Tipping can be daunting. While most of us know that it’s appropriate to tip our server at a restaurant, it’s not always clear whether to tip the hotel concierge or dog groomer.
If you leave a tip, how large should it be? Is 20 percent an across-the-board solution? Will your tip leave you looking like Donald Trump or Ebenezer Scrooge?
This list from Bankrate and the Associated Press should help you answer these questions as well as give you specific gratuity guidelines.
Thomas Farley, a manners expert for WhatMannersMost.com, says be prepared for a variety of tips at hotels. If the hotel is a five-star property, the service expectations are greater and the tip should be, too.
— Hotel porter toting your bags: $2 to $3 per bag.
— Room service without gratuity included: 20 percent.
— Toiletry/towel delivery: $2.
— Doorman if he hails your cab: $2 to $5.
— Concierge: $5 to $15, depending on task difficulty.
— Housekeeping: $2 to $5 per day.
A restaurant gratuity depends on how well you are served, including whether your order is correct, Hoffman said. Don’t base your tip on the food’s taste; servers have no control over it.
— Restaurant wait staff: 13 percent to 20 percent of the bill.
— Takeout: Nothing is necessary, but if you receive some service, like a waiter packaging your food, then tip $1 to $2 or up to 10 percent. For sushi, tip 10 percent for its preparation, etiquette coach Constance Hoffman said.
— Fast-food counter tip jars: Nothing required; your decision.
Wait staff while abroad
In some countries, such as France and Japan, tipping isn’t expected, but service charges may be automatically added to your bill. In France, eateries and bars include a 15 percent service fee. In Spain and Italy, it’s expected that customers leave about 5 percent extra in smaller eateries and 10 percent in more upmarket venues. A service charge is also usually included in Moscow. If the check doesn’t include the charge, add 10 percent.
Sometimes restaurants, bars, and other leisure establishments will include a suggested tip on the bill, but there’s no need to feel locked in to paying the suggested gratuity. “If it says ‘suggested tip’ and it’s not included in the total, you are absolutely free not to pay it,’’ said Arabella Bowen, executive editorial director at Fodor’s, a division of Random House.
When you’re on a trip, how much you tip can be a quandary. Here, Patricia Rossi, a business etiquette expert at PatriciaRossi.com, sorts it out.
— Cruise employees: Tipping policies vary between cruise lines, “but each one tells you when you board what is appropriate,’’ Rossi said.
— Airport curbside check-in: $1 to $2 per bag.
— Taxis: 15 percent of the fare.
— Airport shuttle bus drivers: $2 to $3.
— Limousine drivers: 10 percent to 20 percent of the bill
With all that happens at events like weddings, giving gratuities might get overlooked. Farley offered these recommendations.
— Wait staff: 15 percent to 20 percent of the catering bill.
— Bartender: 10 percent of liquor bill.
— Coat room attendants: $1 per guest, paid by the host.
— Disc jockey: $50 to $100.
— Presiding official: Not required but not more than $100.
— Altar boys: $10 to $15.
— Wedding planner: $50 to $100. If it’s for the planning firm’s owner, don’t tip.
Americans ordering beverages in nightclubs and bars tend to tip at least $1 a drink. Outside the United States, it’s often not expected. That includes bars in Europe, except in certain circumstances. In Ireland, for example, tipping is not expected at the bar. If you get table service, however, or have a round of drinks, it’s customary to tip a euro for the whole round.
Salons and spas
Many workers in the beauty business get paid a commission only or minimum wage plus a small percentage of the fee. Remember them with these gratuities suggested by etiquette coach Constance Hoffman.
— Massage therapist: 10 to 15 percent of the charge
— Hairstylist: 10 to 20 percent
— Manicure or facial: 15 percent
— Barber: $2 to $3
— Pet groomer: 15 to 20 percent
In the United States, tip tour guides between $3 and $5 for a tour that lasts about an hour. Tip as much as 3 euros in Europe. On a long-distance, multi-day tour in Europe, tip the driver about 2 euros at the end of the trip.