Tipping Anxiety

Hi everybody. Sorry I’ve been away for so long. But I have a question for all of YOU. What tipping situations cause you the most anxiety? Do you ever run into situations where you’re unsure a tip would be appropriate or not? And if a tip is called are you often in the dark as to what that tip should be? Don’t know what to tip the sushi guy? The buffet waiter? The taxi cab guy or the bellman? Does your concern cause you to overtip? Undertip? Not tip at all? What about tipping makes you anxious, angry or annoyed?

Should be an interesting conversation. I look forward to your comments. Thanks

292 thoughts on “Tipping Anxiety”

  1. O.C. says:

    When I take the shuttle between off site parking and the airport, I tip the driver a dollar if he or she helps me with my bag. But occasionally a driver won’t do that, and will just stay in the driver’s seat. I’m always unsure whether to tip them or not, because it seems like the tipping is associated with bag handling, as you would tip a porter at the airport. Usually I don’t tip them then, but I also feel guilty and try to avoid eye contact.

  2. Jeff says:

    Poor service events… especially when it’s not necessarily the waitresses fault.

    For example: Waikiki Cheesecake Factory, last week. When you get to your table there is a cloth napkin covering a small plate for you to use with your bread or appetizer.

    When I pulled the napkin off I found the remains of someones salad on the plate. Strike 1.
    Brought it to the attention of the waitress (who I don’t think was actually responsible for putting it on the table) and she swiftly removed both items.

    Then she forgot to replace them until we were well within the appetizer. Strike 2 (and clearly her fault).

    The server (who is not the waitress) brought me the wrong food, sort of – I ordered the Jamaican Black Pepper Shrimp and was brought the Jamaican Black Pepper Shrimp & Chicken instead. Probably not the waitresses fault – it was correct on the charge slip (fortunately they were both the same price). Strike 3.

    The waitress offered to take it back, but my wife already had her food as well and I was developing a nice little headache due to the high noise environment (music, lots of talking, no sound baffling) of the restaurant. Compensation of any sort was not mentioned.

    Poor girl spent the rest of the night looking worried every time she looked at our table, probably wondering what else was going to go wrong.

    She got 10%… and I’m usually a 20% tipper.

  3. Anon says:

    At a new, “high-end” sort of salon. They usually will have a few people taking care of you, including washing your hair. Never sure when to tip, how much etc. So now I just go to one person who does it all 🙂

  4. PK says:

    Hotel maids; airport shuttle drivers; the hotel guy who raises his arm to hail the taxi all of ten feet (in Vegas expecially); furniture and applicance delivery people; movers.

    I tend to tip maids $2-3 a day, and the shuttle driver a buck a bag. A buck to the taxi dude. Nothing to furniture and applicance delivery because I don’t know if they can accept it. Movers general $20 a dude.

  5. Carrie says:

    What about the guy who manages a Hostel — not the owner who is also running around meeting/greeting doing stuff, but the guy who’s only compensation is a free room in exchange for cleaning, laundry, etc. I mean obviously he would *welcome* a tip, but is it expected, and if so, how much? Per night? Per stay?

  6. M. Nightingale says:

    I experience the most tipping anxiety when the service is poor, especially places I’m a regular at. I usually tip 20% at those places, but when the service is asbysmal, will it skuttle an otherwise decent reputation to leave 10% or less? Will the server make the connection or just assume I’m a jerk?

  7. Ricky says:

    Just the other day I was at a pizza parlor, Shakey’s. This is the type of place where you order your food at the counter, you fill your own drinks, find your own place to sit. When you sit down at your table, some one approaches and asks how many plates you need. Not only that, he approaches you towards the end of your meal and asks if you need to-go boxes, clears some plates, and, when you’re gone, he busses your table.

    Do I tip that person?

    I didn’t, but I’m still thinking about it.

  8. Steve says:

    Generally clueless about tipping outside of typical restaurant situations. Hotel concierge, maid, limo/taxi drivers, baggage handlers, or entertainers in restaurants (such as a magician going table-to-table, or a clown that entertains the kids). I generally start with a wild guess as to what’s appropriate, then adjust up or down depending on the person’s attitude, extra effort, etc.

  9. Ex-waitress says:

    Counter people at places with little or no table service. When there’s a line on the receipt for a tip, I think tipping is expected, but there really isn’t anything to tip for, so it makes me anxious.

    Also, my mother and grandmother always refused to tip hairdressers, so it took me years to figure out that tipping them is normal, and I’m never sure what to actually leave. Which is why this book will be helpful!

  10. Cindy says:

    What about when you buy a bottle of wine at dinner? I had heard you don’t tip on alcohol but my daughter did a stint as a waitress and she says you always tip on alcohol! So confusing.

  11. Carmen says:

    I get the most anxious when:

    a.) I’m with a bad tipper.
    b.) When I don’t know the percentage to tip. I mean, I know the whole 10-15-20% thing with a standard sit-down restaurant, but most other situations baffle me.
    c.) When the website says “Our student masseuses are not permitted to accept tips,” but someone who goes there says “Oh, yeah, you should tip – I always do.”

  12. Jas says:

    I basically am tipping confused everywhere except restaurants, bars, and my hair salon. My feeling is, if tips are expected, a sign should be posted somewhere to the effect of “Tips are appreciated”. I don’t care if I’m just “supposed to know”. Places where you are supposed to tip are getting more prevalent, and no one seems to know what’s right and wrong. It also tends to vary by region, I’ve noticed, as to whether you tip in certain situations. It’s too frustrating. I’m not psychic.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I was directly asked for a tip by a curbside baggage handler at an airport. It was very early in the morning, and I had just checked my one, lightweight bag (not realizing that this airline charges $5 extra for curbside dropoff), and the employee said, “I’m the handler, so you can take care of me if you want.” I was honestly confused and when I realized what he asked, I was taken aback and found it very rude.

  14. Christy says:

    The owner of the salon where I get my hair cut, cuts my hair. I’d heard somewhere that you don’t have to tip in cases like that, so I never did. A while back she made a reference to someone’s tip, so I started tipping her, but now I’m never sure if it’s necessary. I should just ask her, I guess.

  15. Matt says:

    I absolutely hate going to any establishment where there’s a bathroom attendant for just this reason. I refuse to tip someone who actually makes my experience worse. Of course there’s a face-to-face interaction involved with a tip basket or jar nearby, which turns up the social pressure to tip. I wouldn’t mind tipping if I actually used one of the extras offered that wasn’t in a typical bathroom (e.g. dental floss). However, standing in front of the dispensers to put soap in my hand or to hand me a paper towel is just annoying!

  16. Zopilote says:

    I hate tipping because I either over tip or
    under tip. I usually tip 20% or more for
    good restaurant service but I would rather
    have 20% added to the food bill and have
    the owner of the restaurant pay the servers
    a decent wage.

  17. paul says:

    For me, it’s always when I pick up food to go, and I use my debit card, and there’s a ‘tip’ section on the slip. I used to put a dollar, but then I heard from one of the places that they don’t take tips from credit or debit cards (so what happens to my $1?). So I’ve stopped doing that, and now I just draw a squiggly line through that area, and then write the total on the bottom and sign it.

    I used to be a waiter, so I tend to really appreciate folks that put time and effort into making my food. Especially when it’s places I go often, and want to build up a good rapport.

  18. courtney says:

    The mongolian bbq. It is between a buffet, but not a full sit down meal. Never sure which rules apply.

  19. Christy says:

    Just two days ago my friend and I were in a quandary about whether to tip the Marriott shuttle driver who brought us back to the office after attending a sales lunch and tour at the hotel with sales staff. We hadn’t planned on using the shuttle so I wasn’t prepared with any cash on hand (I NEVER carry cash). We probably should have given him something, but does it count when you’re at the hotel to be courted by the sales folks?

  20. Ashley says:

    The maintenance men at my apartments!

    They’re great – always helpful, prompt, through and they always seem to be in a good mood and joke around. However, I don’t really keep extra cash around for things like that. Anytime I do it usually gets put into something else. I plan on giving them a tip at the holiday season (there are only three so that won’t be a problem), but I don’t know how much.

    Should I tip them every time they come to make a repair? If so how much? And how much should be given for a holiday bonus?

    If I’m not supposed to tip them when they come to fix something during the day, should I tip them if they have to come during the night for an emergency?

    It’s confusing because I’m basically casual friends with two of the three now and I don’t know how tipping (or not tipping) effects them. Also, how do I know if it’s something they’re even allowed to take? The apartments may not even allow it. I’d hate to ask, find out they can accept tips and then decide not to tip them anyways!

    I’d love to find out about this – it’s been bugging me since they came to fix the drain I clogged a couple of days ago!


  21. A Random Claire says:

    I’d love to know how I’m supposed to tip in many situations – eg valet parking? I’ve never used it because I don’t know when or how much to tip. At a bar? Do I tip for each drink at the bar? How much? What if someone offers to run a tab?

    I only moved to the US a few years ago, from a country where tipping isn’t customary, and while I think I’m OK with tipping at my hair stylist (I asked the girl at the counter there how to do it) and my favorite diner (I often tip 30%+ there because it’s only an extra $ or 2).

  22. Monica says:

    I always feel like I need to leave a tip when I pick up food at a restaurant, because I want to give a small thanks to the cooks for their service, but I’ve been told that’s not necessary. Are you supposed to tip if you’re picking something up, like pizza or even Chinese food? This sounds like a dumb question to me, but there you have it. That’s my major tipping question.

  23. Killfile says:

    I hate tip-jars.

    I know this isn’t terribly new; in fact I think you made mention of it in your book, but I hate them.

    I hate that they’re there, a silent reminder that the coffee barista expects a few extra bucks for her trouble. I find myself wondering – “do these people depend on tips? Do they make the same absurdly low wage that waiters make or are they fairly compensated?”

    This is made all the worse at Cold Stone Creamery where, if you’ve never had the displeasure, the employees actually have to **SING** if you tip them.

    Yes, sing. The whole line. All at once. It’s horrific.

    And of course since they’ve got a tip jar, this creates an even more socially awkward moment. I hate change and usually, if there’s a change tray I’ll toss my coins into it and yes, that includes tip jars. So when I toss my 15 cents in change into the Cold Stone tip jar…. the employees sing.

    Now I’ve just given them money – not a lot of money, admittedly – but money and at least in theory they’re being paid a fair wage to begin with so it’s not like there’s some reasonable expectation there for a tip at all… yet there they are singing for my 15 cents and I kinda feel like a jerk for giving them the tip.

    So color me both anxious and confused on that one.

  24. simon says:

    The chinese buffet waiter who brings a drink and clears plates every now and then.

  25. Andrew Ferguson says:

    The situation that causes me the most stress regarding tipping is trying to settle a group bill; Specifically, when the group’s large enough that they won’t split it, but not so large that the gratuity is included.

    I find that people either fail at basic math or have more conservative ideas about what a ‘good’ tip is. I always feel like the pressure is on me to make up the shortfall, because I don’t want to embarrass my friends by saying “You sure you put in enough money? That seems a little low”. I also don’t want the server to get screwed over because of this.

    No matter what I do in this situation, I get really stressed out over it.

  26. Whit says:

    I always get anxious at hair salons. When I get a really expensive haircut, I feel like the stylist must be making a lot of money and I hate that I have to pay a significant amount to make it looks like a good tip (ie. my last hair cut was $70 and I felt like I needed to tip at least $15, pushing me way over my already splurged on haircut) but when I get a cheaper hair cut, I feel like my usual 20% is a pittance, and it seems like the stylists at the cheaper places make less money so I want to tip them more. (ie. last time I went to a chain salon my cut was about $15 so do I tip $2? It seems like I should tip at least $5, but is 33% too much?)

  27. Mike says:

    Not sure if anyone mentioned this but when people come to my house ie. plumber, service people etc. I know they get paid but what if its an emergency call and a guy comes out to fix heater at 10 pm that is under a service contract. I dont pay for the repair but should i tip him?

  28. Scott says:

    Cabs, dog sitter, lawn guys…

  29. Mike says:

    Sorry one more. Having just been through a wedding, tipping was probably the most stressful part. There are so many distinctions ie. tip photographer but not if its his own business. A little clarity there would be great.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I’m confused by buffets, where the only service being performed is the clearing of the dishes. I get my own food, beverage, eating utensils and napkins. Should I be tipping?

    Actually, I try to avoid buffets because it’s so easy to overestimate and thereby, overeat.

