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Home / Tips and Tricks / Do you tip over or undercut? How much tip you should really give at the bar, spa and more

Do you tip over or undercut? How much tip you should really give at the bar, spa and more



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It's hard to know exactly how much to tip. Let us guide you.


Angela Lang / CNET

Love it or hate it, tipping is one thing – especially in American culture. If you do it wrong, you could embarrass yourself – or worse, insult the person you want to acknowledge. Even if you don't think it is your responsibility to subsidize the income of every bartender, restaurant server, or coffee shop barista you cross with, US employers actually only need to pay US $ 2.13 to employees Pay per hour as long as the tips bring their average wages up to the federal minimum of $ 7.25. This means that tips make up the majority of the income of many US employees, especially in the service industry. However, it is not always obvious what a good or bad tip is or whether it is appropriate to tip at all.

Should you tip each time you drink or pay your cash bill the end of the night? Is it okay to leave a small tip for terrible service? What about valets? Should you really give them a five each time they get your car (and are you the scum of the earth if you don't)? Are you an idiot if you carry your own bags into your hotel room so you don't have to tip the porters?

Some states set higher minimum wages for tip workers than US $ 2.13 – such as Arizona, where tipped workers earn at least $ 9 an hour, or Hawaii, where base pay starts at $ 9.35 , Opinions are divided as to whether this means you can get away with a small tip (take a look at the comments section on this page ). In addition, tip practices vary by country or region. Going abroad can be even more confusing.

The best rule of thumb is to consider tips for the full price of your meal, drink, or hotel stay when planning your budget. With that in mind, here's an overview of tip standards in the U.S., including when and who to tip, according to US News & World Report, WhoToTip.net, and ArtOfManliness.com.

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You should consider the cost of the tip before you go out to eat, especially in gourmet restaurants, where the bill can get quite high.


Kent German / CNET

How much is tip in restaurants and bars?

The good news is that a five-star restaurant doesn't expect the same amount of tip as if you order at the counter. But tips are acceptable, appreciated, and even expected for someone to serve and clean up when you're done. The same applies to delivery and implementation.

  • Coffee Shop Baristas : USD 1 or so per drink, more for complicated orders (e.g. fat-free soy bar with light foam and light foam and an extra shot) or less for simple orders (hot water and a tea bag) ).
  • Bartender: USD 1 to 2 per drink (more for mixed drinks, less for drafts) or 20% if you have a tab.
  • Dining in restaurant servers: 20% or more for excellent service.
  • Buffet-Server: 10% to 15%, depending on how many plates, forks and refills you go through.
  • Fast-casual counter service: Up to $ 1 for accepting your order, $ 2 to $ 5 for the bus or delivery of your meal.
  • Restaurant handling service: 10%, more for large or complicated orders (eg as a baby shower or office party)
  • Driver for the delivery of food: 10% or up to 20% or more for dangerous ones Road conditions or special circumstances such as public holidays and Big Gam Die Nacht .
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It is common for housekeepers to leave between $ 2 and $ 5 a day, especially if you are leaving a lot for them to do.


Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

Tips for hotels, taxis, parking attendants

Another good rule of thumb is to tip everyone who does something that you can do just as well for yourself, e.g. B. Clean your hotel room or carry your luggage.

With the exception of room service, most of the tips you give in a hotel are less based on the bill than the workload (how many bags you have to carry, etc.) or the big favor. The person does this for you (e.g. B. Reservations in a fully booked restaurant or a taxi during rush hour). In some cases, refusing a porter's help can be considered rude just because you don't want to part with a few dollars.

  • Hotel porter: At least $ 2 or $ 1 to $ 2 per bag. depending on how heavy or heavy your luggage is.
  • Hotel Concierges: $ 5 to $ 10, depending on how many threads they had to pull for you.
  • Hotel room service: 15%. [19659015] Hotel cleaning: $ 2 to $ 5 a day, more if you leave a big mess.
  • Lifeguards: $ 1 to $ 2 more if you use expensive cologne or other hygiene products.
  • Parking attendant: USD 2 for each key exchange, more for luxury cars.
  • Taxi or passenger: 10% to 15%, more if they get you there on time, if you are late.
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You wouldn't trust everyone who cares about your fur family, so don't forget to tip your dog walker or pet sitter too.


Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

Hairdressers, moving companies, babysitters, car washes

These are some other services that you should include in the total cost when receiving tips, for example:

  • Spas: 10% to 20%, depending on the duration and intensity of the service (you can ask when checking out to make sure the employee gets all the tips).
  • Hairdressers: 10% to 20%, depending on the complexity of the cut or style.
  • Guide: 15% to 20% or $ 1 to $ 5 per person in your group, depending on how long your program lasts and how competent or accommodating your guide is.
  • Moving Company: $ 4 to $ 8 an hour depending on the difficulty of your move (e.g. additional stairs or exceptionally heavy items).
  • Dog walkers and pet sitters: 10% to 20%, depending on the weather conditions (for walkers) length of stay (for babysitters) and special needs of your pet (e.g. medication).
  • Car washes: $ 3 for a basic wash, 10% for a full detail.
  • Furniture / equipment delivery: $ 5 per person, more if they stay nearby and help you with the reorganization or installation help.
  • Babysitter: Round up at least until the next hour, if not add an entire bonus hour to the total.
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cash is king when it comes to tipping, but it is better to charge or to tip than to cut the recipient.


James Martin / CNET

Other things to keep in mind when tipping

  • Cash is preferable to credit, but giving a credit card tip is better than shorting cash.
  • It is rude to leave a deliberately small tip, like a handful of bills after a meal worth $ 50.
  • If you have exceptionally poor service, speak to the manager. In extreme cases it may be advisable not to leave a tip.
  • The probability that a server will spit into your food is relatively low. We therefore do not recommend tipping only to avoid retaliation. It is better to tip to recognize the work or service performed.

Originally published last year.
Correction, January 24:
Clarifies the US minimum wage system regarding tips.


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