Tips guide: how much to tip in each situation


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Tipping can be stressful and often involves complicated mental calculations. To make matters worse, there are also no clear rules on who to tip, when to tip, and how much to tip. Proper tipping etiquette is constantly changing and evolving, and it can seem impossible to always stay on top of what to do.

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To help you navigate any tipping situation, GOBankingRates has put together a gratuity guide along with tips from expert etiquette to help you feel confident the next time you need to tip.

Who you should tip and how much you should leave

Follow this guide to tip confidently and appropriately every time.

Restaurant waiters

The appropriate tip percentage for restaurant servers has changed dramatically over the past decade. While it was once appropriate to tip your waiter 10-15%, today that amount is largely unacceptable. To account for inflation and the many setbacks the hospitality industry has faced during COVID-19, the recommended tip percentage for servers is 18% to 20%.

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delivery employees

There are several types of delivery employees and different tipping practices should be considered depending on the type of delivery.

“Your package delivery drivers, such as UPS, FedEx, and Amazon drivers, are discouraged from accepting tips the first time they’re offered, so be sure to offer twice!” said Jodi RR Smith, label consultant at Black-smith. “Many of these drivers have regular trips and may be tipped at the end of the year. If they deliver to your home often, leaving out snacks or drinks is a welcome nicety as their timed routes leave a few moments for a break. If they delivered something heavy, the weather was terrible, or your house is not easily accessible, tipping is appreciated. Tips can range from $10 to $200, depending.

Food delivery people rely primarily on tips to earn a living wage, so be sure to tip your delivery driver appropriately the next time you order food. Experts recommend tipping these employees 10-15%.

Salon employees

Show your appreciation to your hairdresser by leaving a 15-20% tip. If you’ve established a long-standing personal relationship with your hairstylist and want to do more to support their business, feel free to leave a larger tip.

Not only does tipping your stylist support a small business, but tipping the hair salon generously gives you a better chance of getting a neater cut or dye job, get priority appointment times and to be seen as a courteous customer.


A simple rule to remember when determining how much to tip your bartender is $2 per cocktail or $1 per beer or glass of wine. Show consideration for your bartender’s time by tipping more for drinks that take longer.

Taxi drivers

Experts recommend tipping 15% to 20% for taxis, Uber, or any ride-sharing driver. While this is the ideal tip percentage to leave, if you are unable to reach this amount, show your gratitude whenever possible.

“These types of services become extremely expensive and in some situations we are not able to tip as we would have liked,” said Maryanne Parker, etiquette expert and founder of Manor of Manners, a San Diego-based etiquette consulting firm. “In this case, we can round the bill from $22.50 to $24.00, for example, while still showing a little appreciation.”

Hotel housekeeping

Many people overlook tipping in this sector of the service industry. Since many of these workers depend on tips to supplement their income, be sure to recognize the people who clean and disinfect your room during your hotel stay. Etiquette experts recommend tipping housekeepers $3 to $5 a day. If you are traveling with young children or pets, consider leaving a few extra dollars.

pet care providers

Pet care providers can include dog walkers, pet sitters, groomers, trainers, and veterinarians. While tipping someone providing services to your pet is not expected, it is a great way to show appreciation to those workers who typically earn very little compared to time and wages. effort devoted to animal care.

If you want to show your pet care providers your appreciation for a job well done, experts recommend tipping 10-15%.

Valet drivers

When using a valet, experts have a few key recommendations for getting the best service and making sure your tip goes to the person moving your car.

“You should always tip in advance,” Parker said. “The reason is that with this gesture, we can catch people’s attention right away. Also, the person who parks your car at the beginning may not be the same person who will bring our car to the end. Wish they cared as much about our car at the beginning as they did at the end. It also shows that we really respect their services. If parking is $20, tip $5 at the end.

Coffee Baristas

When tipping baristas, experts recommend tipping around $1 per drink if you’re ordering espresso or pour-over drinks. When ordering coffee as a batch, no tip is expected, but rounding up to the nearest dollar is a nice gesture.

Ultimately, tipping is about acknowledging and showing appreciation for great service. Be sure to tip baristas who take the time to create intricate latte art or take the time to strike up a friendly conversation with you.

Always tip based on service

“We should always consider tipping based on good service,” Parker said. “Tipping based on social pressure, peer pressure and guilt may not be the best or most appropriate option, because when we start tipping ‘just because’, service will gradually begin to deteriorate.”

If you’re unhappy with the service you’ve received, don’t tip “just because”. Instead, raise your concerns with the company so they can improve their offerings for future customers. Stick to tipping when you are satisfied with the service and want to show your appreciation to the hard-working employees.

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About the Author

Maddie Duley is a content intern for ConsumerTrack and writes about finance for GOBankingRates. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communication and design from the University of California, Davis.


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