  31. Jones says:

    I think the hardest in my day-to-day is the pizza guy. Tips, after all, are partly reward for service, partly wage embellishment for people making way below minimum wage. But I’ve heard that delivery drivers make a decent wage, comparable to low-end retail. So, it follows that they may not require the base 20% given other food service. Never quite sure.

    In regards to bad restaurant service, it has to be maliciously, unforgivably bad for me to go below 20%. Usually if I get mediocre service, I tip 40%. Sends a much more powerful message, I’ve found. Especially for repeat visits.

    Punishing a flustered waitron for things that were mostly not their fault is just plain mean.

  32. klparrot says:

    Anytime I have to pay in advance. I don’t like leaving a tip until I’ve experienced the service, but I don’t want the staff thinking I’m not tipping just because I haven’t tipped up front.

  33. Zeph says:

    There are 2 situations which give me anxiety. I don’t usually tip for take-out but i’m not sure if i should. If I go pick up Chinese food and they have a tip cup and I don’t throw in a buck, I feel cheap. At the same time, why would i tip them? Am I not paying for my food?

    Also in relation to takeout, if I go to a pizzaria-esk Italian place and get takeout and pay with a Card, there is a line for gratuity. If I was paying cash I wouldn’t feel obligated to tip, but for some reason when it’s right there being suggested to me I don’t know what to do? Do i leave the field blank? Put in a big fat 0? What?

  34. Michael says:

    It seems that you may be missing a big area of tipping (and could give you an excuse for a nice vacation). Cruise ships.

    Cruise ship tipping is the ABSOLUTE WORST, and it is expected EVERYWHERE. You are told, in writing no less, who expects a tip. This includes:
    Your table head waiter AND assistant Head Waiter, as well as the Maitre D’ who we never actually saw, but expected a tip none the less.
    The person who cleans your room (or multiple people who do it), and THEIR BOSS.
    You are charged a gratuity on all the drinks brought to you, but there is also a additional area to add to the tip if you desire.

    The cruise lines are obnoxious about this. they give you envelopes to tip in, and generally give you “guidelines” before your cruise ends.

    My wife and I estimated that we were suppose to tip out more than $200 even though generally our rooms were never unkempt, and we chose the more informal dining options and were hardly ever at our assigned table during dinner. To be told what and who to tip really pissed us off.

    We gave good tips to a couple of people who we really thought deserved the tips, and then generally felt bad about not tipping the others as we know that the cruise line intentionally underpays these poor eastern european employees by telling them how much money they will make in tips.

    However we are starting our lives together and are not made out of money. $200 was quite a hit to us. I think we actually tipped $40.

  35. altheasus says:

    Tattoo parlors. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any guide about how much to tip tattoo and piercing artists, so I usually do around 10%.

  36. Jeremy Stein says:

    I used to be anxious about tipping when I wouldn’t have the correct change. If I was paying for a $10 service with a $20, I would feel awkward about having to then ask for change for the tip. I’ve since learned to say “I’ll take $8 back.”

  37. James says:

    Do you tip a tattoo artist?

  38. David Justice says:

    My biggest tipping problem is with Carry out orders. I never know how the tipping works with it. Sometimes I leave a small tip with it if its brought to me, but I’m not consistent either way.

  39. Molly says:

    You might find the Ask Metafilter archives on tipping especially helpful: http://ask.metafilter.com/tags/tipping

    It has a bunch of questions people have asked about when to tip and lots of good responses.

  40. Christa says:

    My husband and I ran into a situation with a coat check girl at a 5 star restaurant. We don’t frequent these kinds of places and had no idea what to do.

    And on our honeymoon we had an all inclusive package. All the alcohol, food, and activities in Belize we wanted for one price. But we were unsure if we should tip at the resort restaurant or our drivers.

  41. V says:

    Just reading the comments gives me anxiety. I rarely stayed in hotels growing up (still don’t). So I never know who is supposed to be getting tipped. If you spend more than one night in a hotel are you supposed to leave a tip? I read in a magazine that if you ask a concierge for directions or restaurant recommendation you should tip them $5. That seems crazy to me, since I’d give that information out for free. Am I supposed to tip on the $1.50 hot tea at Starbucks? What if I don’t want to tip on take out food? Or tip the mailman? Or the garbage company? I don’t get tips for doing the job I do every day. So, on top of feeling like I maybe should be tipping or not tipping enough, I’m not sure who I should be tipping. It’s uncomfortable enough to not go anywhere at all!

  42. Jones says:

    I have an issue with Pizza as well, though not with the delivery guys.

    I’ll typically pick up the pizza myself, since it’s on the way home. When I pay for the pizza at the counter using my debit card, the option comes up on the terminal for a tip. Most of the time I click ‘no’ since I don’t think they’ve done anything to deserve a tip, but I still feel extremely awkward by being forced in to that situation.

    I don’t tip when I pick up fast food at a burger joint, so why do pizza places force you to choose if you pick up your pizza yourself? I’ll always tip the delivery guy, sure, but the dude behind the counter? I don’t think so.

    What are your thoughts?

  43. Christine says:

    I’ve been a bartender/waitress for almost four years now. Now that I’ve finished school, I work as a part-time cocktail waitress, and when it comes to tipping in restaurants and bars, I tip about 15-20% depending on the quality of service. If I know the person serving me, I tend to overtip because I know what it’s like to serve, and at the same time, I hope they will return the favour next time I serve them. I’m proud to say that I’ve taught my parents and my boyfriend how to tip appropriately when we’re out to dinner. However, I still have trouble figuring out what to tip my hairstylist, my manicurist and pedicurist, or the sushi guy. In my mind, I think 15% is appropriate, but at the same time, I think what they do is different than what a server or bartender does. So, I don’t know if I’m tipping them appropriately or not.

  44. Leah says:

    Tipping NYC taxi drivers is totally anxiety-provoking and I know all the rules (15%, don’t tip on bridge tolls). The problem is trying to do the math quickly so I don’t hold them up, and I usually over-tip to compensate and am never positive I did it correctly. The one time I screwed up my math I caught it, asked if I had tipped enough and he dismissed me, so it wasn’t even that big of a deal.

    Tipping in salons makes me anxious because something about handing over a tip by hand seems tacky to me, like I’m looking down on the person, even though I know it’s appreciated. I leave my stylist’s tip in a little envelope they provide, which I know isn’t as personal but makes me less embarrassed, and for a long time I didn’t tip the hair washer at all.

    I’ve never tipped my landlord at Christmas because I find it anxiety-provoking (how much? how do I get it to them?). I want to start, but might make my live-in boyfriend do the hand-off for me.

    Other times I avoid services to avoid tipping, such as curbside service at the airport.

  45. Kai says:

    I believe tipping is worthwhile when the quality of service matters greatly to your experience. Otherwise, once in a while for abnormally great service.
    When I read a restaurant menu, I assume that hings cost 25% more than the price shows, and I like that the waitresses do need to work for their money. Service is notoriously poorer in countries where servers are paid more and not tipped, because it makes no difference to them whether your water is refilled. I tend 15-20%, and round up or down by service. I don’t mind paying this in the least.

    I am irritated by the fact that everyone thinks they deserve a tip these days. A coffee shop? Where you order coffee at the counter, and then leave? The coffee-maker doesn’t deserve a tip for giving me what I asked for – /that’s her job/! Now, if you’re a regular, and they have your drink waiting, or if you hang around the shop a long time working on your laptop, or they otherwise do something particularly nice, sure, a tip can once in a while be good.
    But these days EVERYONE has a tip jar, and seems to believe it’s an obligation.

  46. canoeist23 says:

    It hasn’t been mentioned in the comments yet, but poker tournements. When you win it’s often considered courteous to tip the dealers a percent of your winnings. I’ve won a couple of local tournaments and usually leave 5 or 10 dollars for each dealer, depending on the amount of the buy-in. I should mention that I am not a dealer.

  47. Lara says:

    I agree with the salon commenters…I can never figure all that stuff out. The hairdresser that cuts my hair owns the business, but there are other stylists that work there, too. Do you still tip the owner? My (14 y.o.) daughter and I frequently go together and I can never figure out how much to tip her stylist vs. my stylist (mine is more expensive,) plus how much to tip the shampoo person or the chair massage person or the eyebrow waxing person, etc. etc.

  48. Eric says:

    Order at the counter restaurants where someone brings you your food. Usually the credit card receipt just has the tip/total fields, and I typically don’t tip, but I do worry about it.

  49. Beth Parkin says:

    My husband and I went for a meal where we paid by card. I asked the waitress how we could leave a tip as there was no option on the card machine. She asked us to give her cash as the company didn’t pass tips from cards onto the staff. We were appalled by this as we didn’t have enough cash to leave a decent tip.

    I think the law is being changed in England so this is no longer legal. Now my husband and I always ask and keep £10 in pockets if we’re going out for food.

  50. Chris says:

    Street performers, and Musicians at restaurants. If I didn’t ask for the entertainment or enjoy it, it’s not hard for me to pass on without leaving a tip. But if I stood around and watched, it seems appropriate. How much should they be tipped?

    What about authors of popular blogs? How much should we tip them?

  51. Sigivald says:

    Dim Sum. How’s that work?

    I’m *pretty sure* I never see the Chinese customers tip, but…

  52. Vivian says:

    My friend does facials. She offered to do mine for free. Do I tip her for that? I dunno.

  53. Jane says:

    Complete agree with the salon comments. I do tip the owner when they’re the one doing my hair. On a slightly related note, I always feel anxious tipping my waxer – mostly because they were very up close and personal. Probably not the same anxiety that Waiter was looking for…but it’s anxiety for me!

  54. south says:

    The servers at fast food places. Namely Sonic. If you don’t have one nearby it’s one of those old fashioned places where you stay in your car and they bring the food to you. They always seem to expect a tip and sometimes just keep the coins when giving change. I don’t tip at any other fast food restaurants and I won’t tip them for carrying my food a few extra steps.

  55. James says:

    I can never figure out what is a good or appropriate tip for movers and furniture delivery people. Some of my friends say just give them a drink, and others say anywhere from $5-$20.

  56. Laura says:

    I think the hardest part for me is that I’m an ex-waitress. I spent 16 years on my feet fake smiling & fetching lemons etc. It is hard for me to under tip no matter how terrible the experience. I suppose it is a matter of karma for me, you never know when you’ll end up being a waitress again so it’s best to keep that tip karma flowing.

    As a waiter (or former at this point I guess), do you find it difficult to under tip someone even if they sucked (and it was obviously their fault)?

  57. Paul says:

    Takeout at places like CPK or Cheesecake factory or Outback. If they are doing curbside service where you don’t even have to get out of the car it seems like 10% should be about right. But what about when you go up to the counter to get the stuff? I am always bummed out when I tip 10% and then get home and they gave me the wrong food! I want my tip back!

  58. tde says:

    Although I have managed to reduce/eliminate my tipping anxiety in many of the situations raised by previous commenters…that’s only in the US. In cultures in which tipping is not “expected,” I get the wiggins. For example, I’m conditioned to not only tip at restaurants, but also tip in cash. On multiple occasions, I have had service staff hand tips back to me…some have acquiesced when I persist, but others have vehemently refused. Waiter — I would love to see you (do more work by) eventually address the global tipping nuances.

  59. Kara says:

    Why would you not tip on the alcohol portion of your dinner? Your server still has to take that order and bring you the drink and make sure it’s correct and so forth. That makes no sense to me.

    In general I don’t get anxious about tipping. I’ve traveled a lot in my life and I’m pretty comfortable with pretty much any scenario. My philosophy in general is when in doubt, tip 10% – more if the service was really good.

    When traveling with luggage, the rule of thumb is $2 base or $1 a bag, whichever is higher.

    What I get anxious about (if anxious is the word) are places that are no longer allowing you to add tips to credit card payments. My salon & spa is now requiring cash for tips – they will not pay out on a charged tip. Same for some restaurants here locally. I’m sure it’s because they don’t want to pay the merchant fee on an amount that they then have to pay in full to the server or service provider. But it’s really stressful for me because I NEVER carry cash. So I have to make a special effort to get cash before I go to the salon or spa (and to get change) and I have started avoiding restaurants where they won’t let me add the tip to the charge because I never know how much cash I need to carry.

