Mastering the Art of Tipping: Etiquette’s to Ensure You Don’t Look Cheap

By Krystal Brown

Tipping is all about showing appreciation for a job well done, but let’s be real – it can get pretty confusing figuring out who to tip and how much to shell out. The rules change depending on where you are and what kind of service you’re getting. So, buckle up for a crash course in the wild world of tipping etiquette!

Restaurant Servers

Man tipping at restaurant
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Each time you go out to dine in a restaurant, a waiter gladly takes your order and serves your food promptly. These restaurant servers make sure you get the best dining experience with them. To show gratitude, you should tip them, and the standard would be 15-20% in most states. Most restaurants have consolidated/pooled tips, which means you also give a portion of that tip to other service crew members who work during that particular shift. 

If the tip is on you, you can give at least 15% for an intermediate dining experience and 20% if you are very satisfied with the service you received. Some restaurants incorporate the tip on the bill. You can always add a small amount if you want to.


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If you plan to hang out at your local pub or a high-end cocktail lounge, then you need to know that tipping is obligatory on your part in the same way as you tip restaurant servers. That means the same rule applies: 15% for an intermediate dining experience while 20% if the service exceeds your expectations. Of course, you can always give more if you want. However, if you don’t want to pay by the percentage of the bill then you can always give them $1 to $2 after every drink served.

Food Delivery Riders

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Who does not love to order some pizza? Most of you love to stay at home, and just wait for your food to arrive and be delivered to your doorstep; thanks to these hardworking food delivery riders! Most food delivery apps enable you to tip the food delivery rider right away and offer cashless tipping, but you can always hand them right away that little amount of gratuity. What more if it is snowing or raining outside? Imagine these food riders braved the harsh weather conditions just to deliver your meal. Just like the first two service crews, 10% to 15% of the bill is standard, but you can always give them $2 to $5 per delivery.

Coffee Shop Baristas

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Going to a drive-thru coffee shop? You can always add a tip to your barista for preparing your favorite drink. It could be between 10% to 20% of your bill, especially if you are a regular customer. The same goes if you are ordering in-store. Sometimes, you might notice a tip box beside the cashier. You can drop in a dollar or two in that tip box.

Taxi/Rideshare Drivers

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Thank your drivers for giving you a pleasant and safe ride by tipping them about 10% to 15% of the entire fare, or you may also add a little extra for giving you an extra hand in loading and unloading your luggage.

Hotel Staff

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Every hotel staff, be it the bellboy who carries your luggage to your room and brings it to the lobby upon check-out or housekeeping attendants who tidy up your hotel room and refill toiletries and complimentary bar items, will be happy to receive a $2 to $5 tip for helping you out. For the front or concierge desk officers, you can give them $5 to $20.

Massage/Spa Services

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After a relaxing massage or spa experience, it is customary to give a 15% to 20% tip to your massage therapist. Some spas have ready envelopes to hand out where you write the name of your therapist and insert the intended tip inside it. 

Hair or Nail Salon Services

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In hair or nail salons, the 15% to 20% tip is likewise customary. But when you get into a salon, another service crew washes your hair, then the hairdresser styles your hair, and sometimes, a different service crew blows your hair dry. You can split the intended tip amount among them. 

Valet Parking Attendants

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Not everyone would avail of valet parking, but if you do, it would be great to give the attendant a $2 to $5 tip for parking your car well and taking care of it. You can hand it to the parking attendant after turning over your car.

Pet Groomer 

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Most of you have fur babies, and you take them to the groomers once in a while to maintain their looks, trim their nails, groom their fur from mats and tangles, and give them a complete bath. Same as the standard tip, 15% to 20% is fair enough. 

What if your pet is difficult to handle, but the groomer did everything to make your pet feel comfortable and at ease? Well, you can always add at least 5% on top of the standard rate for going above and beyond.

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