Have you ever wondered if you should tip a service worker or how much is an appropriate tip? You're not alone. Ask a group of ten friends what an appropriate tip would be for service and you'll likely get ten different answers.
Especially when traveling, there are many situations when tipping comes into question. It is most important to remember that while tipping is meant to be a sign of appreciation for a particular service, it should first and foremost be accompanied by respectful treatment.
– Tip if someone serves you personally.
– Tips go up according to circumstance, such as a delivery in bad weather, or if a customer sits for a long time at a table, preventing a server from seating another diner and getting a second tip.
– A tip may be warranted in what's normally a no-tip situation if a job is extra tough and done well, such as a snowplower who has carefully cleared a long, steep, curvy driveway.
– If you don't want a service, don't be afraid to say so: "Thanks, I'll get my own bag."
– If you do use a service, tip.
– It's OK not to tip if tips aren't a large part of a person's earnings; coming back is tip enough.
– Traditionally, business owners aren't tipped, but it's OK to offer a tip if they wait on you personally; they can refuse. Small gifts are an alternative.
– If you are unsure whether to tip, speak up; it's OK to ask what's customary.
As for how much to tip, I use the following industry guidelines in determining how much to tip:
Taxi drivers: 10 percent to 15 percent
Beauty professionals: 15 percent to 20 percent
Restaurant servers: 15 percent for good service, 20 percent for great service, 10 percent for poor service
Pizza deliverers: $2 a pie is generous
Concierge: $5 for special service
Valet: $2 when you pick up a car, more if extra services are requested
Room-service waiter: 15 percent of the bill
Bartender: 15 percent of the tab, no less than $1
Sommelier: 15 percent of the cost of a recommended bottle
Housekeeping: $2 to $5 per night. Leave the tip on the pillow, in a labeled envelope or at the front desk. It's important to indicate that the money left is a tip, as housekeepers are often trained not to accept anything not specifically indicated as a gratuity.
Hotel Bellman: $1 per bag, no less than $2
Spa technician: 15 to 20 percent
You don't have to tip in a free shuttle, but tip the driver $1 per bag if he or she helps you with your luggage.
Finally, always treat servers and staff with respect. A tip, even a generous tip, is never an excuse to disrespect someone or to treat them dismissively. Showing kindness to servers is just as important as adding a gratuity.