When going out for lunch with the girlfriends, all is usually made up of lots of chatter and laughter until the bill comes. At this point one or both of us take charge of the check and either picks it up, or we divide. I have noticed that some people deal with the tip easily and naturally, while others always want to have that “but what do we tip?” conversation. While I find the whole thing quite easy, there are situations (like taking a Taxi or after I’ve had a FABULOUS massage) that make me stop to think….What should I tip?
I’ve decided to tackle the whole tip thing head on to make it easy.
The minimum FEDERAL wage for servers is $2.13, and while some states have instituted their own minimums for workers who get tips, it’s still less than 30% of minimum wage. While 15 – 20% is still the standard, I tend to err on the higher side, making adjustments for the quality of service. Generally speaking – I’m a 20% tipper.
- Coatcheck – $1.00 per coat
- Restroom attendant – .50 to $1.00
In many cases they’re paying for their own gasoline, so I tip – 15%
How do you handle tipping on those 2 for 1 happy hour drinks or a quick glass of wine? $1.00 per drink IS the standard, although if the bars hopping and you want premium service….tip higher.
- Room Service – I tip 15%, since it’s a one stop call (although they do have to come ALL that way from the kitchen to your penthouse to deliver the food while it’s still HOT).
- Chambermaid – In this case it depends upon how MESSY you really are, and how much that fancy room cost you. For a budget hotel, $2 or $3 per day is fine. For a stay at the Ritz or Waldorf you should leave $5 0 $10 per day.
- Bellman – $1 – $2 per bag is customary. If I’ve loaded my bag with shoes, it’s worth the $2 not to have to lug it into the hotel.
- Valet – $5 BUT when the hotel CHARGES for valet parking…an extra dollar or two for the cute guy who just brought it around for you is fine.
- Doorman – $1 for hailing that cab for you, $2 per bag if he’s the one to help you when you pull up in that fancy limo (or taxi)
- Concierge – I base this one on how tough my request is. If he got me tickets to the hottest show on Broadway, and it’s been sold out for a year – $20+, if he handed you a map of the stars houses & sent you outside to wait for that double decker tour bus…NADA.
Shana’s may tell me I’m way off, but generally speaking it’s just like your dinner. 10% – 20% may be customary – but remember this person holds the scissors, squeezes you in for last minute appointments, and keeps you looking your best…so, ERR on the high side.
- Manicures, massages & facials – 10% – 20% depending upon the scope of the service
I add 15% to the total bill, but if I’m coming or going to the airport I add in extra for each suitcase he’s had to lift (20%). The same goes for the limo driver (who’ll expect 20% – because if you’re hiring a limo, you’re a big spender).
This is one that I used to struggle with, as hubby over-tips and I always under-tipped. These guys come out in snow, rain and awful weather to get you out of a jam. $10 is the least I can do to thank them.
I love when I get unexpected flowers, but I find myself rummaging through my wallet and babbling to the delivery person while I look for money. $5 seems about right here.
This is no different than your hairdresser, although he/she doesn’t have to listen to you drone on and on about that boyfriend/husband of yours. 15% will be fine.
I’ll try to tackle what to tip at the holidays in a future post. In the meantime, I hope this was helpful. If you think I’m WAY OFF, feel free to comment below with what YOU’D tip in these situations.