where I draw the line. The way I see it, they don’t perform a service, they produce a good and sell it to me. Should I tip the factory workers that built my car, or the stock boy at the grocery store? They work to get goods to me, just like a fast food worker would, but I don’t tip them.

        • Fujikopez says:

          @Fujikopez: Oh, and just to be clear, I don’t tip at buffets either, unless someone brings me something or does drink service. The way I see it, if I like the food, I’ll just keep bringing my business there.

        • Corporate_guy says:

          @Fujikopez: That’s not a valid reason. A server is required for a restaurant to make money. Someone has to take your order and get the food from the kitchen. Without the server, the restaurant doesn’t run. A server is a necessary employee for a restaurant just like a cook is. It’s a not an optional service you pay extra for. Just like tipping a delivery boy makes no sense. If that employee is necessary for the business to make a sale, they don’t deserve a tip for just doing their job. The business should pay them a full wage for doing the necessary work that enables the business to make money.

      • Paperclippe says:

        @Corporate_guy: I disagree. I worked at a Dairy Queen for four months, and my fiance worked at Eat n’ Park. I knew how much more he had to work than me for just about the same hours, so out of consideration for him, I always gave back my tips (we didn’t have a tip jar or anything, sometimes people just tipped us). I would always tell people to tip their waiters. The only think I had rougher was that I went home COVERED in ice cream.

        Long story short, working fast food, getting paid full minimum wage, is a CAKEwalk compared to working as a waiter or waitress, who doesn’t even make that much.

    • Gweedle says:

      @Fujikopez: I completely disagree with the idea that they do as much as a server, thats simply not true. However – I tip people at fast food places about a dollar, pretty much just out of sympathy. There job just sucks, and minimum wage is not enough money for service industry.

  21. Triterion says:

    What about at a coffee house? Those guys deserve a tip a lot more than a bartender, that’s for sure. Making a latte is a lot harder than pouring a freggin beer.

    • Cankles says:

      @Triterion: Not really, what, you have to throw something in a blender and push a button? Why tip at all, you have a salary don’t you?

    • HaxRomana says:

      @Triterion: I was a barista for a while in my earl(ier) college days, and I generally didn’t expect tips. Some of our regulars would drop $5 or $10 dollars in the tip jar around Christmas, which I can understand.

      IMHO, the only times that tipping at a coffeehouse is absolutely mandatory are:

      -If you go in and act like it’s a full service restaurant. For example, if you order seven drinks and each of them have to be made just so, especially if the staffing is clearly not sufficient for difficult orders.
      -If you have extremely detailed specifications, such as an exact degree that you want your milk steamed to.

      In general, anything that goes above and beyond the call of duty should be an automatic tip, even if it’s just chucking your change in the jar.

  22. jimv2000 says:

    The whole idea of tipping is nonsense anyway. If your employer doesn’t pay you enough to ensure that you do your kob well, perhaps you should get a different job.

    Tipping doesn’t ensure better service anyway. You tip AFTER you are served, it doesn’t help if you are eating somewhere new, and it also doesn’t help because you usually don’t have the same server if you go to the same place.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen, why the heck am a helping a person make more money than I do, when I probably have far more education than they do?

      I work in health care and haven’t received a tip for giving good service, why does a waiter get a tip who is just merely handing you food that someone else worked hard to make and I get no tip for something that I feel is a real service?

      Tipping is a nonsensical tradition that we have that makes no sense and should be done away with!

    • Rhayader says:

      @jimv2000: “And when you pay the bill, kindly leave a little tip to help the next poor sucker on this one-way trip.”

      –Frank Zappa

  23. maztec says:

    Lot of hotels collect money left in the room, even if indicated as a tip, and put it in a central place in case of “lost funds”. Heh.

    I admit, I’m a jerk, tipping 20% gets ridiculous fast. I tip 15% if service is okay. 20% if exceptional; 10% if it was mediocre. And I round up to the nearest dollar if it sucks.

    As for counter workers – I did that for a while, at minimum wage, I appreciated every tip I got. Nothing worse than the people that would put their hand in the tip jar and take some out . . . grr…

    But really, you can easily tip too much in too many areas.

    As for valets? My policy has always been tip at least half what you would have paid for parking.

    • ScarletBegonias says:

      @maztec: “Nothing worse than the people that would put their hand in the tip jar and take some out . . . grr…”

      yess! i worked at a Quizno’s for a while, and there was usually only one person working up front at a time and someone in the back doing dishes. It was a bitch to put those damn gloves on, make your sandwich, put it through the oven thing, take the gloves off, take your money and ring you out, put on a New pair of gloves, take your sandwich out of the oven, put lettuce or whatever on it, and then wrap it up and give it to you.
      One of the girls put a tip cup out one day and no one ever moved it and I never expected tips but I would have Never guessed how comfortable people are with shoving their hand in there and fishing around for exact change and not even like bat an eye.

  24. unobservant says:

    Now, MY question is… do people really remember you?