  60. Adrienne says:

    I totally agree with Andrew (#25) – group meals are the worst! I love it when the tip is included, but I’m a generous tipper and often round up from there, particularly because most people only have 20s (If the bill including gratuity is $288 it’s easier to leave $300, for example), but a lot of my friends are more conservative. I feel like I’m always leaving more than everyone else, but unless the service is terrible, I’d rather support a hard working service person. I never know when to speak up or just fork over the extra $10 by saying “no, I don’t need any change.” ESPECIALLY when someone else says, “oh, there’s extra? I think I paid too much…” ARGH.

  61. Kara says:

    In general I don’t get anxious about tipping. I’ve traveled a lot in my life and I’m pretty comfortable with pretty much any scenario. My philosophy in general is when in doubt, tip 10% – more if the service was really good.

    Just to clarify this: In a non-restaurant situation, my default is 10%. At restaurants, I always tip 20% (unless service was bad). Part of that is sympathy for most servers and part of that is being lazy because 20% is easy to calculate for the math challenged among us! 🙂

  62. Linda says:

    Don’t know what to do about massage therapists. When my doctor prescribed getting them for stress I went to a private person and asked her about tipping. She said some people do, some don’t, not to worry about it because I was coming every week and my insurance was being billed. When my sister went to a medical therapy clinic with a prescription from her doctor, she couldn’t even get an appointment after her first visit and found out later it was because the massage therapist was frosted because my sister hadn’t left a tip…at a MEDICAL clinic! I checked an on-line forum for answers and a massage therapist at a medical clinic posted that she would be offended if offered a tip because she considers herself a medical professional. Even the providers in the industry don’t agree on what is correct, so it makes it very difficult for a client to know what is expected.

  63. Rob says:

    I get my hair cut by a friend of mine. She’s the sister of my best man in my wedding. I always tip 20%, sometimes a little more. I don’t know if that’s excessive or not enough. She’s always very gracious about it, and probably doesn’t care as much about the tip, since we’re friends, but I don’t know if my tip is excessive, which could be seen as showing off, or not enough, or what. I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of a friend for a service that she could get a tip on from someone else.

  64. Rob says:

    Just this last weekend I went to a nice golf course. I’m used to playing municipals courses with no amenities. So I was somewhat confused as whom and how much to tip. The guy who prepped my cart? The guy who took my bag and clubs away and cleaned them?

    I saw money changing hands for the foursome in front of us but I didn’t know an amount. I felt cheap when I went with the standard $5.

  65. Stephan says:

    Sort of a weird one for me, more like non-tipping anxiety.
    I was grocery shopping a couple of weeks ago and the lady who was bagging my things insisted on taking the cart out to the car for me. First of all, I felt all wrong about it because here’s this little old lady pushing a cart for a guy half her age, but she insisted it was her job. So we get to the car and I try to tip her a couple of bucks and she wouldn’t take it. I tried to force the issue, but she said they were forbidden from accepting tips and it could cost her her job. That really pissed me off, at the store, not the lady obviously. Who the hell does Publix think they are to basically forbid me from tipping someone??? And I’m pretty sure they don’t pay their baggers such an exhorbitant amount that a tip would be out of order. The whole thing just struck me as stupid.

  66. Ashley says:

    As a waitress I have a hard time under tipping for bad service too. You just never know the type of day someone is having. They could be a great server having a bad day.

  67. mizike says:

    1) When I am picking up an order for take out. If it’s a place I go all the time I generally tip a buck or two but it doesn’t really seem like a situation where I should be tipping.

    2) When a place adds a delivery charge to the order. Presumably some of this is going to the delivery guy, but you never know. This one hurts a bit as after you tack on the delivery charge, tax, and a tip you’ve probably added 30-40% to the price of your order.

    3) Coffee shops. Again, if I go regularly I at least leave something but that 30 seconds it took you to make my espresso doesn’t really seem tip-worthy.

    4) Restaurants which are intentionally understaffed so the owner can cut down on salary and the servers can make more in a night (by running their asses off and working an insane number of tables). On one hand the servers are working like crazy, on the other it takes forver to get any service. I usually tip 20% but at places like this I lower it to between 10 and 15%.

  68. Liz says:

    The maid service. I know WHEN (usually the last service visit before Christmas) but I’m not sure how much (I’ve been going with an amount equal to an extra service visit) and does it matter if I include it in the check I write for the service, or should it be in cash?

  69. Suzie says:

    The two tipping situations I’m always confused on are:

    1. The hair salon, I normally give 20% but then I’m not sure if I should give more because I get my hair cut less often than I should.

    2. When I get comped food/drinks, do I tip more because technically I would have spent it anyways? I normally tip 20% at restaurants and 1.50 or 2 per drink for non-comped stuff, should I be tipping $4/drink for free drinks?

  70. J says:

    Newspaper delivery guy. We live in an apartment building, so I literally never see this guy. Every year at Christmas we get a card from him stuffed into the paper, with his name and address (I presume) on a mailing label on the envelope. I assume that I’m supposed to put a tip/card in the envelope and mail it to him, but I never know how much or in what form (I’m supposed to put cash in the mail?), and because the paper arrives early in the morning and not always to our apartment door, I can’t just catch him and give him the tip in person. So I end up not doing anything. Terrible, I know.

  71. maddy says:

    The pool guy, our pet sitter, the mail man, the landscapers, the garbage collectors – people who perform a regular service. Obviously I don’t tip every time, but at the holidays it’s nice to tell them they are appreciated. But how much?

  72. Nathan says:

    I never understood why some jobs were considered tipping jobs and others weren’t. Yes waiters are providing a service but so is the guy servicing your A/C why not tip him? I’m not saying I don’t tip or I don’t think you should tip I’m just asking about origins.

  73. Martina says:

    1st: tipping in other countries when every tourist guide says something different about who to and how much to tip 😉

    2nd: here in Germany you never tip the owner of the business (restaurant, hair-dressers etc), so being unsure who the owner is, if the waiter/hairdresser might be the owner … I don’t know how this works in other countries …

  74. aimee says:

    Definitely hair salons, or in cases where you are paying with a gift card. I recently went to a new salon and got a guy whom I really liked, and I was paying with a gift card. The total came to $45– a really good deal. I left a decent tip– $11, but I gave it to him in a ten, a five, and a one, with the one on top. I think he took one look at it and thought I only gave him $3! He walked away without a word, and even though I gave a solid tip, I felt like a total jackass. I just hope he realized that I didn’t just stiff him.

  75. Sara says:

    Have never been clear on the salon situation where someone washes your hair, but it’s not the person you are having your cut/color with. For 18 years I have gone to one hairdresser who also washes, but once or twice she has had someone else wash my hair so she could finish up on another customer. I did not tip the washer, but I was unclear whether that was bad form.

    Also, I’ve read that you don’t tip the salon owner. Is that true?

  76. Don says:

    In Great Britain: Tips left in bars and restaurants must not be counted towards workers’ wages, the Government has ruled.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1217115/Using-diners-tips-restaurant-bar-workers-pay-minimum-wage-banned.html#ixzz0ScXOxEUi

  77. Sara says:


    Furniture delivery – Is this is a tipping situation? I don’t see why, frankly, but if it is expected, how much?

    Movers – I’ve always tipped about $20 per guy, but others have told me they tip as much as $50 a guy. What’s the norm?

  78. Karina says:

    The situation that makes me the most stressed when it comes to tiping is when the people from the place tell me that the tip is not included and they just stare at me waiting for the tip. It puts me on the spot and it makes me nervous.

  79. thirtyeyes says:

    I don’t like to tip bathroom attendants.

    I will tip buffet servers who bring drinks, but I’m not sure about buffet’s where you get your own drinks.

    I generally drop change but not paper at counters like Starbucks etc.

    I have no idea how much to tip the lady at Supercuts, so I usually do $3 and the hair cut is usually $15+.

    Strippers. The San Diego strippers make a circuit of the whole room and expect a dollar even if you weren’t paying attention. It’s like a tax of sorts and it makes San Diego the worst town for exotic dancers in my opinion. I think you should only be forced to tip if you are sitting at the rail.

    I like restaurants that autograt everyone. There’s a local restaurant that actually says any tips above the autograt will be donated to X charity.

  80. Sara says:

    Comped drinks at a place we go to regularly. Usually if we are there eating and/or having a few glasses, one round will be comped. We always tip really well anyway – 25-30% at the bar, so do we leave more still? Or is the reason they comped us because we tip well already?

    Also, someone above mentioned tipping their landlord…why on earth?! Is this common in some part of the world?

  81. heather says:

    Hairdressers, for sure. Do I hand money directly to them after they cut my hair? Can I just include it in the total when I’m paying? What if someone else is at the cash register? What if I really didn’t like my haircut? Will they get that I tipped poorly because I was feeling too awkward to just explain that I wasn’t thrilled?

    Anxiety galore.

    Same with any other situation outside of a regular meal at a restaurant I know: how on earth am I supposed to know who expects a tip and who doesn’t? And what happens when I’m told they deserve one but I disagree??

  82. maggie says:

    I live in an apartment building right outside of DC with three concierges. They take in deliveries for residents throughout the day, let in pizza guys, take our dry cleaning, etc. I’m not sure how to tip them because I never know who does what. For example, I recently had a desk delivered and whichever concierge was on duty during the day let the delivery guy into my apartment so I didn’t have to leave work. Should I tip each of them an equal amount around the holidays? Should I find out who does what and tip accordingly everytime they do some kind of service?

  83. Rabrab says:

    When we moved, I tipped the moving crew $40.00 apiece, because we had lots of books and they had to take everything about 90 feet across the lawn from the door to the truck (couldn’t pull the truck any closer), and they couldn’t use the handcarts because the lawn was soggy from rain. At the other end, the trip from truck to door was about 20 feet, there was sidewalk, and I tipped $20.00 each for the same stuff.

    But for me, it’s the people I don’t really deal with very often: the parking valet, the doorman, the bellhop.

  84. jim says:

    When service is poor –
    Like in a restaurant is getting slammed and I get poor service because the place is under staffed. Do I say it’s not the waiter staffs fault and still tip or do I go with my gut and say I got lousy service for whatever reason so no tip.

  85. AEN says:

    Never know what/whether to tip maids in hotels. Especially if traveling for work.

  86. Kunoichi says:

    Cab drivers. I’ve only ridden in a cab maybe twice, and once was in Japan (where tipping is always a no-no).

    Not anxiety, but there are a number of places that seem to be tipping situations, from what I’ve read, in NYC or other wealthy cities that never would be elsewhere. Movers, for example (although it’s polite to give them drinks and maybe cookies). And as far as mailmen, I’m pretty sure that’s just illegal.

    Also, having been a (real) barista, I learned a number of interesting things. So now I’ve learned to just ask, but only after I’ve built a bit of rapport. For example, there’s a cafe I like where the owner pays everyone a flat tip rate, regardless of what goes in the jar, but it’s based on the average of the jar. So it’s good to tip sometimes there, but it’s not imperative, and I wouldn’t have known without asking.

    I tip pizza guys the same no matter what place they work for, because every place works differently. Some pay on a “commission”, some pay gas, some pay a wage, some provide the cars, etc etc.

  87. Chuck says:

    1. When paying by credit card at a fast food / deli / coffee shop type place, and the receipt has a spot for the tip. The tip jar doesn’t bother me, but I’m not going to write in a 15% tip on a $1.75 cup of coffee or a pre-made sandwich that I got out of the refrigerated case. It makes me feel like a right bastard every time, though.

    2. Home cleaning service / maid service, particularly for a service that sends 2-3 people and/or sends different people every week. When I used Merry Maids, I would leave the tip on my table for the crew that came while I was at work; unfortunately, because I was forced to tip in advance, I frequently tipped well for crappy service. Additionally, I couldn’t leave a rotten tip the next week, because it was almost always a different crew who didn’t deserve to be penalized because the previous week’s crew sucked. I ended up canceling the service, largely because of the inconsistent service and the impossibility of proper tipping.

  88. bikerchick says:

    Dog groomers. Dog bathers. Both? I know it’s hella hard work and they generally make peanuts, but I’m never quite sure on this one. Then again, when I used to tip $15 to my former groomer I got pretty good service, so I’m guessing that was enough.

  89. Rei Newman says:

    The most anxiety I get about tipping is when service is ok but I see other people around me getting much better service from the same waiter/waitress. This usually happens when I am out at a restaurant with my mother. I’ve had so many experiences when a waitress will treat me and my mother with only perfunctory politeness and mediocre service while a table full of men next to us will be treated almost subserviently (which I think is wrong on a lot of levels).

