Do you consider yourself a good tipper? Most of us would like to think that we are, but it’s easy to get confused about who gets a tip and how much.
We consulted national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman for some advice.
Gottsman says, ‘Those in the service industry rely on tips as a good part of their income. It’s a respectful gesture to tip for good service.’
Read more: How often do you tip your Starbucks barista?
18% to 20% is an appropriate gratuity. For smaller food bills, consider setting a minimum tip amount of $4 to $5. If the gratuity is already included, don’t feel obligated to tip extra.
Food service attendant
You know those eateries where there aren’t servers, but there are people around to help if you need anything? Leave a couple bucks if they assist you.
Spare change won’t cut it. $1 to $2 per drink is acceptable to ensure you won’t be left waiting for your next round.
$2 to $5 when receiving your car.
$1 to $2 per bag is just fine. If you’re packing light, considering leaving the bellman $5 for his effort.
$3 to $5 per day or $1 per person staying in the room. Don’t wait until the end of your stay to leave a gratuity. Tip daily because housekeeping staff can change.
15% to 20% is standard.
Have you ever been caught off-guard by a person in the restroom providing fresh towels, hair spray, or gum? They’re working for tips and $1 or $2 is appropriate.
Show your stylist you appreciate your fresh cut by leaving a 15% to 20% tip. Give the shampoo person $2 or $3.
Spa service provider
If gratuities are allowed at your spa, leave manicurists, estheticians, and massage therapists 15% to 20% of your bill.
Mail carriers can’t accept cash, according to USPS regulations. Consider a gift card of $20 instead.
Consider a week’s pay as a tip, along with a small gift from your child.
Your child’s teacher
A small gift from your child, such as a handwritten note or a picture, is perfect. You might also consider pooling money together with other parents to get a small gift card.
$10 to $30 is appropriate, placed in an envelope.
Regular cleaning person
Be good to the person who scrubs your bathtub! Consider tipping the cost of one visit.
An appropriate tip is up to the full cost of a visit.
Personal caregiver for an elderly person
The people who care for your elderly loved ones deserve to be tipped well. A good tip is equal to anywhere from one week to one month of pay.
Consider tipping the cost of one session.
An appropriate tip is considered $20 to $100.
$20 to $50 per person is standard.
Keep in mind, this is the advice of only one or two experts. Consider sharing this list with the service industry professionals you know to see how they feel about tipping practices. In the meantime, keep those dollar bills handy for your next tip!
Want more money-saving advice for your wallet? See our Money section.