    I worked for many, MANY years at the same store, and I’ll be damned if I remember any of my customers (unless they were especially insane). I like to tip, and I tip well if I like the service. If not… I’m a wuss and I tip at least 15%. But if I like a place and decide to make it my Sunday brunch joint, half of its merit is the service, so tips galore. I just don’t think I’m memorable enough for someone to say, “Hey, there’s unobservant! I’m going to stalk the crap out of her with my coffee pot.”

    It just seems like, unless I don’t tip at all, my good deed goes unnoticed. Am I wrong?

    • Alexander says:

      @unobservant: It’s possible at smaller, friendlier places. In my early 20s while in college, I worked at a local coffee shop for about 3 years. This very local coffee shop was very very popular with the local people, had been there for years and these people had been visiting them for years and years. So yes, they got to know us and we got to know them. We knew all their preferences and they were very generous with the tips. It helped that a lot of us stayed for years. Around where I live, most of the time I visit any of the restaurants there is almost always new people.

    • Ananelle says:

      I worked at Starbucks for a little while (Yeah, I know.) and we definitely knew a lot of our regulars. I worked in a small college town, but we had a fair amount of customers per day. I think in smaller towns, sure, it’s quite possible they remember you.
      When I worked as a spa receptionist, we ALL knew what regulars tipped well, and as a result, we made sure their stay was as fantastic as we could possibly make it. Sometimes they even got reduced treatments and the like. All I’m saying is, you quite probably don’t go unnoticed, same as when you have a certain server who is better than the others. You know who they are, they know who you are.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @unobservant: some people do remember the good tippers
      i used to go to the same club every week and on sunday nights it was free single liquor well drinks [not just for the ladies, for everyone]
      i tipped on the free drinks. in the beginning just a buck, but as one of the bartenders started remembering me more, and making stronger drinks, i’d tip her $3 on the first drink and a buck or two each on any others [depending on how tight my budget was]
      one night i walked up to the back of the line at the bar to wait. and a guy at the front offered to place my drink order.
      and i said ‘that won’t be necessary’
      he said ‘it’s not like i am buying you a drink, they’re free. i was just going to tell cathy your order’
      i said ‘i don’t need to order. see the ten drinks she is making? the one on the end is mine.’
      and a few seconds later she leaned over, told all the people at the bar to move and handed me a drink and i tipped her as usual. he asked me how i knew it was mine – it was the only drink that got 2 full pours of rum and a tap off the coke spigot. a clear light beige rum and coke. if you carefully cultivate with your tips it can make people remember you.

      if you are a really bad tipper, they will NEVER forget you

  25. humphrmi says:

    Another reason I have, in the past, tipped on the high side at regular (not-fancy) restaurants: I take the kids, and they leave a mess. I usually leave 20% for just OK service whenever we take the kids anywhere, but I’ve tipped as high as 25% for average service when we left a big mess.

    That was when our kids were 1, 2, and 6. Now, they’re older, aren’t as messy, and we’re back to 15-20% :).

  26. rickinsthelens says:

    You say $1.00 for a van driver or doorman who helps with a bag? Nearly 30 years ago I got $1.00 per bag at a motel in a small Michigan town of 12,000 people. Wait staff were getting 10% tips then. So if you wait tables, you get 15-20% now, but a if you help someone with luggage, you still get a buck? Seems out of whack to me.

  27. Parting says:

    Please explain, why must I tip a massage therapist? I’m paying around 120$ for a massage, and the massage therapist is NOT receiving minimum wage.

    So why should I tip him?

    • Ananelle says:

      A lot of therapists don’t make half as much money as you think they do. Most start out working on a very low commission and they actually work their fingers to the bone, literally.
      You don’t *have* to tip, but I know many clients who did not get the most perfect massage because they didn’t.
      Most of the money you pay at a spa goes to operating costs.

    • richcreamerybutter says:

      @Meltdown: Certainly. Unless the therapist has a private practice, he or she is giving about half to the house. Also consider that due to the number of clients and/or normal stress on the hands of the therapist, it’s not a typical 8 hr workday; at the most, you might be giving 5 massages, or only working a few days a week.

      If massage therapists were covered by insurance, they would probably receive more of a living wage and therefore not be anticipating tips. Again, having a private practice and specializing in select areas can improve your earning capabilities but many therapists struggle if they don’t have 5 roommates or a primary wage earner as a spouse.

  28. carpediemcls says:

    “Why tip someone for a job I’m capable of doing myself? I can deliver food. I can drive a taxi. I can, and do, cut my own hair. I did however, tip my urologist, because I am unable to pulverize my own kidney stones.”

    -Dwight Schrute, The Office

  29. Quilt says:

    Tipping is something I generously put up with. When the revolution comes, I hope this outmoded idea will fly the way of the dodo.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I have to say, I absolutely hate people who think they can get away with a cheap tip. Try working in a restaurant yourselves and you’ll understand why we tip, and tip well. I ALWAYS tip 20% at a restaurant, unless service is horrible. And I’m not talking about the food being bad. Your server has nothing to do with how your food is cooked. If service is really bad, then I tip the normal 15%. These people deal with Assholes all night long, both in the kitchen and in the dinning room.