    On the one hand, I want to shirk on the tip for being ignored and ill treated in comparison; on the other hand I want to give her a great tip as a weird kind of revenge and say ‘see, if you had been as nice to me as you were to them maybe you would have gotten an even better tip!’

  90. Kat says:

    I am from Australia, with lots of family over there. Last year I went to America for the first time and for me tipping was so confusing. Luckily I had this blog and I think I managed to get it right as I stuck to the 10% tip most of the time. However, the one time I on purposely did not tip was at café at the grand canyon. It was early, we were the only ones there and there were four staff at the bar. So for the life of me I could understand how it took them all 25min to make three regular coffees and a hot chocolate. They all ‘helped’ out make the drinks, but 25 mins??? So when I paid, I didn’t tip even though faces showed they were eagerly waiting for one. I tip for good service, not bad. So it was interesting when we got to Las Vegas, the porter who brought our bags to our room was so helpful when he realised we were from Australia, giving us hints and tips about the hotel and the Strip that we were left stumped at how much to tip him because he was so helpful and nice. So in the end we tripled his usual tip and I am glad we did it as the stuff he told us was immensely helpful.

  91. Brandon says:

    You know what I have trouble with? International travel. I visited a country in South America a while back, and tipping was not considered standard/necessary. However, I went to a lot of places heavily frequented by American tourists, and so tipping was very common, so I figured I’d better tip, too. But then the issue became how much was appropriate to tip in a very poor country. A taxi from one end of the city to the other costs about forty cents American there, and so if I tip waiters, tour guides, etc what I would consider reasonable, I’d be woefully overtipping. Plus, because of the differences in the relative values of money, people who dealt with tourists directly were pretty much at the top of the economic ladder there. Seemed weird to tip somebody who was the richest guy in town. I settled it by tipping pretty well anyway, and nobody seemed to complain, but there was a constant “did I tip the right guy? should I have not tipped that guy? did that guy want a tip?” problem.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Furniture or Appliance delivery and setup – do I tip and how much also gas fitter who comes with them, what do I do with him
    People from the utility company who come for repairs or maintenance – do I tip and how much
    Renovation guys, do I tip them in any situation
    People who do estimates on work to be done, I`ve had them hint at a tip, is that appropriate
    The seamstress who hems my pants, does she need a tip
    When you go to the salon, where I go at least 4 people touch my hair, who gets tipped and how much
    The nail salon, how much , and what if more than one person works on you, for example one person at the foot bath, one person files and polishes.
    The guy UPS guy…no clue there
    When you order a cake or a food tray or such, what do you do then
    The guy who comes and sprays protectant on your couch.
    Oh so many more.
    PS – Sorry my question mark key is broken!!!
    The Naturopath! Some people tip and some don`t. I don`t tip my Family Doc so I thought not but then I was told I was rude.

  93. Becky says:

    I live in the UK now but I grew up in Canada where we tip like you do in the States.

    In the UK people barely tip anyone and I find it hard to figure out who should be tipped and who doesn’t expect it. The one I’m most unsure about is the grocery delivery guy. I always feel like I should tip him but he never hangs around long enough for me to hand him anything. I guess that means I’m not supposed to but it still feels strange not doing it.

  94. J says:

    I hate valet tipping and bellhop tipping and basically all tipping that is not waiter/waitress tipping because I have no freaking clue how much to tip. I honestly don’t. And if I don’t have singles, it can be a complete pain. Sorry, valet man – all I have is a credit card or $20s or whatever. I hate it. Also, it’s hard for me to gauge how much it will cost to do something because I generally forget to include the tip. I loved Europe because I never had to worry about how much to tip. They were basically happy with anything. I’d rather pay more for something then have to worry about paying for it and also tipping.

  95. Katie says:

    1. Maid service for extended hotel stays.
    I hate having someone clean my room every day when I’m at a hotel for more than one night, so I generally have them come in every other or every third night. While I really never tip when I stay at a hotel for a single night, because I’m not an especially messy hotel guest, I always wonder a. if I should be tipping in general and b. what I should be tipping when I have them take care of my room while I’m still staying there.

    2. Very large groups that are splitting the bill, but on the same tab. I’ve been to a couple restaurants with large groups that don’t automatically add 18%, and it can be a pain in the ass when there’s that one guy who refuses to tip more than 10% or leaves early and doesn’t bother to include tip. I’m never sure – do I make up their tip myself and find myself paying nearly 40% tip, or do I just let the tip suffer? And what do you say to a server who overhears the jackass 3 seats down telling the entire table to make it 10%?

    The one that’s never bothered me is splitting the tip in a small group. Usually my friends and I will either run separate tabs and tip on our own philosophies, or one of us will pay on a credit card and get paid back in cash. That person usually sets a tip level they find reasonable and rhetorically asks the group if they find it too high or low. Myself, I usually tip 18-20% as long as my food is hot and my water is generally full.

  96. Pia says:

    It annoys me that tipping in America has become standard practice. Tipping should be a display of gratitude; “you have gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide a service that was appreciated.” It’s not my fault nor is it my problem that the majority of waiters’ salaries come from tips. I will tip you if you do a good job, not simply because you bring my food and dump it on my table with a scowl on your face. I think tipping has transformed into something completely different than tipping. It has become the pressure to pay peoples’ salaries completely. So perhaps employers should think about revamping the salary system, so that restaurant patrons can tip accordingly for good service, and not just because they feel they have to.

  97. Julie says:

    Take out.

    Salons where the owner is doing your hair.

    When you go to a school to get your hair cut (e.g., the Aveda Institute).

    How/when you physically tip someone who has washed your hair. Right after they wash it (can be difficult since you’re all wrapped up in towels)? After you cut is done (what if they are busy? Do you ask the cashier person to give it to them)?

    Any time you have to actually hand a tip to someone (doorman for hailing a taxi, etc.).

    When a doorman wants to take your luggage, but you just have one overnight bag, and it’s really not necessary, but you know you’re depriving them of a tip.

    Whether to tip pre-tax or after-tax in a restaurant (doesn’t make a difference on small bills, but if it’s a few hundred dollars, it can be a significant amount).

    Room service in a hotel – they add on a delivery charge plus a gratuity, but I feel like a cheapskate if I don’t add extra tip when the person is standing right there.

    Concierge at a hotel – If they have, say, made hotel reservations, when and how much do I tip them?

  98. Sofy says:

    When I have a gift card for a service where I usually tip.

  99. Ben says:

    when i only have a twenty dollar bill in places other than restaurants where its awkward to ask for change.

  100. max says:

    I feel the most uncomfortable about tipping people I know outside of their work. Like if the pizza delivery guy turns out to be a friend of mine. I usually over tip in those situations.

  101. Todd says:

    Here’s my general guideline that has nelped me get over any fear or anxiety of tipping.

    I try to put myself in the person’s shoes who is “expecting” a tip and figure something out that is reasonable. Then I tip more than that. At the end of the day it’s always best to put a smile on someones face no matter what the experience you had. You’ll be surprised how many people will remember you next time you come in and even more surprised how they treat you.

  102. Allie says:

    I hate any tipping situation where you have to hand a stranger money. Its SO AWKWARD and I get so flustered that I’m not tipping enough because the person can see how much money is in my hand.

    Tipping a waiter is great because you can take the time to figure out how much to tip- its not so on the spot. Tipping a hair stylist is fine, because typically I already know that person.

    I also don’t know how to tip discretely on the spot. Being female, I have to go through a purse (with a zipper), a wallet and sometimes even another barier to get to my money. Keeping singles in my pocket can get annoying and buldgy if I’m wearing a “cute” outfit.

    Finally, sometimes length of service procludes me from tipping. Why should a person who practically pried my luggage from my hand against my request not to get money from me, particuarly if it only took 30 seconds to hoist my bag (which I was perfectly content to hoist myself) into a car?

    Its interesting to hear peoples issues/solutions!

  103. jenny says:

    I hate tipping, being a brit I’m always making the wrong decision, but my recent faux pas was when I had a flat tyre. I’m pretty sure I should have tipped the AAA guy and the discount tyre place that didnt charge me 🙁

  104. Jess says:

    I got my car washed and vacuumed out for the first time the other week and I had absolutely no idea how much I should give him…

  105. Cathy says:

    This is all so interesting. Maybe most of your restaurant customers weren’t such assholes after all, but just confused as to what to do?

    Good job Steve, you are providing a needed service (I will add 20% onto this comment. Maybe. Should I? I’m not sure if it’s appropriate).

  106. frymaster says:

    re:bathroom attendants – these started becoming popular in nightclubs about 5 years ago in scotland (in the uk, and anywhere that isn’t london especially, we don’t seem to have many of these “run around after lazy people” jobs – I find the idea of someone who parks your car for you slightly mystifying) and in general it’s a great idea, coz in nightclubs the toilets can sometimes be an absolute pit. While I don’t think the ones in the clubs I go to are actually employees, they make an effort to keep the place clean, and they’re worth a quid per trip just for that, even tho I don’t make use of the extras either

  107. Mar says:

    I recently had my hair cut at an Aveda Institute. It took the kid 2+ hours to do a simple bob trim, and he had to have the instructor do my bangs.

  108. Ellen says:

    I once got a ride home from the airport late at night with an airport shuttle service. First, the guy basically stole me from another driver who I had started talking to (it was strange). Then I didn’t like his driving very much – not white knuckles but still too fast to relax. And his conversation creeped me out. I knew I was not tipping him halfway home. But then I was paying with a card, so I had to fill out the slip in his presence and then wait for him to run it after he already saw that I was not tipping him. It was very uncomfortable, but I was just pissed enough to get through it without changing my mind.

    At my favorite mom&pop pizza place (order by the slice at the counter kind of place) I don’t put a tip on the credit card slip but I always try to put a dollar in the jar. The have a little counter/service bell that they ring when you tip them, and then they say thank you. I feel a little embarrassed, but I also think it’s sweet. I’ve even tried to sneak it in when they’re not looking–but they are sharp! Anyway, it’s always the guy and his wife at this place and they are always cheerful and so nice. Even if I am having a bad day, they always improve my mood. And the pizza is good!

  109. Bob Dobbs says:

    Fast food places where there’s a tip jar but the cashier doesn’t actually make anything for you; just grabs something that’s lying there. Bakeries where there’s a tip jar but all you did was buy a couple of croissants; they put it in a bag, big deal.

    In such places, I will put something in the tip jar if they make a coffee drink for me, actually plate a food item (even if it’s already made), or if they make a practice of running food out to the table. Not a lot, ten percent or less.

  110. Jess says:

    Generally, I like to tip well. I want people to know that I appreciated their service. My problem is that I’m a recent college grad and not making a whole lotta money at the moment. So I run into one of two problems:

    1)I order like $6 worth of meal, and then I feel bad because even 20% of that is like $1.20. I never know if this is ok, or if I should push the tip up higher, or what.

    Or 2) I order a regular meal and the total price plus a good tip starts making me nervous about my budget.

    I never know how understanding waiters and waitresses are, or what they expect, and it makes me prettya anxious about tipping.

  111. Ann says:

    I wish we could do away with tipping altogether. I never know if I’m doing it right!

    1. I frequent a bar a lot where the owner bartends. One day someone told me not to tip a proprietor. But I feel strange NOT leaving a tip. Also, what do you tip on a $2.00 beer? I usually leave a dollar a drink, but then if a drink is $2.25 I hate to just leave change, even though percentage-wise it seems like plenty.

    2. Tattoos/piercings. No clue. Very akward.

    3. I keep seeing jars or signs asking for tips in odd places. Drive-thrus, on the counter at Dairy Queen. Really? You want a tip now, too?

    4. I hate tipping when I get my hair cut, because it’s a $14 cut, & I pay by credit card, so I have to TELL them what amount to charge, it is so unfomfortable & any percentage sounds cheap on $14.

    5. Delivery people. I got flowers once & felt like the person wanted a tip. I didn’t even know they were coming! Often at work vendors will send us lunch & the delivery people come & we’re like crap, are we supposed to tip them? The food was already paid for…

    6. Free or pre-paid shuttles/taxis. I feel very weird handing someone money when I’m not paying them (directly at least) anything. I’m not sure how/when to do it.

    7. Cruises! I went on a cruise in Europe & daily tips were included (& outrageous!), & you would have to specify if you wanted to tip less. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, even though I thought the amounts were way too high.

