Last week, a friend and I decided to eat at a fancy sushi restaurant and we were blindsided by a tipping dilemma. The restaurant only offered valet parking and we did not know how much to tip the car valet. We both ended up pitching in $3.
We were uneasy about the situation. Had we under or over tipped him? Not knowing the proper tip or gratuity can be unsettling, so I came up with my own tipping etiquette list. See if you agree with my suggestions.
Restaurants and bars
- Valet – $1 to $3 after returning the car.
- Bartender – 15 to 20 percent or $1 per drink. If at the bar before a meal, settle up with the bartender before you go to your table.
- Waiter or Waitress – 15 to 20 percent of the bill. Some prefer not to include the tax when figuring out the tip, bringing down the tip amount. Depending on the service, I do the same.
- Maitre d’ – Nothing, unless s/he gets you a special table or goes out of her way to get you into a packed restaurant without a reservation. Then the maitre d’ should be tipped $5 to $10 or more.
Salons and barbers
- Hair Stylist or Color Specialist – 10 to 20 percent of the full cost of the service, even if you used a coupon or discount. Don’t tip less because you paid less.
- Shampoo or other assistants – $2 to $5 for each person. I like to hand the tip directly to the person providing the service to avoid confusion.
At the airport
- Porter or skycap – $2 per bag or more if the bags are heavy. If you are running late and they help you get to your flight on time, I would tip an extra $5 to $20. If you’re like Bargain Babe and don’t mind tipping more to buy comfort, go for it.
- Newspaper – Nothing except at Christmas time. I like giving my delivery person a gift card, usually to a coffee shop or $5 to $10 for waking up extra early to get me my paper.
- Pizza deliveries or other food deliveries – 15 percent, but not less than $2.
- Maid service at a hotel – $3 to $5 per day depending on the mess you leave behind in a hotel room.
- Home cleaning service – I agree with a lot of the readers that left a comment on Bobbi’s post on hiring a cleaning lady and her dilemma on whether to tip her or not. I wouldn’t give them a tip after each time they come into my home to clean, but I would give them a bonus as a reward during the holiday season.