    I also live in a college town, so I know how broke most servers, barristas and icecream scoopers are. I tip a buck at starbucks and coldstone or any other counter service place. If you cant afford an extra dollar for your coffee or icecream..make it yourself or buy it at a store.

    $1 per drink at any bar, or 20 % of the tip, whichever is more. If you take care of your server, they will remember you.

  31. Annewhodidntlikeproflowers says:

    wow – wow wow wow. every bartender i know would be seething if they saw this. 10 – 15%? really? they’re running and ringing in usually just as much, and the culture of alcohol usually surrounds a lot of customer service from the bartender.

    those in the know tip bartenders a buck a drink. if you don’t believe me, try it and watch your service skyrocket.

    10-15% tippers in a bar are people who go to crowded night at the roxbury-type places.

  32. Meshuggina says:

    Why would I tip more at a fancy restaurant? Those waiters / waitresses are already making more in tips because the bill is so much higher.

    • Zulujines says:

      @Meshuggina: Yeah, that doesn’t really seem fair, does it? I try and keep that in mind when I visit cheaper restaurants/diners. I’m not going to tip $3.00 on a dinner bill just because it was only $15.

    • KyleOrton says:

      @Meshuggina: It’s not that I tip less at pricey places, but I habitually overtip at breakfast. Especially at my regular Sunday morning joint.

      All they do is serve breakfast and it’s hard for two people to get more than a $20 check.

  33. Anonymous says:

    The reason you should tip your massage therapist is that 1) he or she rarely receives anything even close to the cost of the service as pay (unless they are working for themselves)…The lion’s share always goes to the spa operator/owner (this is particularly true for franchises like Massage Envy), and 2) it’s not like the person just brought you a plate of nachos and is providing service to 10 other customers at the same time…a massage therapist is focusing his or her attention entirely on the client for the entire time of the service. If you can’t afford to tip your massage therapist (or esthetician, or nail tech) $5 – $10 for each *half-hour* of service that you receive, then you shouldn’t be receiving the service. (BTW, I’m a massage therapist and if I had to make a living at what I do…I couldn’t afford to stay in my profession.)

    • richcreamerybutter says:

      @BaxterPriapus: I didn’t see your post, but got my info above from my massage therapist friend. I salute you guys!

      Also, she says pregnant women are absolutely the best clients. They don’t mind tipping well since it’s a special time in their lives, and are willing to treat themselves properly.

  34. mbz32190 says:

    I don’t tip anyplace other than sit-down restaurants. I will never tip hotel housekeeping unless they do an extraordinary job (and most do not), and get paid a wage anyway. I get my haircut by the owner, so no tip there. Tipping at a valet? They can trash the hell out of my beater car if they want..it can’t really get much worse. No tip for you.

  35. redkamel says:

    I tip appropriate to the service given to me, not off some base percentage that varies per job…so 15% for a regualr job, a few bucks more for a good job, 20-25 if I like you. It only adds up to a a dollar or two each time since I dont eat out much. If I am really drunk I will tip more, especially to the taxi driver who put up with my friends. I tip more to show my appreciation than incur future favors. If I have a bad experience I leave a few bucks but never come back.

    I have heard the same about valets. Luckily my car isnt that awesome, so its not a big deal. Usually I tip 3-4 on the way out and in.

    I have heard if you have a really nice car, the best thing to do is actually tip the valet 10-20 bucks to let YOU park your car in the valet lot next time the valet drives out there, and then get a ride back, and do the reverse when you leave. Win for you, and win for them (2 tips for one trip). If I could afford a performance car, I’d care about it, and I’d pay to do that. If none of the valets played ball I’d be out of there. You can also chip some cars to have a valet mode and limit RPMs.

  36. adamsimon says:

    * Musician/Singer: $35-75 per person.
    I think I don’t understand this one. Is this the lounge singer at my club so I’m expected to tip $70? Is this the singer for my wedding where I’m expect to tip $35 per person for 200 people? Where does this apply?

    I don’t mind tipping. I just wish it was done up front so I knew I was getting my money’s worth in service. Tipping only seems to pay off for repeat customers.

  37. vitaminmax says:

    * Bartender: 10-15 percent of the bar bill.

    Fuck you consumerist.

    I work as a bartender in MI, where very few make an hourly wage. If I get 10% from everyone, I’m not making shit all night.
    Here is a better way. Dollar a drink until you get to $25. Then 15-20%

  38. Katrine says:

    I saw a new one today–there was a tip jar in the optician’s office when I went in today to pick up my son’s glasses. Should I be looking for one of the ubiquitious jars at the pediatrician’s office or the pharmacy next?

  39. forrester says:

    I’m an IT consultant, I am going to start carrying a tip jar around with me after all, I provide a service, why shouldn’t I be rewarded too?