    8. Bad service. I have trouble NOT tipping 20%, even for bad service. Especially when there’s 8 different people you deal with in a resturant, & maybe half are good/nice & the rest suck or are rude. Then what?

    In conclusion, I hate tipping. I feel like it could & should be done away with it. It’s too confusing, & there are no decent standards. & it makes it too hard to budget anything because who ever thinks about the tip?
    & what really bugs me in resturants is if you get a burger & water & your bill is $10, that doesn’t require anymore time/effort for a waitress than if you get steak/lobster & drinks & your bill is $75. Why would one bill result in a $2 tip & the other $15? It doesn’t seem logical.

  112. ansi says:

    I have a hate/love relationship with SPECIALS. Breakfast/brunch/lunch/group/holiday specials. Buy one entree get another half off specials. Free drink specials. Do I tip on the original total or the discounted total?! It’s easier at a very inexpensive and/or informal establishment, so that 17% of the original might be pretty close to 23% of the discounted total. I usually do the math for both at whatever percentage I think the service deserves and see what seems reasonable in between or at either end of the spectrum.

  113. Ann Onamis says:

    I always get anxiety when I call my local sushi restaurant for a “pick-up” order…. do I tip the person who rings up my order? or?? I usually leave a tip just as a “thank-you” but I’m not really sure how much I should tip (I usually leave about 10%) and who I’m actually tipping?!

  114. Bill says:

    1. Tipping in foreign countries. Do I tip the driver in China? Do I tip Chinese waiters, Irish waiters, a hairdresser in England?

    2. Tipping when you’re with someone else who’s either paying the bill or paying separately. If they don’t tip, and they’re the locals, what do you do?

  115. forgottenwords5 says:

    I’m with #22 Monica wrote on 09/30/09 at 1:43 pm

    I hate tip jars too. Especially at Starbucks. Those people are on their feet the entire shift with Sticky fingers, grumpy customers, and have to work at lightening speed. So just pay them! Why do I have to shell out over $6 for a Pumkin Latte and then feel horrible if I don’t drop my change in the tip jar. Yeah, I know they deserve it, but I work retail myself. I end up going to QT gas station and paying the $1.49 for a big cup that I “pour” (okay I get it from that machine) myself. No tip jar and no guilt.

  116. Charissa says:

    Babysitter, garbage men & mail carriers (holiday “tip”), airport/car rental shuttle.

    Also, how to handle buffets or tipping in sushi restaurants where you tip the sushi chefs directly? I always thought 10% for the wait staff (will do 20% for the sushi chefs) but one of my friends tends to do 20+% on buffets, and I always feel like a cheap jerk and I don’t know if I should or if she’s overtipping. I hate to be a cheapskate, but money is not unlimited, and I’d rather save the extra eating-out cash for those whose service is really deserving of it.

  117. Hilary says:

    As a former waitress, I’m one of those people who tips servers above and beyond – especially at restaurants I’m a regular at. What sends me into tipping terror is hotels. I stay in hotels so infrequently, I don’t know the game rules. If you have someone help you with your bags, how much do you tip and is it per bag or per bag + how horribly heavy the bag is? And how to tip houskeeping staff that may or may not clean my room/add towels/etc while I’m there? It’s good that I frequent restaurants more than hotels, that’s all I can say.

  118. Christian says:

    When I pick up take out, I usually tip 10% but I’m not sure if it’s too much or not enough. I’m usually worried about not tipping enough. Interesting tidbit: I went to Spain this summer and the hotel maids just wouldn’t take my tips. I would leave 3 Euros on the pillow every morning and I would inevitably find it on the nightstand when I got back to my room. A friend of mine who lived in Spain for 20 years told me that a 5% tip at the restaurant was considered generous. The waiters must have been pretty ecstatic with my 20% tips! I’m embarassed to go out with people who are bad tippers. My father-in-law is such a bad tipper that I usually pick up the tab so that I can make sure the waiter is well taken care of. If he pays, I will cover the difference between his usual 5-10% tip and the correct 20%.

  119. Laura says:

    I’m not sure about tipping in situations where nothing is done for me. There is a pizza buffet in town, you order at the counter, fill your own drink, plates are at the buffet, napkins are on the table. Yet when you pay at the counter there is a line for tip – who gets this money since no one is helping me?

    I don’t like when people get paid well but a tip is expected (hair salon, movers, Starbucks, etc). I understand tipping when it’s above and beyond (plumber at 2am) but someone I am already paying for their services (movers, starbucks), why do I need to tip? Isn’t this part of their job description? I don’t tip the girl at Old Navy for showing me to a fitting toom – it’s her job!

    One reason I love our dog groomer is that there is no tip expected – they charge appropriately for the service and it’s done. The hair salon I go to also has a no tipping policy, it’s $70 a cut but I’ll gladly pay that knowing there is nothing else due.

    Most of the time my husband and I tip well. The few dollars I save is not going to dictate if I buy cereal the next day but it could for someone depending on that cash, and the lower the bill (Waffle House) the higher the percentage we leave. (As you’ve written here before if you can afford to go out you can afford to tip!) We intentionally go out to eat on Christmas Eve and tip atleast 50% of our bill – they’re working on a holiday, might as well make it worth their time.

  120. maria says:

    Tipping anxiety: delivery people (not an issue much as I live in the country. I’m sure if I dealt with it more I’d relax), to-go order/jar on the counter people, furniture delivery, movers (that one really freaks me out because movers are pretty pricey anyway but the work is hard… I don’t know what to do, and I move a lot).

    Basically, all the people I don’t deal with on a regular basis. For haircuts I generally pay by check and add the tip amount onto the check. I get really embarrassed by the idea of interrupting the hairdresser in the middle of her next customer to hand her money, and it’s a good bet I don’t have cash in the right denominations anyway.

  121. Dutch Waiter says:


    In the Netherlands, where I live, tipping is a little different. Waiters here make minimum wage (assuming they’re full time employees, otherwise they’ll work less and as a consequence earn less) so each and every tip is just a bonus. Tipping isn’t considered compulsory, especially not when you’re simply drinking a beer or enjoying a one-course dinner. Of course, things get a little different when you spend 500 euro to a dinner when you’re with a party of four, but that’s beside the question.

    As to answer your question, since I’m in the hospitality industry myself I know how much the staff of any place appreciates a good tip, so usually when I go to eat or drink somewhere I give a decent tip. My formula, however, is simple: I round up to the next ten, unless that means that I tip less than, say, four or five euro. In that case I round up to the e
    So if I have a bill of 83 euro, I pay 90, and if the bill says 87 euro I pay 95.

    Of course, if I’m at a bar and only drink three beers and the bill is 7.50 euro I pay 10, not 15. It needs to be somewhat proportional.

    However, recently I was at a place, having a seat just outside the establishment’s front door. I saw their cook (and she saw me seeing her!) and she was chatting with the waitress. The waitress didn’t notice us and the cook didn’t tell her anything. We waited for almost 10 minutes until the waitress finally though, hey gosh, maybe these lads would fancy a drink!

    Well, we did. And we’d like some lunch as well, so we ordered. The drinks and the food was there fast enough, so no problem. Then we sat with empty dishes for almost 20 minutes. The waitress was nowhere to be seen, we wanted our dishes removed and a cup of coffee. But after those 20 minutes looking around, we stood up, went outside, and just paid the bill without tipping. We simply didn’t felt like they earnt a single cent of our gratitude.

    Also, my mother disagrees with the whole tipping business. She works in a library and in her early years there, she walked miles and miles to sort books in their cases, help people find the right books, and all that sort of stuff, for which she didn’t recieve any tips at all. Judging it unfair, she hardly gives any tip, ever, unless she’s with me, knowing that I more or less insist. I do understand where she’s coming from, but I do also know the value of a tip. It’s more than these few euros. It’s a way of saying “thank you, you gave me a good time and I’d like to give you something in return.”

    As for taxis, well, mostly I simply round up to the next 10. I hardly ever use a taxi since most of the things I go to are within walkable range or else I still have a bicycle. And when that doesn’t suffice either there’s the train.
    In those rare occassions that I do need a taxi, I’m hardly ever charged more than 10 euro so I simply hand the driver a bill of 10 and tell him to keep the change.

    As a final note: what I hate most (regarding the topic, that is), is people who almost can’t stop praising you verbally but then don’t give a cent. Or perhaps even worse, people who simply leave 5 cent on the table.
    I mean, seriously, what am I supposed to do with that? Of course, it’s different when a customer has to pay 4.95 euro, gives you a bill of 5 and says “keep the change.” That’s just a small kindness but it saves me from the hassle of having to find 5 cent and give it to him and I appreciate such thoughtfulness.

  122. Dorothy says:

    In Canada, there are many places where, when paying with debit, you have to tell the person ringing you up (usually the server, hairstylist, etc, who served you) what amount to add to the total for their tip, instead of adding it yourself. This makes me feel very uncomfortable even though I am confident my tip amount is appropriate. I guess I’m a coward, but I much prefer the “discreet tip”.

    I never had to do this when I lived in the States, because my debit card there always had a credit card affiliation like Visa. A slip could be brought to my table and I could write in the tip. I wish it was that way here.

  123. Rach in Vancouver says:

    I didn’t get a chance to read all the responses, so someone may have mentioned this one, but my biggest tip anxiety comes when I eat at the restaurant that I work in, or at a different location where they know me. I know all of these servers and I know how much they need the money, and how hard they work for it, but I don’t know what the protocol is. My worries are:

    Are they going to think I’m cheap if I don’t leave more than 20-30% ?

    Are they going to feel awkward if I leave a huge tip and then serve them and they leave 20% ?

    We get a 20% discount on days we don’t work, that covers the tip, but should I be leaving more? Does that defeat the purpose of the discount? It really stresses me out.

    I usually like it when someone else pays and I’ll just give them cash so my colleagues can’t hold me responsible for the tip (though I always make sure its a good one). Is my tipping anxiety ridiculous?

  124. Rach in Vancouver says:

    I realized I sounded very dramatic in that post. In the grand scheme of things “It really stresses me out” on the same level that I get stressed when there are no free washing machines in my building, or when I can’t find my keys. Not so much on the “my house was just robbed and my child is missing and my dog just got kicked by a stranger” stressed out way.

    Also, despite my lack of understanding, I usually leave a huge tip just to keep good relations at work (but I also don’t eat there very often). Sorry for the addendum comment.

  125. Diem says:

    I am never quite sure in Canada/the US outside restaurants who I am supposed to tip and how much, so I probably end up tipping way too much to everyone I interact with.

    Here in Australia, I increasingly get tipping anxiety if I am somewhere fancy–the waitstaff are paid a decent wage, and the giudebooks say tipping is only expected for exceptional service, however it seems to increasingly be the norm. I never know when to tip or how much and it creates massive levels of anxiety for me.

  126. E says:

    Worst situation for me is when I’m out with somebody who is cheap. I’ve had to do the “leave a $20 hidden under my plate” a couple of times when there’s somebody leaving $5 on a $100+ meal.

  127. DrKoob says:

    Great topic. The comments are excellent. My only tip anxiety is when I am eating out with friends and they are treating. They only tip 10%. You have turned me into a solid 20 and sometimes 25% tipper. I don’t want to offend my friend by adding extra to the tip but since the server doesn’t know I’m not paying, I come off looking cheap. He and I have had the discussion but he is adamant that 10% is all they deserve.

  128. Nicholas says:

    I have the most difficult time when I eat at the restuarant where I work. I get my discount, and sometimes use other discounts that I have earned through contests. I always worry about not tipping enough, but there is some point where I just need to not tip anymore. I find this situation to be stressful.

  129. Nick says:

    At the bar when I get a growler refill, or the coffee shop when I buy a pound of coffee to brew at home, I pay with a credit card. Since the place is also a restaurant, there’s a place on the receipt for a tip. I usually just leave it blank and write the subtotal for the bill, without tip, in the total spot, but I’m never sure this is right. Then again, it’s not like the person spent a lot of time on me, so it almost feels more like a simple purchase, rather than them serving me.

  130. awineguy says:

    I have no anxiety, after 20 years in the restaurant business I just tip everybody who is underpaid and does something for me.

    Paperboy, barber, guy at the takeout window – everybody. I figure I’m just scoring kharma points.

  131. Carrie says:

    Fascinating set of comments! My favorites so far: How much to tip a favorite blogger, and planning to leave 15% in the comments 🙂

  132. awineguy says:

    @ Dr. Koob

    The best, and least embarrassing way to handle this is one a regular guest of mine once used.

