A Brief Guide to Tipping

Knowing when and how much to tip for services rendered can be confusing. While leaving one is technically optional, a tip is a critical part of the wages that waitstaff, taxi drivers, barbers, delivery drivers, and other essential workers earn. In fact, many states allow workers to be paid far less than minimum wage if they also get tips.

Plan to tip the people who serve you in restaurants, hotels, bars, taxis (or rideshares), and beauty salons. And while your own financial situation should go into the decision of how much to tip, here are some general guidelines.

  • Restaurants: A tip of 15-20% indicates you’re pleased with the service. Leave more for a truly five-star experience. If the service was bad, consider talking to a manager before you simply skip the tip. Note that many restaurants will automatically include a gratuity for a large group, so find out if the tip has already been added to your bill before you pay.
  • Hotels: If you get help bringing your bags to your room or hailing a taxi, be prepared with $2 per bag hauled or $5 per taxi hailed. If the bags are heavy or the doorman has to stand in the rain for you, tip more. Leave
    $3-5 each day for housekeeping.
  • Bars/Clubs: Tip the bartender $1-2 per drink, or 10-15% on a bar bill. For coat check at the club, $2-3 per coat is good (even if there’s a charge for the service).
  • Salons: Tipping your hairdresser or nail technician 15-20% is a great idea.
  • Taxis/Rideshares: Tipping about 15% for taxis or rideshares is fairly standard, though if the driver helps you with heavy bags consider tipping more.
  • Delivery: For food deliveries, tips of 10-15% are a good idea (more if the weather is terrible). For package deliveries, however, no tip is expected.

Keep in mind that tipping etiquette varies considerably in other countries, so before you travel be sure to read about the local tipping customs.