  40. juri squared says:

    I’d like to add that it’s always good to tip more if you’ve got a difficult situation. For example, I have a one-year-old. She’s well-behaved, but naturally she leaves a little more of a mess than an adult. I generally clean up whatever misses her mouth and then leave a big tip. Today I actually left 25%, since they gave her free food too.

  41. rpm773 says:

    How about weddings? My wife had to get about $2400, in cash, for tips for our wedding. And it all had to be divvied up into envelops for each vendor.

  42. Shadowman615 says:

    Shouldn’t “really great massage” be in quotes for that kind of tip?

  43. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I consider myself to be a good tipper, but I draw the line at every pizza shop, ice cream joint, and takeout place having a tip jar. I work hard all day too, but nobody leaves tips on my desk.

    Maybe I should put a tip jar on my desk at work. Hmmmmm……

  44. BytheSea says:

    I don’t use a service if I can’t afford the tip. It’s part of hte cost, you don’t skimp.

    You tip a parking attendant? Like, in a parking garage, where you pay to park? It’s not my fault if he’s parked my car two floors away.

  45. shinseiromeo says:

    I hope someone can give me a good answer for this.

    Why tip hair stylists? I’m a male. When I got my hair cut, she usually buzzed my head and snipped ten hairs with her scissors. She does not get paid $2.50/hr like a waitress. It is her job to cut my hair, which took about ten minutes.

    I used to work in retail at Verizon Wireless. I was a salesman and have sometimes spent an hour with a customer teaching them things, selling, ringing out, transfering contacts, pictures… you get the point. I would spend more time and effort than a hair stylist would, but is it expected to tip me? Not at all.

    • cheera says:

      @shinseiromeo: I’m sorry your hairstylist only spends 10 minutes on you. If you’re opposed to the whole tipping thing, you should probably find a tip-free salon, in which case your haircut is going to cost quite a bit more. If you’re unwilling to pay more for that, you’re just that asshole that doesn’t tip…and we do remember you.

      And I’m not even going to touch upon you equating your retail job with my career. You couldn’t do my job with the 3 days of training you probably recieved at Verizon.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do you tip a hairstylist and not a retail worker? Because when you sell someone a phone you don’t have to touch their dirty head. End of story. Every hair cut and color = $25 in tips. It is more than worth it to tip your stylist well, she/he will give you more care and when you tip will you are more likely to get an appointment when you want. Also they are professionals not just some high school kid with 2 days of on the job training.

  46. Corporate-Shill says:

    Why should we be tipping?

    Before anybody jumps me, I do tip. Waitresses. And all of my hooker friends. And my barber. And the lawn guy. Shoe shine girl. Paper Woman. The girl delivering my Girl Scout Cookies. And anybody I pass in the street.

    But nobody tips me. Or my employees. Or the clerk at Walmart that just spent 20 minutes trying to find a product that was suppose to be on the shelf.

    Which brings me back to the original question. Why should we tipping at all?

    • floraposte says:

      @Corporate-Shill: Depends how you want to assess the situation. For waitstaff, custom and, in most (but not all) states, legal views on wages expect it. For cabs, hotel service, etc., because custom expects it. For baristas, opticians, etc., because they know people tip other professions and they want in.

      Finding logic in a social custom is always going to be a challenge; the custom of tipping servants goes back a long way (it was quite the burden for visiting guests in eighteenth century England), and it’s essentially an outgrowth of that–hence the tipping of service jobs and not owners or what would have been considered “professionals” such as your pharmacist or your librarian.

      I don’t see any particular reason to tip somebody just because s/he wants a tip or puts out a tip jar or argues that they’re performing hard work. I get that we all would like more money, but that’s between us and the people who pay us. But I also don’t see any particular reason to buck the custom in areas where it is historically customary and where salaries are limited as a consequence.

  47. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    20 percent if it is a really great massage.does that mean “happy ending”?

  48. The Raging Server says:

    The site in question makes two mistakes that I can see: Waiter/Waitress base pay in most restaurants across the country is $2.13, and their tips don’t add up to 9.90 an hour most of the time, especially with the economy the way it is. Most bartenders only make a dollar more than the servers.

    Next time an article like this comes out, one would think a little research would be involved.

  49. chrisjames says:

    My own thoughts:

    Musician/Singer: $35-75 per person.

    Huh? Shit no. Unless you mean if I own a business and get some cheap talent to promote the place. If it’s music for a wedding, sorry, they’re overcharging already.

    Massage Therapist: 10-20 percent of the total, 20 percent if it is a really great massage.

    Again, what? Maybe it’s just because I don’t get massages very often. I guess I’d tip if I liked the service, as a way of saying “I’ll probably schedule you again sometime,” but it seems so superfluous. I only tip my barber because my dad did it and the habit stuck in me (most of them don’t deserve it, and I’m very easy to please).

    Parking Attendant: $1-2, depending on how far they travel to get your car.

    Whew. I thought I was being cheap giving them ones. Now that I know that’s the norm, I’ll try quarters.