    In for dinner with someone else payinf the bill my regular noted the poor tip on a rather large tab ($45 on around $500). Rather than raise a fuss, but wanting to see me looked after, he insisted on a round of scotch and paid for it leaving me a $150 for a $70 dollar tab.

    Cheap bastard wasn’t embarrassed and I was taken care of – all settled nicely.

  133. C'est Kim says:

    My dog groomer. Do I tip? There isn’t a jar or anything, but then my stylist doesn’t have a jar. And to complicate things, it’s usually the owner who grooms my poodle.

  134. Amy says:

    I’m from out west where all gas stations are self-serve, but a couple of times in Philly, I ended up at a station where someone pumps it for you. I was so anxious about whether or not I should tip them, particularly as I didn’t have a choice as to whether I pumped my gas or not.

    I have also felt anxiety about rental car places. There’s the guy who insists on loading the luggage onto the shuttle, then someone who helps with paperwork and ushers you to the car and helps with luggage again.

    Lastly, I’ve also experienced concern about paying with a credit card at a place where you’ve picked up your own food, but the receipt has a line for the tip. I never put anything down, but always feel guilty.

  135. terre says:

    There is a drive thru carryout at one of my favorite eateries here in town. You call your orders in and your entrees are ready in thirty minutes. I frequent the place because I like the food. It can get a little pricey… So when I hand ’em my credit card and they ask me to sign the slip before handing me my order, in my car, I always include a tip??? I didn’t intially, but after becoming a regular, felt guilty because I didn’t. Don’t know if it’s right or wrong.

  136. Antti says:

    As I live in a country that has service charges included in the price, I get tipping anxiety EVERY FREAKING TIME I’m abroad. Doubly so in the States, where it turns out you have to tip even the cab drivers. And the bartenders*. But, apparently, doing so with federal employees is a bit of a social gaffe.

    (* Seriously guys! Why do I have to pay a buck to a bartender because she knew how to put a glass under the tap and press a button?)

  137. schralp says:

    A friend’s apartment has valet only parking for visitors. When I asked him whether to tip he said, “no way” which I took to mean, “the association pays them well plus I take care of them during the holidays”. I still feel uncomfortable not tipping and am not sure I’m doing the right thing.

  138. curlyhairedwonder101 says:

    My girlfriend & I once went to a modern Mexican restaurant for a late lunch, right before our night shift at a restaurant just down the street. It was empty, as the lunch rush passed, but we were served by our waiter…the first of three.

    We ordered with one waiter, had our food brought by another (he wasn’t just a food runner, as he came back to check on us & refilled drinks) then were checked back on a third waiter. We weren’t there more than 45 minutes, whilst all the waiters were just talking & preparing at the bar for a dinner shift.

    Since I believed in Waiter Karma (still do, even though I’m not working at a restaurant at the moment) I felt i needed to tip all 3 waiters 20%. even though it was only around $6 for each waiter, I felt anxious not to tip them, as the Waiter Gods would have surely made me suffer their wrath!

  139. Rachael says:

    Hands down, hair salons.

    I go to see someone new, she colors my hair, and then when washing it out, gives me a great scalp massage.

    Next time I go, she turns me over to someone else who does not do as good of a massage, but yet I now have to tip them both.

    That’s not right.

  140. Waiterrant Fan says:

    I thought this was funny:
    “Why would you not tip on the alcohol portion of your dinner? Your server still has to take that order and bring you the drink and make sure it’s correct and so forth.” Wow, they have to 1) take your order, 2) bring you the drink AND 3) make sure it’s correct! Sheesh – talk about overworked and underpaid.
    My understanding was that tipping was a requirement because the minimum wage for tipped employees is significantly lower than non-tipped employees.
    The answer seems simple then, you only need to tip those workers who are paid in accordance with the tipped employees minimum wage, no?
    Now, how does one find out who they are?
    Tipping anxiety seems to be mostly caused by tipping creep – too many people now expect a tip to do their job.

  141. jxk says:

    nice thread.

    first off, since so many people are wondering, and i spent quite a few years in the industry, some guidelines are:

    – in a full-service restaurant (sit down, someone comes and takes your order), 20% is what most waiters hope for. 15% for mediocrity.

    – in restaurants with multiple servers/runners/etc, 20% is still norm as most will have to share tips or tip out a large portion of that tip

    – bartenders should get 20% or AT LEAST a dollar per drink. (drinking just $2 PBRs all night? throw in at least a buck each you cheap bastard! also, leaving ‘jingle’ [coin change] is like wearing a big IGNORE-ME-I’M-A-DOUCHEBAG sign from that point on)

    – for comp’ed/free drinks, half of the drink value is good. happy hour-type discounts, you don’t need to tip on the full price, but a little extra is a nice gesture. (basically just take into account what an average patron would be spending, so if your check is especially low or you take up a lot of table time, tip extra)

    – ordering takeout from a sit-down restaurant, leave 10% or more

    – in salons, 20% is customary. many cosmetology schools forbid monetary tips, but you can usually offer small gifts instead if you really want to tip in those cases (gift cards and such)

    – (because someone mentioned it) exotic dancers – at least a dollar per song. just there for a drink? leave and go to a regular bar. you don’t have to blow your paycheck on lapdances, but if a dancer’s on stage, show her some support. in many states that’s the ONLY compensation they get.

    – cabbies should get 10-20%. i tip at least 20% if they get me there fast, but less if they’re pushing the meter

    i could keep going with some more. there’s also a whole host of tipping situations i’m clueless about. generally i tip my baristas a buck every so often, but i still always feel guilty if i don’t (especially for regulars), even though i always use my debit card instead of cash. also, i’ve been out to restaurants where the chef will make me some special meal (not on the menu) and i’m unsure if i should try to leave him something extra.

    one pet peeve i’ve always had is people who debate tipping or feel they shouldn’t have to (as in some of the previous comments). where it’s become an established part of the dining experience and required for servers to even make livable wages, there’s nothing more assholic like refusing to tip out of ‘ethics’. for those of you out there who don’t want to tip for adequate service, PLEASE STOP dining in our restaurants and wasting our time. make your own damn food at home. or better yet, if you are going to eat out, let the server know beforehand that you won’t be tipping. at least that way you’ll receive a style of service more fitting to your level of (in-)gratitude. :b [/end rant]

  142. laura says:

    I’m from across the pond, and every time I’m over at the other end, I get anxious about the whole tipping thing.

    I get restaurants, maids in the hotel, taxi drivers, but there seems so much more that when any service is over, I feel I should have something ready, but the awkwardness of the situation is horrible. Does the guy/girl hang about? Then they are probably a expecting tip. But what if they seem do to bo doing something else? If I lean over to give something, and they give me that look that tells you you’ve done something weird, you’ll think twice next time…

    Normally, there’s other people around to copy: the airport shuttle will take more people, I just copy whatever they are doing. Great help!

    Next visit in three weeks, and if only those promps were around all the time….

  143. Sim says:

    I was on business trip to the US last year.
    Thanks to you I was aware of tipping.
    I had 2 problems – one I didn’t notice tip was already calculated in the bill so I tipped twice 🙁
    And to your question: hotel provided a free bus shuttle to the subway station. I did not know if to tip the driver or not. He seemed not to expect anything and I had no idea how much (would $1 insult him? is $5 too much?)
    now in retrospective I think I should have split the money I saved by not using taxi…
    but again how much is taxi?

  144. Carolyn says:

    Usually i go with “When in doubt, overtip.”

  145. austin_waiter says:

    I’m generally fine with tipping, but a couple of situations perplex me. Comped drinks– I normally tip two fifty on my four or five dollar drafts, but I don’t always get charged for all of them, so I’ve settled by raising the tip on the missing rounds by a buck. The other is free touch-ups on hair (like two weeks after the haircut for which I tipped generously). Still don’t have a clue, so I usually leave ten.

  146. Phelps says:

    Interesting thread that has actually increased my “tip anxiety”, by mentioning cases where I had no idea that a tip was expected. Furniture delivery people??? And airport shuttle drivers? I assume this refers to the free rental car busses? A paid shuttle would be like a taxi (15 pc), I guess, but tipping a bus driver doesn’t seem right to me.

    One unusual case involves Appalachian Trail shuttle drivers, who will drive you from your car to another spot on the Trail so you can hike back. These are something like taxis, but are generally informally run by other hikers and former hikers on an agreed-fee basis. A friend said he always tips them, so I asked a driver if people did. He said that one guy had done so several months ago (apparently my friend!) but people rarely did. (I didn’t).

  147. Fred says:

    My greatest tipping anxiety is that my wife will find out how much I am tipping. She is from a non-tipping culture (Australia), plus she is of thrifty Scottish heritage to boot. She understands the concept of tipping, but it goes against her nature. I tend to tip nicely … 20-25%. I can usually “get away with it” in restaurants, as the money is hidden in those little black folders that the checks are delivered in. I get “caught” when paying a taxi driver, as she is sitting right next to me and can see how much money I am counting out. She doesn’t get mad, just questions why I gave the guy so much money. Maybe I should make her read your book so she’ll know why!

  148. Jennlm says:

    Not sure if anyone has said this yet or not – The new “Car Side to Go” feature at the chain resteraunts where they deliver the food to your car. My husband and I never know what to do and recently we had a girl stand there and wait until we tipped her and that was awkward! When we pay them, the wait staff also will ask if we want any change back, regardless of how much $ we give them. It could be a full $10 in change and hey still ask! And we feel like a-holes saying yes. It feels like they are begging for our extra money. If we use Carside service we always try to have exact change to avoid that. We’ve been tipping this person $2 to bring the food out, but I have no idea if that’s enough or not.

  149. rob says:

    First, I’m English and in England right now, but I have lived in the US and Canada.
    I recently had my car checked before a full service and fixup. It was a free check so they know what the service will cost – it took a mechanic about 2 hours.. As a direct result of this blog I gave the mechanic a £20 tip because of the time he spent with me explaining stuff.

    I hate the expectation of a tip in a US restaurant.
    I’d much rather they just added the tip to the price and they I can choose to leave a few coins or a note if I want to.
    It’s also awkward if the card machine doesn’t allow tips or having to work out %20 of whatever.
    I’d prefer a situation where it was polite to leave £5-£10 per person for a 3 course mean rather than the tip being based on what I ate.
    Why should a steak eater tip more than a salad eater. The service is the same.

    My barber cleverly charges £9 for a haircut – everyone who goes through hand him £10 and tells him to keep the change. This is fine with me. I’d hate if he charged £10 and then I was ‘expected’ to pull out other money to tip.

    In the UK the smallest note is £5. We use coins for £1 and £2. It’s always seems cheap to hand someone a coin as a tip.. but we don’t have a tip-everyone culture here anyway.

    I only like to tip for a service that has been provided above and beyond the normal service which I pay for. Otherwise it may as well just be included in the price.

  150. Dan says:

    I hired a personal trainer and didn’t know I might have to tip her so I looked it up online and many places mentioned tipping your trainer 1-2 sessions worth at Christmas (if it’s a regular trainer) or at the end of your time with them if it’s a short term thing.

    I had mine for 5 months and tipped one session’s worth at the end but was pretty nervous if this was accepted since I’d never heard of it.

    I also hate the pushy baggage handlers who practically steal my luggage from me and then want a tip for moving it 10 feet. I know they are trying to make a living but it would be cool if they asked me instead of just grabbing my luggage and I need to chase them for fear they are stealing it.

  151. Ben says:

    Tattoo artists, especially since you build a relationship/friendship if you have a regular one (or at least I do) which just adds that extra level of awkward.

  152. Irina says:

    Tipping the coat check guy. Do I tip when I pick up the coat or when I drop it off? Same with the baggage guys at hotels. I carried my own luggage but they checked it, should I tip when I checked it or when they got it? I freaked!

  153. John says:

    Bell boys, curbside airline guys, massagers, valet,

  154. Abigail says:

    As a math challenged person tipping in general is stressful for me. And when I’m under time pressure it gets really bad. I usually end up using my phone to help me calculate the percentage. Embarrassing!

    I can do higher math, logic and geometry ’til the cows come home but ask me what %15 of 75 is and I become a stuttering idiot.

    I tend to overtip because I am in constant fear of under tipping. I’m also unsure of the breakdown of tipping the various salon staff. I often avoid certain services such as valet parking, baggage handling and taxi cabs just to avoid the anxiety.

