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Tipping (aka Gratuities)

August 11, 2014

A tip is supposed to be a reward for services performed, as well as a supplement to an employee’s income. The word tip comes from the mid-eighteenth-century innkeepers’ sign TO INSURE PROMPTNESS. Patrons deposited a few coins on the table before ordering a meal or drinks and were served faster.

The average tip is 15 to 20 percent of the total bill before taxes. A slightly larger tip may be in order if the food and service were outstanding. Some restaurants include a 15 to 20 percent service charge in the European manner, especially if the party is six or more.

The following guide to tips is an average that I am sharing with you all so that fun of dining out or any other situation that requires a tip does not get hampered in the end by trying to figure out how much you are supposed to leave behind.

UPSCALE RESTAURANT

CAPTAIN/HEAD SERVER/MAITRE D’

$10 for special services

SOMMELIER (WINE STEWARD)

15 percent of the cost of the wine

MIDRANGE RESTAURANT/DELI

LUNCH COUNTER

10 TO 15 percent of the bill

BUFFET MEAL

10 percent for the person who serves your table

VARIOUS SERVICES

FOOD DELIVERIES

10 percent or less of the bill.

PIZZA DELIVERY

$2 for an order totalling $20. A tip for a larger order may be between $3 and $5, depending on the size of the order.

GROCERY STORE DELIVERY

$2 for a small delivery of one or two regular-size bags; $5 for three or more bags.

BELLHOP OR SKYCAP

$2 per bag. For a heavy bag, tip $3. For several bags, tip $5.

COATROOM ATTENDANT

$2 for each coat; increase the tip if you leave a briefcase, a laptop, an umbrella, or a package.

GARRAGE ATTENDANT

$3 when your car is brought to the front of the restaurant or hotel; $5 if the attendant helps with doors, packages and so on.

HOUSEKEEPER IN A HOTEL

Tip $2 for each night if you request an extra service. Ask for the name of the housekeeper and place your tip in an envelope addressed to him or her with a personal thank-you note. You may hand the housekeeper the envelope, or leave it at the front desk at checkout.

Note: Housekeeper (not maid) is now the preferred term for a person who cleans rooms.

NEWSPAPER DELIVERIES

$20 to $25 once a year at Christmas is appropriate.

TAXI

Meter systems, 15 percent; for long rides, 15 to 20 percent. (Avoid Philadelphia cab drivers if possible, they have no customer service skills).

BEAUTY SALON/DAY SPA OR BARBERSHOP

SHAMPOO PERSON

$1 to $5, depending on assistance relating to services such as perm and color.

STYLIST

15 to 20 percent.

HAIRCUT AT A BARBERSHOP

15 to 20 percent of the bill.

MAKEUP ARTIST/AESTHETICIAN

15 to 20 percent of the bill.

NAIL TECHNICIAN

15 to 20 percent of the bill.

MASSAGE THERAPIST

15 to 20 percent of the bill.

Note: If the beauty salon/spa or barbershop owner provides one of the above services to you, he or she should be tipped. The old rule that one doesn’t tip the owner is obsolete. Be mindful that customers should tip for services performed.

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