    Taxi Drivers:

    Maybe for you posh New Yorkers, but here in Atlanta, taxi drivers get no tip, and maybe no fare. Consider it hazard pay… given to the passenger. I could have sworn, though, that the standardized pricing stickers on the cabs actually say not to tip. I tip if they load or unload my bags, but it’s the same scale as van drivers, and only ever up to $3. Seriously, a dollar a bag is pushing it, but the act itself is deserving.

  50. GreatCaesarsGhost says:

    Here’s someone who deserves a tip : Grocery baggers.

    I worked a few months as a bagger at Kroger. Mad minimum wage, less union dues. I fill 20 bags, take them out and load them into someone’s car-never once did anyone offer me a nickel.

  51. vermontwriter says:

    I’ve always been told the easiest way to tip is to double the tax. Here the tax is 9%, so that makes it an 18% tip. But I have left less when I’ve had lousy service. After all

    T – to
    I – insure
    P – proper
    S – service

    The worst tip I ever left – there was no money at all. The waitress took 10 minutes to get our drinks and 40 minutes to get our food. I asked the manager to intervene thinking maybe she was just busy. When he found her, she was outside having a cigarette and had “lost track of time.” She was only responsible for three tables, so she wasn’t overworked at all.

    When our food did come out, she’d forgotten to put in my son’s order, so we had another 15 minute wait. While all this was going on, the table near us waited for their bill and finally left without paying. Her response to that was to add their meals to our bill and hope we didn’t notice. Of course we did and called the manager again. I made it clear that I was not leaving her a tip and that her lousy service was the reason why.


    • tongsy says:


      Tipping nothing just makes you look like a jerk. I prefer to leave a penny for bad service, and write a frowning face on the bill. Gets the message across, at least.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @tongsy: If tipping nothing makes you look like a jerk, how is tipping a penny any better?

        vermontwriter told them why the waitress wasn’t getting a tip. I don’t think you look like a jerk if you tell them why.

    • floraposte says:

      @vermontwriter: Oh, and “tips” has nothing to do with the “to insure proper service” acronym–that’s an urban legend.

      • Tabalt says:

        @floraposte: Uhm, the waitress tried to put someone else’s bill onto hers and provided horrible service.

        I don’t think she was being a jerk by not leaving a tip.

        • floraposte says:

          @Tabalt: Maybe you’re confusing my post with another? I was agreeing with the notion that leaving a penny doesn’t make you less of a jerk than leaving nothing, and advancing the idea that if the service is that bad, best to tell the management anyway. Which is what vermontwriter did. So s/he and I aren’t disagreeing, and near as I can tell, neither are you and I.

  52. emis says:

    That list seemed thin… who tips a van driver $1/bag? Usually I give the guy $5 if he handles a bag at all, same w/ taxis… mostly because the two generations before me were taxi drivers and I know what a shitty job it is.

    But in general tipping is like extortion…

    With food service it’s initially extortion for the server–they may be thinking “if I don’t do a good job, the customer will withhold the money that I rely on to make up my income” … but after you become a regular if you’re a BAD tipper it could become extortion for the customer–“if you don’t tip better I’ll ignore you the entire night and you will stare at that blob on your burger and wonder if it looks like spit”

    With car valet I always throw the guy a $4-5 before he takes the car in the thin hopes that maybe he won’t beat the shit out of it or park it next to the garbage truck in the lot. When I leave, esp if it’s the same guy I tipped earlier, I either give them nothing or $1-2… but this is maybe a handful of times per year, I’d change my rates if it was weekly or more frequent :)

    I usually leave $5/day every morning at a hotel… what’s funny to me if when I started traveling w/ my girlfriend she said “I usually tip at the end of the whole stay”… and I said… “ok, but if you’re there for 3-4 days then the maid staff will probably think there is no tip coming and treat your room like dirt, if they see the $5 today then they’re more likely to do a good job in the hopes of $5 tomorrow if they actually change the sheets” … she started tipping at the end of the day too…

    This all said I never tip for take out and it does bug me that their slips often have a “tip” line, though I understand that it’s just because they use the same mechanism for dine in and take out.

    I also tend to not tip at chain coffee places like starbucks where they have those little cards you put money on… it sucks for the servers at those places, but they at least are paid a full wage unlike restaurant employees… the only time I tip at those places is when they give me something free, a few times if the coffee took more then 30 seconds, I give em $2, or on election day this past year I got a free coffee so I gave them what it would have cost me

  53. YaleLentulus says:

    I kind of like my step-dad’s policy on tipping, and am thinking of adopting it. He NEVER gives a penny to any charity or any kind, but he tips at least 25% minimum. He says that’s his charity gift, and at least he’s giving it to someone who is willing to get off their ass and work a job. He can’t stand “lazy” people on welfare, etc. I put lazy in quotes because I at least understand some people just can’t work and it has nothing to do with laziness, but he doesn’t. Still, I kind of like his idea.

  54. Scatter says:

    I’m a computer tech for a large retailer. How much should I expect to be tipped when I fix a customer’s computer in a timely fashion?