  155. Stu says:

    I had to tip the Tattoo guy the other day, and I really liked him and gave him all the money I had, but I it was only a $25 tip on $250. I I’m wondering how much I should have tipped

  156. Naomi says:

    Having been a waitress in the past, I tend to over tip for good service. If the service was really good and things go well, I generally tip 20%. If the service was crappy and the food sucked, I will still tip, but not so generously.

    My hubby and i have a friend who we sometimes go out to eat with when we are on a long weekend away. This friend is the most stingy person I have ever met when it comes to tipping. He will order the cheapest thing on the menu and then believe he doesn’t have to tip because our food was more expensive then his. So we always end up getting seperate checks now. He still doesn’t tip on his own bill! If we had good service and a great time with the waiter/waitress, we will let them know after the meal but before the checks are delivered that they shouldn’t expect a tip from this “friend” of ours. We do this by one of us getting up and going to the bathroom or something to catch the staff and let them know. Because we have a good relationship with some of these establishments, they waiter/waitress will at times call him out, in a joking sort of way. He still won’t tip. We have since stopped going to dinner with him.

    I still have a hard time with tipping my hairdresser. I am never really sure what to give them. And also the delivery people, like pizza delivery or furniture. I try to give the pizza guys at least 10% sometimes more. But it’s still difficult to know for sure.

  157. geeky says:

    The one situation that has caused me the most anxiety lately is furniture delivery. Do you tip furniture delivery men? What if you already paid a delivery fee (usually $50-$100)? What if they don’t have any assembly or arranging to do, just drop the new furniture and go?

  158. Karen says:

    Flower Delivery People. I didn’t ask for that service, nor did I ask for the flowers. I always tip them but doesn’t it seem like I’m paying for part of my flowers? You don’t know they’re coming what if you don’t have tip money?

  159. Jenn says:

    I have two. I know they’ve been said but they’re still my two.

    1) Bathroom attendants. I know that it’s not a very nice, fun job to spend your day keeping a bathroom clean. And to be honest, I’m not sure if those people are paid fairly or not. But most of the time when I enter a bathroom I see them sitting down and watching you and waiting to see if you’ll drop anything in their basket. And are those tips collectively shared? So if there’s a shift change, does the person who’s been on duty get whatever’s there or does it all accumulate and get split between everyone who works in that bathroom in a particular day? It’s also hard to figure out what to give them too. It’s not like you’re paying to use the bathroom so you can’t give 20% of nothing.

    2) When you have a large group and the gratuity is built into the check. My problem is NOT that it’s built into the check because if anything, that helps me out a lot. But what makes me anxious is if, say, the service is horrible (which I haven’t had) or it is above and beyond (which I have had before). Is it okay to give less than the built in gratuity if the service sucks? Or would that be the point where I would pay what I’m told to pay and contact the restaurant manager? Is it okay to give more and will the server know that you’re giving them more because you want them to have the additional tip?

  160. Angie says:

    Delivery people. Some put the furniture right in the front room, some will set it up in the correct room. Never have known how to tip these guys properly.

    FYI, I always tip my sushi chefs with a beer of their choice.

  161. Sarah says:

    I’m always unsure of how much to tip our Hibachi Chef at the Local Japanese Steak House. They put on a good show, entertain their guests, throw food at you, and make jokes about the fat guy who can’t catch the shrimp in his mouth. But how much should I tip? Is it a percentage of the bill? Maybe just a couple bucks? Very confusing.

  162. Roy says:

    I have simply accepted the fact that tips are part of a servers wages, and a part of my check–the cost of eating out. It is therefore never an issue with me. If I can’t afford to go out, I don’t go. I don’t try to decide if the server did a “good job” or not. That’s obnoxious.

    If the server is a total asshole (it does happen) I still tip, but only 10%. Everyone has to make a living, although I won’t return to that restaurant if there’s a chance of getting the same server.

    One last (light-hearted) comment, to paraphrase a comment my son said he found in a video game forum in which people were arguing about which was the best game platform, “tip arguments are for poor people.”

  163. Tina says:

    I feel anxiety about “once in a lifetime” things like a helicopter trip or a hot air balloon ride. These things are expensive, but you only do them once and they are meant to be a great experience. But who do you tip and how much? Your driver, the pilot? 20% of $500 is $100 – do you split that between them? 60-40 to the pilot? If there are two of you, that’s a lot. I understand tipping people who don’t make much and tips are an expected part of the job, but does that really apply to helicopter pilots?

  164. Marie says:

    I long for the days when I was naive and didn’t know you were suppose to tip your hair dresser or maid service. As I’ve learned these things, I’ve become anxious about who else I’m suppose to be tipping but don’t. I don’t want to hurt anyone financially or come off as mean or stingy. At the same time, I’m annoyed at the expectation of tipping. If I’ve paid for a service, that should be the end of the story. If you get paid a full wage, you should do your job well. So sometimes if the service wasn’t noticeably great or it was a one time deal for me, I don’t tip. Tipping in a lot of situations belongs to the realm of regulars. But most of the time I cave, and when I tip, I tip well.

    One of my biggest anxieties is how to hand over the tip. I would know how to tip a bellhop if I ever used one because I’ve seen it in movies. But what about a masseuse? I got a gift card for my birthday and I’ve had a massage before. Do I hand it to him (awkward)? Leave it on the table (what if someone else finds it)? I won’t be able to relax thinking about whether I should tip, how much, and how to give it to him.

  165. JB says:

    How about “holiday” tipping? I heard once that in hair salons the tip should be more for your regular stylist at that time, which is really hard on my budget as it is. Also, the mailperson at that time of year? Our garbage guys? What if my regular guy isn’t on duty during that week?

  166. Maureen says:

    I hate it when you are at a place you frequent – and always tip well and get good service – then you get someone new who is terrible! I feel bad giving them a bad tip – but when it is deserved it is deserved.

  167. Chantel says:

    I’m unsure how much to tip hairstylists. I usually do 20% for cuts and a little less when it’s a highlight and cut. I never know whether to tip when I pick up food such as pizza, chinese, etc. Also I was once at a hotel where I could self park in the garage, but had to leave my keys with the valet. When I picked up the key each morning to use the car, I never knew whether I should tip the valet or not. (They didn’t bring the car, just held the key.)

  168. kcbelles says:

    Answer to #50 – Vivian; years ago, I had a friend when I lived in SoCal who was a hairdresser. We’d get together every two months in the evening specifically so she could do my hair, but she wouldn’t take money from me, so I always brought two bottles of wine. One for that evening for us to share while she did my hair and one that I left for her to enjoy whenever. She always liked that and I felt better, knowing that she was compensated in some way.

  169. Becky says:

    The tip jars for take-out customers. I don’t understand it. I usually just leave whatever change I’m given.


  170. Beth says:

    Economy sucks, so what is right? Comfort level is how I base my tipping percentage. Was I made to feel comfy? Were my questions, requests, confusion, bags, etc, “handled” with my comfort in mind. Yes? nicely tipped. No? something but nearly what it might have been.

  171. kcbelles says:

    To #153 – Jenn; I am a bathroom attendant (my 2nd, part-time job) in a local nightclub on Fri & Sat nights. Rarely a night goes by when I can sit – it’s always too busy. I’m there cuz the club wants the restroom cleaned, stocked and policed (no drugs, smoking, etc.) and for the customers (I provide things one might need but didn’t bring with – hairspray, colone, lotion, tampons, toothbrushes/paste, asprin, bandaids, candies/mints/gum, cigarettes – I even have flipflops for the ladies whose shoes are killing their feet so that they can take them off & not be barefoot).

    I pass out paper towels, and I also provide all sorts of services (I’ll help brush/pin up your hair, or sew on a button or help put in a safety pin where you might need one, etc.). I can recognize the folks that are uncomfortable with a person in the restroom and I leave them alone.

    I do not expect a tip for just handing out a towel or if one takes a stick of gum. I do expect a tip if I provided a service or if any of my stuff is used (I have to replenish everything out of my pocket). And the amount is up to the customer – a dollar is generally the going rate, but I’ve had women give me fives, tens, even twenties because they were that pleased.

  172. Paul says:

    Do I need to tip the owner of the salon since he cuts my hair? At one time I thought owners were not supposed to be tipped but now I am not sure.

    With the proliferation of food trucks, do I need to leave a tip?

  173. Marsha says:

    After reading this, I am wondering if there is anyone you don’t have to tip! I dislike the entire practice – I would so much rather be charged what a service is worth, and have everything clear and above board before I decide to purchase. In my profession, I provide a service myself, and never expect a tip for my professional efforts, because I charge fairly. Be the change you would like to see in the world!

  174. John says:

    Tipping. That’s what upsets me. What used to be “a little extra” to show your appreciation for good service is now a required expenditure.

    Pay staff a livable salary and eliminate tipping.

    Until this happens I will continue to tip my usual 20%, but the first restaurant that opens under a new paradigm will get my business.

  175. Jennifer says:

    I never know what to tip delivery people when you order furniture or other big, heavy items. I usually just give them each $10-$20 depending on how many items I ordered, but I never know if that’s the right amount.

  176. Dude says:

    I tip everyone. For example, when I valet a car, I tip the guy when he takes my car and when he brings it back… I know, I know. But my car is always up front and I get it back very quickly, so worth it to me.

    I also tip a minimum of 20%, usually more, to restaurants. I’m comfortable tipping in pretty much every scenario. I only tip hotel Concierges when they do something above the norm. Making restaurant reservations for one night doesn’t get a tip, but finding tickets, restaurant reservations at a very tough to get into place or for multiple nights (3 or more) will get a generous time – usually at least $50.

    I also spend a LOT of time outside the US and generally err on the side of generousity and it is well accepted – except in Japan… be careful there.

    The only anxiety I have is when I have colleagues from outside the US here and take them someplace. They are generally from Europe and Asia and the tipping culture there is radically different. Many/most places have a 10% service charge and no additional tips are required… generally people may leave 2-5% on top of the service charge at most, so leaving 20%+ as a tip is foreign to them and usually the most they leave is 15%…

    I have repeatedly tried to explain to them the situation, but it’s tough for them to “get”… I guess they say the same thing about me when I go there about being too generous.

    My solution is to always try to pick up the check and/or discreetly try to slip the server some extra money as we leave to make up for any shortfall.

  177. Clergy babe says:

    Painters. I recently had my whole house painted and the company I hired sent five guys for three days. They did both the exterior and two rooms inside. I was paying a good chunk of money to the company, but I didn’t know if I was also supposed to tip the individual painters, and if so, how much. Should it be per day? In general? I ended up giving the crew chief $25 a person but still don’t know if that was right.

    Also, can I just add a note that one should never tip the clergy? As a minister, I’m sometimes in the awkward situation of having a parishioner hand me a Christmas envelope or “a little something” at Easter or other occasions. I am paid a salary by the congregation and that’s all I expect or want. Handing me a tip just creates a very odd dynamic clergy would rather avoid.

    That said, let me be clear that the minister should be paid for extra work, such as weddings or funerals. Usually that fee is made clear at the start, but if the minister does more than expected, adding a bonus to the wedding/funeral/special event pay is entirely appropriate.

  178. Beth says:

    I once went on a trip to Monument Valley (a sacred site to native americans) with my husband and his mother and father. The native Americans who live there also give tours around the valley. The awkward tipping came at two moments during the trip: we entered a hut and watched a woman weave a blanket for a while, after which they asked directly for tips. It seemed so degrading (being a tourist, etc.) but I didn’t want to just leave, so I shoved money at my husband and asked him to put it in the basket.

    After the tour, my father in law (well meaning but quite awkward) tried to give the driver a good tip, but accidentally let it drop to the ground. So the poor guy has to bend down to pick it up-I was too shocked to do anything before he had already retrieved it.

    The whole trip was just generally very awkward in terms of our economic difference and our tourist status. Not something I’d do again, even though the area was absolutely beautiful.

  179. ThePrinter says:

    The worst for me is Sonic & other “drive-in” style restaurants. It’s fast food, and they have a drive through, but they also have slip parking stalls and your food can be brought out by a carhop. Do I tip the carhops because they’re bringing food? Or are they paid actual fast-food wages, which means they don’t get tipped? I am always too leery of asking the carhops themselves.

