I think we can all agree the etiquette of tipping is very confusing. Who do I tip? When do I tip? Do I just tip for good service or is it important to also tip for bad service? When traveling we do struggle with the when and how much. If someone performs a service for you, we feel it’s okay to tip. Most people working in the service area do not get paid very much and depend on those tips to supplement their wages.
Restaurant Tipping Etiquette
The general rule for a restaurant is to tip 15% – 20% of the total of your bill for a sit down meal if the service is good. Keep in mind this is for the service and not for the food. Was your service provider attentive and friendly without being overbearing? Did they go out of their way for you? Did I have to sit and wait for my drink to be refilled or for the sauce I asked for? We take all of that into consideration when tipping. If the service is not good then 10%. That lets my waitress know they need to improve. It’s very rare that we have a bad experience with a restaurant. Gary seems to always bring out the best in our service person. We have eaten at a sit-down restaurant that was not very expensive and even tipping 20% would only be a couple dollars. If your waitress works just as hard as a watress in a more expensive restraurant , leave more. 15% – 20% is just a guideline. Rush Limbaugh says if the service was great and he just has a $100 in his pocket, then that’s what he tips.
Don’t forget to tip your bartender. $1 a drink is appropriate unless they spent the night listening and giving you advice. then you might want to tip a little extra.
What does tipping etiquette say about Tips jars? For me tip Jars are tricky. Places like the coffee shop are hard to decide how and when to tip. One girl takes my order and another may make my drink. My understanding is that what ever goes in the jar gets split by everyone that works that shift. If I tip here its usually just a dollar or the change from my order. If they bring my drink and are cleaning up after me I gladly tip more generously.
We usually carry our own bags to the room. Some places have a policy that bags have to be delivered to your room. It’s so nice. The bellhop bringing your bags might also be a good source for information on the area. Feel free to ask your questions. Plan on tipping $2 per bag, It will be money well spent if you are also getting info about the area.
The Doorman has different responsibilities and usually doesn’t need a tip unless they summon a taxi for you or accept a package delivery for you. In these instances, a dollar or two tip is a nice way to thank them. Some may even perform some concierge services. If so, tip as you would a concierge.
The Concierge works for the hotel you are staying at and is there to assist you by making arrangements for tours, restaurant reservations, acquiring tickets to the theater and more. They should be the expert on the area and the one you need to see for any questions that pertain to the area and events. Tipping for making reservations or for acquiring tickets should be $5. Tipping for directions and recommendations is not necessary.
Tipping for Housekeeping at hotels is a polite gesture. After all, they are cleaning up after you. Make sure to tip every day so that your tip is going to the correct person. Leave a note letting the cleaning staff know that the money is for them and not just money lying around. $1 – $2 per person a day is a good amount. If it is a more expensive hotel, then leave $3 -$5 per person each day.
Valet Parking – With all the movies showing the nightmare of valet parking it’s hard to hand the keys over. You should be tipping $2 -$5, I would lean towards $5, we are talking about my car after all.
Uber Driver ~ Whether your driver made you laugh, turned away when you and that special someone sneak a kiss or charged your phone. You may feel like thanking them with more than just stars. Base your tipping on how many stars you tip. If you leave 5 stars then tip $5.
Please feel free to comment and let us know of any tipping opportunities while traveling that we may have missed. We’d like to add them to the list.
Gary & Michelle
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