    If I need to tip every Moe, Larry and Curley that pours me a cup of coffee then it’s only reasonable to assume that my services services aren’t any less deserving.

  55. Hobz says:

    My rule of thumb is $4.00. That’s it, that’s all I’m willing to tip. My train of thought is that if a waiter or waitress has 3 to 4 tables (bills for dining out for 4 being greater than $40.00 these days), that’s around $12.00 an hour on top of their regular wage. I realize that it’s hard work but so are a lot of jobs. If they feel they aren’t getting paid enough, take it up with the EMPLOYER of which I am not.

    For those of you that might say “But if it’s a slow night.” or “What if they only have 2 tables.” or “What if the customer stays longer.”

    Who’s problem is that? The restaurants?

  56. Anonymous says:

    you should also tip your tattoo artists, if you get body art. We don’t get 100% of what you paid for the tattoo. The owner generally gets anywhere from 40-70% of that money you paid, and then we have to buy our own supplies. So after you pay us for a $200 tattoo, we generally get about $40, after our cut, and supplies. And if we do no work that day, we don’t get any money that day. It is a service. You should tip.

    At restaurants, if I’m given good service, I give a good tip. I don’t follow that “you should give this much percentage” bull. I tip what I feel they deserve. If they did and extraordinarily good job, by being attentive, making sure our food is right, and not being over-attentive, I’ll generally give a good tip. I’ve left $20 tips for $30 meals. I won’t leave anything if I didn’t get good service.

    And fast food employees shouldn’t get a tip at all.

    • cheera says:

      @ConroyLachesis: Yep. You should treat your tattooist like you treat your hairstylists. I used to live with a tattoo artist and we realized that we basically had the same job.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ConroyLachesis: THANK YOU! I always make sure to treat people good when they remember to tip. If they don’t, I don’t go out of my way for them.

      Sitting hunched over tattooing someone for several hours (with a decent amount of people squirming around, complaining tattoos hurt (duh)), plus the fact that you could potentially be dealing with people who have communicable diseases (I personally am VERY picky about how sterile my work area/equipment is), paying the shop for your rental space, buying your own supplies and maintaining your own equipment…….. you hit the nail on the head.

      I love tattooing period, I’ve been drawing since i could hold a pencil, I’d do it for free if I didn’t have bills to pay… but that’s also a profession that should be tipped.

  57. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    ok, i just HAVE to share this as a former hotel concierge:


    at the top of that page are some of the things hotel guests gave me as tips at work.
    if you don’t want to click through, the top three that astounded me were a sweater vest, a sealed package of 6 ‘happy birthday, mom’ cards and a christmas ornament dated 2002 {in 2004}

  58. hardtoremember says:

    My wife and I tip well if we get good service and generally we do. If not great service we tip 15%. Usually we tip around 30% for great service and always make an effort to be polite customers.
    On the upside we get really really good service at the places we frequent and the pizza place always has our pizza to us ASAP. You don’t have to tip well when you go to a place but when you come back the server will remember you even if you aren’t in their area. The pizza place puts notes in their computer if you are a good tipper and if you are a bad tipper.
    It doesn’t ensure better service but it seems to work for us!

  59. wgrune says:

    My main problem with tipping is that in many places all the tips are split between the waitstaff. This neither rewards good service or punishes poor service. Pay a decent wage, remove the stigma of tipping and tip in cases of extremely good service. I’v had a waiter follow me out of a restaurant before for ONLY tipping 15% or his standard service. A yelling match ensued in front of said restaurant…couldn’t have been good for business.

    • hardtoremember says:

      If a waiter ever had the balls to yell at me for a tip I deemed appropriate for his/her service I would write letters and call every person I had to and be sure he/she was no longer employed there.

    • bdgbill says:

      @wgrune: i hate the tip sharing system too. It’s another example of how perverted the whole system has become.

      I didn’t realize how crazy the whole system was until I tried to explain it to my European girlfriend.

  60. Pigmann says:

    There was a glorious time in my life that I got a massage once a week and never tipped once. I don’t remember seeing a tip jar and it never crossed my mind.

  61. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    last month i took a friend to a seafood place and he ordered mussels – when he dumped them out of the bucket half of them were closed [if you know bivalves, this is NOT good, means they have been dead a long time]
    all he had to do was point to his plate for the waitress and she whisked it away, offered him other mussels or something else, then advised that the charge would be taken off when he declined [it was an appetizer and the entree was on the way]
    i was already planning to tip on the total bill amount as it would have been if the mussels were included but when the next table wanted to order mussels and she was up front with them about the mussels being a bad choice tonight, i added another few bucks.
    it certainly wasn’t a fine dining establishment – think sawdust on the floor – but in my opinion, excellent service deserves a reward

  62. bdgbill says:

    The whole idea of tipping in restaurants has got to be one of the weirdest things about western (or American/Canadian) society.

    The cost of your food includes the labor for cooking the food, the ingredients, the upkeep of the building, advertising etc.

    Oh, but the girl who carries your food 25 feet from the kitchen to your table? You have to pay her directly.

    Well, you should pay her. Tecnically you don’t have to pay her if she doesn’t do a good job but you better make sure it was her fault if you don’t want to have an argument in the parking lot.

    The worst part of this system is the horrible cloying behaivior of some waiters and waitresses who are angling for a big tip.

    • ObtuseGoose says:

      @bdgbill: “The worst part of this system is the horrible cloying behaivior of some waiters and waitresses who are angling for a big tip.”

      I agree. I’m sick of servers pushing expensive appetizers on me the second I sit down. Most of the time the appetizer costs as much as the entree.

      • bdgbill says:

        @ObtuseGoose: Right! Or having our conversation interupted every five minutes with “How’s everything tasting?” My favorite is the pictures of the kids on the back of the order pad.

        In Europe the waiters are snobby assholes but they are professional. They don’t bother you but are always available if you need them. If you tip them they will laugh at you and call you a stupid American behind your back because they are probably paid more than you are.

  63. petermv says:

    The one thing I have never understood is why is the tip amount based on the amount spent? It takes the same level of effort to deliver a burger or filet or deliver a bottle of wine or a bottle of water.

    I tip a set amount per person.

  64. Gweedle says:

    Oh man, all the people that are complaining about tipping, I hope you’re at LEAST playing the game and not taking your anger of the system out on the people that should be getting tipped. I make 2.50 an hour, I depend on those tips – I don’t even get a paycheck because I pay more in taxes than my hourly… Also, all the bartenders I work with make about 2.50 so I don’t know where yahoo is getting this 7.00 business.

    I can guarantee I am a better server when I’m waiting on someone I’ve had before and I know they tip well, and I will completely ignore you if you’ve tipped me shitty in the past (I’m talking less than 15% on good service).

    If you can’t afford to tip, or you simply don’t want to tip because you don’t think its fair (boo freaking hoo), then don’t go out to eat.

  65. oyvader says:

    My wife and I have a cleaner that comes in every other week to clean our apartment. We usually give hera Christmas bonus that’s the equivalent of one week’s pay, and gave her a raise about six months ago.

  66. suicide says:

    Bartenders make $7 an hour? On what planet?

    Most bartenders make around $4 an hour, and you don’t even really make that (at least not in my state). If you declare tips over that amount, it’s credited towards that minimum hourly wage. 90% of the bartenders I know walk with a paycheck that says VOID every two weeks.

    Dollar a drink people, please. Most bartenders would prefer you leave them alone if you’re going to tip less than that. If you tip 10% on a $100 tab you’re lucky if the bartender doesn’t throw it back in your face with an angry gesture.

    • humphrmi says:


      If you tip 10% on a $100 tab you’re lucky if the bartender doesn’t throw it back in your face with an angry gesture.

      At which point, I pick up the money he just threw in my face and leave. If he doesn’t want my money, fine, he can pay the tab.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I have a coffee shop. We’re the type of coffee shop that pulls beautiful shots of espresso by hand (not by button – lame) and steams milk to perfection. If you have been to my store more than twice and ordered the same drink, we remember what and how you like it. If you have a special request we’ll lovingly make it for you. I WISH that I could pay every employee $1000/hour. But I can’t because I sell $3.50 lattes. I expect my customers to tip my baristas because that is how the system in America is set-up. We didn’t form the system, we only abide by it. Retail and restaurant workers get abused by bad attitudes, cell phone talkers, gimme-gimmes, yups and other disrespects all day. Consumers make assumptions that service workers aren’t smart enough or good enough to do any other job. The retail/restaurants of America are the source of most American’s immeasurable pleasure of consuming. Yet you’re unwilling to treat people well and tip for their service? If you expect amazing treatment from our American service industry, then tip. If you think that it’s not worth it, cook at home and brew your own pot of coffee.

  68. RunawayJim says:

    I generally tip between 15 and 20% However, I do not buy this whole thing about the “new standard” being 20% because prices have gone up. Prices have gone up, means 15% is more than it was before the price increase. When minimum wage increases, so does the waitstaff minimum wage.

    I tip 20% for great service less for normal service and tip very poorly for poor service (like if I’m ignored).

    I don’t tip at fast food, counter service, or take out places. I tip $1 per drink at a bar, not a percentage of the cost of the drink (some of which are ridiculous). I don’t think waiters and waitresses are automatically entitled to their tip, whether it be 15% or 20%. They have to work for it. If they don’t work for it, they don’t deserve it.

  69. Pandrogas says:

    My biggest problem is when I get the tip line on the receipt right after I order something, but before anything has actually happened. This has only happened a few times, but I’m not going to tip anyone unless I think they deserve it. It is kind of the point after all.

  70. hindenpeter83 says:

    They should have listed “washroom attendants”, those guys who camp out in the washrooms at dance clubs in such away that there’s no choice but to let them turn on the water, pump the soap, hand you a towel, and give you the stink eye when they don’t get a tip.

  71. Anonymous says:

    I work at a small italian deli for years in a very small town. Pretty much everyone who walked through the door I knew and I especially took care of those who did tip me for the service. This really paid off for them during christmas time when the line was out the door…but in a little place like that tips go a long way.

  72. Chols says:

    Don’t forget about Maids. $2-$5 is what I usually tip, especially if staying multiple nights, which I do very often due to my job.

  73. pratzert says:

    They suggest 20% at “Fine” restaurants where the prices are jacked up even more ?

    I think the exact reverse…. 18-20% at a local joint and 15% at a fine restaurent.

    Although I could never undestand why “I” am expected to pay for the help, why doesn’t restaurant just pay their employees a reasonable wage to begin with ?

    I have a real problem tippng someone more than I make an hour. Geez…. at a “Fine” restaurant, a 20% tip could easily be $40 for a dinner for two. I don’t come anywhere close to making that even if you figure in my benefits.

    I REALY REALLY Hate these automatic additions to the bill. And it seems more places now are starting to add a surcharge to use a credit card too.

    I have had to cut back on eating out… so it is a snowball effect.

  74. J. Gov says:

    The economy hasn’t affected my tipping at all, but then I’m a government employee, so…great job security.

    15% – or more for the holidays – is pretty steep for a hairdresser, though, if you’re female. I just can’t agree with that.

  75. BarkingLeopard says:

    I tip according to the competence/eagerness/quality of th worker’s performance, the difficulty of the job, and my hopes that the worker will remember me. I add on extra for small stuff.

    There’s a sit-down Thai restaurant in town that has $3.45 lunch specials. That $3.45 gets me a water, a chicken leg, a bowl of soup, one of 10 entrees (eg, shrimp with noodles, rice on the side) and a fortune cookie. I leave at least $7 each time (yes, a tip of ~90%+ or so, after tax, every time), because that’s what they should be charging and because I know that the money is going straight to the couple who run the place.

    Housekeeping is the hardest job in the entire travel industry, IMHO. I generally leave at least $10 for 3-4 nights; those people deserve their tips far more than other people who perform less service, and I doubt that they get frequent tips.

    I generally don’t tip for taxi drivers, or might add on a buck or two (10% tops, average 5%). I feel like taxi rates are high enough that most drivers do okay. That was something I picked up from Argentina, where taxi drivers aren’t tipped and where waiters get whatever change you have in your pocket (literally; over 8%-10% is excessive there).

    Restaurants I aim for 20%ish, buffets half that, +/- 5%-7% and rounded up or down to the $ when I feel like it. OTOH, I was at a buffet yesterday that was SLOW and which had insanely good service. He got 20%. If the waiter lets my water glass stay empty for 8 minutes, odds are good they’ll get the lower end of the spectrum.

    For everyone else… I like to tip random people occasionally if they impress me or really going out of their way, or give them a gift somehow. You better believe I gave a nice note and an overpriced box of chocolates to Career Services once I accepted a job offer, as I was insanely impressed with that department.

  76. BarkingLeopard says:

    *SLOW as in customer:waiter ratio of 1:1

  77. samandiriel says:

    As a ten year veteran of waiting tables, I have to admit I hate the concept of tipping. Especially since it comes AFTER you provide service! I always tried to give topnotch service, but lots of wankers would tip zero of 5% for what was very good service. I would like to see waitstaff paid a decent wage, and tipping being totally optional and ideally only for really above average service. Employee base wages could be influenced by customer comment cards, or ‘virtual tips’ where custs are given tokens and leave the ‘tip’ in tokens to be used in figuring wage hike during the next employee review.

    Tyler Style

  78. savdavid says:

    Hmmm: Let us say 30 years ago you paid 10% on tips which was the standard at that time. On a $10.00 meal that would be a $1.00 tip. In 2008 that same meal cost $30.00 so their tip would go up to $3.00 with inflation. Yet, not only has the price of meals gone up but the percentage for tips has doubled. Instead of $3.00 they get $6.00. Why? Why should I now pay 20%? When will this stop…. when the tip EQUALS the cost of the meal so we are paying DOUBLE on each meal out?

  79. trujunglist says:

    I pretty much generally give my change to any fast food tip jars if I’m paying with cash, otherwise no tip. However, at my local Subway they do have a tip jar and I always give them my change or $1 (or get them back later) because they actually know me at this point. Occasionally I will have to gently remind them what I want but they’ve usually got it all handled. That kind of service essentially demands a tip, because they aren’t paid to memorize some bullshit workaday routines at minimum wage just for me, even if I am a regular customer. The amount of money they make is not enough for the amount of brainpower they’ve reserved for knowing that I’d rather have cookies instead of chips. That’s just good service, and that’s what I pay them for.

  80. Anonymously says:

    After spending a fortune tipping at my wedding/honeymoon, I never want to tip again. If that means not patronizing tip-greedy establishments, then so be it. I feel like I’ve been extorted for the past 2 weeks and just want to be done with it.