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  182. Logan says:

    The worst for me is when you are eating out where you work. I always feel pressure to tip a lot more, even when the service isn’t very good. I’m a solid 25%-30% tipper (I believe in waiter karma) but it’s almost as if people feel since you work there you should tip 50% or more.

    And in response to the carside comment- having worked carside, I made $4/hr because they assumed that people would tip. I was normally happy with a few dollars per order since I didn’t have to do the full service part of the job, answer the phone and put the orders together was pretty much it. However pharmacy reps tip horribly! I would put together $600 catering orders by myself and they’d give me $5 if I was lucky.

  183. andyb says:

    I was a server and have a lot of bartender friends around town. They often comp most of my tab and I always tip as if nothing was taken off and often more than that even. Even with that high of a tip I still am not paying nearly as much as I would if I had been paying full price. How much extra compensates for their generosity and friendliness? I think I am giving enough because they continue to comp stuff.

  184. Anonymous says:

    Ok, some of the things people are confused about, confuse ME bc I wonder why they would even think that. I would never tip painters, plumbers, electricians, etc…why would you? even the guy you have to call super late for a broken pipe…that’s why he’s charging 150/hr!. silly people.

  185. Andrew H. says:

    I think any situation where one would tip, but there are multiple people helping you, is confusing. The most common example is when you are leaving a hotel and there are several folks helping you (maybe a bag porter, someone coordinating valets, and the valet who actually brings you your car and hands you the keys). In such a situation I often don’t even have enough loose cash in the right denominations to be able to tip everybody involved, even if that was the right etiquette. In the end I usually end up tipping whomever gets to me last.

  186. Aerin says:

    How about wedding tipping? There’s a whole arcane system of who to tip, when, and how much. It gets even more complicated if you’re doing a destination wedding.

  187. MSwann says:

    I have no anxiety when dining out. I am of the opinion that if you can not afford to tip well then you can’t afford to eat out. It’s all the other stuff. I’m all for doing the right thing for the people who are providing me services, but where do I draw the line? There is tip cup at the freaking dunkin doughnuts for heavens sake. I always leave a dollar cause it feels wrong to me to not leave that tip when there’s the option to leave one. I went into a fast food restaurant that had a cup labeled tips accepted. I did not know you were allowed to do that at those places. Should I be tipping the girl that works the register at one of these establishments? I’m torn because clearly I am being provided a service, though it is usually never pleasant and the food is always wrong and I’m always a little scared that there could be something sinister waiting for under that bun. Whats the protocol here? I think no tip for these people but I don’t want to be that nontipping jackass, ya know what I mean?

  188. scott c says:

    reply to 175; What your saying is you are stealing (more precisely your bartender friend is) from the owner. If he/she worked for me they would be fired on the spot for giving away products to friends. So the answer is you should give that money to the owner.

  189. Jana says:

    My daughter works for an upscale Italian chain restaurant and is always irked when she works carside carryout by the lack of tips…I personally don’t think a 15% tip is required for carryout…what is the industry standard?

  190. Monica says:

    This isn’t a tipping story, and you’ve probably heard this before, but I found this quote from The Office that made me think of your next book:

    Dwight: [After he didn’t tip the sub man] Why tip someone for a job I’m capable of doing myself? I can deliver food. I can drive a taxi. I can, and do, cut my own hair. I did however, tip my urologist, because I am unable to pulverize my own kidney stones.

  191. Jill says:

    Just the other day I got a flat tire and called the roadside assistance number on my car window. Very quickly a nice man came and put the spare on for me so I could be on my way. At the time, all I had in my wallet were two $1 bills and a $20 bill. I really wanted to tip him but thought that $2 would be an insult and $20 would be too much. I had been instructed by roadside assistance on the phone to wait with the car so I didn’t have the opportunity to walk to a gas station or wherever and buy something to break that 20. I thought it would be awkward to ask for change from a tip, so I didn’t tip him. My instinct was, if I had had a $5 bill, that would have been perfect. I felt bad not tipping him, but no worse than I would have felt handing him the 20 and asking for 15 back. What would you have done?

  192. Moonsilver says:

    Places where I am a regular and get the occasional bad service. This is very stressful as I already have a reputation as a 20% or more tipper and I’m aware that they all know me. Do you still tip the 20% or more in order to keep your reputation as a pretty good tipper (and preserve your place as a respected regular,) or do you take a chance and let them know the poor service was not appreciated and then wonder if they gave you a dirty glass the next time you go in there?

    I never tip at places where they just keep a tip cup on the counter where you order. They are not “serving” me like a waiter or delivery person who might be getting paid below minimum wage, or doing something above and beyond what is expected for their job. They are simply doing the job they are paid for. I feel tips are for those who are working hard to go an extra length for me.

  193. KathieC says:

    What do I tip my laundromat? I drop off the queen size comforters for washing because my washing machine at home is too small. I once tipped because she said she had to wash it twice to get the cat hair off. I felt bad that she had to do twice as much work so I gave a bit extra “for her trouble”. She acted insulted, so I haven’t tipped since. Was she insulted that I tipped her or did she feel it wasn’t enough? Now I’m uncomfortable every time I go there.

  194. Janet says:

    Here in Canada where I work as a chef, minimum wage just went up to 9 bucks an hour. I have also waited tables and cleaned rooms in workplaces. I dont feel right about tipping at say starbucks when the coffee is 5 bucks a throw and they make 12$ hourly wage with benefits. I will however give my hairdresser a tip, cut costs 26 bucks so I geve her 30 let her keep the change. Massage here is 70 bucks and I gave her 10 $ tip. (1hr massage)
    I give a tip for pizza if there is not already a delivery charge. Mail carriers are allowed to accept a gift at the holidays of no more than 25 dollars. The garbage collectors are different guys EVERY week? Would love to do them a kindness but not sure how. I never hired a mover just recruit all my friends and get the pizza/beer later is on me. Have learned if you plan to have more than one drink let the server at least keep the change. Always leave something in a restaurant especially if server is cute! Taxis get a dollar a bag if you help take my bag out of the trunk. If they dont even attempt to get out leave the trunk OPEN!and walk away. Maids I give 2$ a day but leave your space tidy. A maid is NEVER an excuse to trash the room. When I took the newpaper, I left a giftcard clearly addressed to the carrier in the mail box where he places my newspaper. I am sure it was appreciated. Wine is a great thank you gift so are candles and giftcards for beverages at coffee shops.
    For a pedicure it costs 22 dollars and I give 3-5 dollar tip. Hope this helps someone.

  195. Stella says:

    I went to a masseuse who owned her own place. Normally, I tip 20% for a massage. But am I really to tip someone who owns the place? I was really not sure, so I didn’t do it. Plus, the lady was a complete hippie, so I actually thought writing my check out for over the $60 for the massage would have offended her. Hmmm…

  196. Oren says:

    If I visit a friend who lives in a complex that only has valet parking for guests, do I have to tip? I do not want the service, nor have I asked for it. I am forced to use it.

  197. Jessi says:

    -Take-out at my favorite cheap Thai place

    -Bars with truly AWFUL service – the kind that makes me never willing to go back (and in all likelihood it was the owner working)


    -Things like coffee shops where they have a tip jar but I paid with plastic and have no cash

  198. Mary says:

    How much to leave at the car wash for the guys who dry off the car? Most people leave nothing in my upscale town! It’s horrendous. They are supposed to “share” the tips. I wonder if they even see them. How much for the dog groomer? Last time my dog was there all dog and they did a lousy job. Is my tip too weak? Thanks, waiter.

  199. Jessi says:

    @kcbelles I had no idea that bathroom attendants did all those awesome things for people. You have totally changed my view of bathroom attendants and I think I’ll feel much less awkward next time I need to use the loo at a fancy place. Thank you!

  200. Kathy says:

    I was at a pizza place last week. We ordered at the counter, paid there, and sat at a table to eat. One person came late and ordered from the waitress. She packed up my leftovers. I left a few bucks on the table, knowing that the other people at the table wouldn’t have tipped her for clearing their empty plates.

    What was the proper thing to do?

  201. smitha says:

    tipping for housekeeping. I have never thought of that till this afternoon where it was mentioned/suggested that we leave $3 for the housekeeping staff for each day we stay at the hotel.

    I have tipped housekeeping staff with whom I have interacted with and who went beyond their call of duty. But otherwise I hesitate.

  202. Bree says:

    My hardest one is what to give my hairstylist for a tip after she does my hair. I’ve heard that if they are the owner of the salon (which she is) that you should not tip them. But I do anyway because I don’t want to be in a bad situation and she does beautiful work. 😀 Can you tell me if you’re supposed to tip the hairstylist even if she is the owner?

  203. Brett says:

    To add some international flavour, coming from Australia where we tip NO ONE unless they have done something exceptional, I experienced all kinds of tipping anxiety in the US. Restaurants are 15%, cab drivers are some indeterminate percentage, there’s a guy on the door at the hotel looking at me like he wants me to give him something but why? What about at Burger King? They call themselves a restaurant at least…

    Honestly I had no clue and as a result my tipping structure was haphazard at best. While Americans can calculate obscure percentages of an uneven total bill, I haven’t had such training and found it a bit of a struggle.

    So I have to conclude (at the risk of being xenophobic) that the Australian way is better. We know that the people aren’t going to starve if they don’t get tipped since they get a decent wage to begin with. We are then free to tip however and whenever we like, which in my case is when they have given me exceptional service, or are exceptionally good looking.

  204. Aerin says:

    It’s also awkward to receive a tip when you’re not allowed one. When I worked attractions at Disneyland there were several occasions where someone tried to tip me. Company policy is that you have to refuse three times, then you can accept but you have to turn it over to your boss so it can be donated. Usually if it was under $20 this last part didn’t get enforced, but it was really awkward if it happened in front of your boss.

  205. Derrick says:

    When you’re tipping family. I went to the same barber for 17 years, but when I moved away for college I had to find an alternative. My aunt works at a salon where I live now, and she does a good job, plus it’s nice to catch up. But I never know how to tip her. On the one hand she knows I’m a broke student who can barely afford the haircut, but on the other I’d feel terrible if I didn’t tip her. Not to mention I have no idea what the tipping rate is for a salon.

  206. Amy says:

    Food delivery and to go food–do I tip? How much is enough? If they pizza delivery place charges a fee for delivery, do I tip in addition?

    And I always have that panicked moment after getting a pedi or my hair done that I might not have tipped enough when in fact I tend to over tip.

  207. Caty says:

    I feel awkward when my friends or family tip only on the pre-alcohol bill. I was a server for years and you have to tip out the bartenders, hostesses, and sometimes even the cooks. Tipping on the alcohol-included bill helps to make up for the bartenders’ cut. Not that they don’t deserve their money for mixing the drink, but I also deserve my money if the service was good.

  208. Tanya Brown says:

    Pretty much every tipping situation other than restaurants, where 15-20% seems a safe default. I’m about to go on a trip, and figuring out who I should tip and for how much is freaking me out a little.

  209. Cavason says:

    The proprietor of a business who is doing a job that usually people tip. Such as the owner of the coffee shop where I get coffee every day. He works 6 days a week 12 hours a day to make ends meet for his coffee shop. I always tip the 2 other baristas when they work on Sundays, but I don’t tip him because, he is the proprietor. Etiquitte says that proprietors are not tipped, but can they be or should they be?

  210. Shelley says:

    I never know what to tip when I’m picking up a to-go order. In Oregon, wait staff get paid at least minimum wage which is over $8/hr, so they’re not exactly relying on my tips to get by. Also, not every restaurant here pools tips & divides them up with the cook/busboy/dishwasher etc. So when I pick up a to go order I DO leave a 15% tip but I walk away feeling sort of robbed…

  211. jan says:

    I hate tipping everywhere except in restaurants. That’s the only place I think tipping is appropriate. (In the US based on the argument of how this gets you better service.) And I don’t get the US thing of tipping for room service in a hotel. I really do not see the point. Finally I do not want any help I do not ask for like hailing a cab or lifting my baggage. I can do it very well myself.

  212. Jawbone says:

    Sim asked about tipping a hotel-to-subway shuttle driver. In Washington DC, the Kennedy Center provides a shuttle to the Metro subway which I’ve ridden several times. I’ve never seen anyone tip the driver. My advice: watch what other people do and do likewise. If you do tip, $1 would be reasonable (the driver would probably faint if you have him a fiver).

  213. Denise in WI says:

    Without a doubt, the tipping situation that causes me the most anxiety is when I dine out with others who don’t know how to tip, especially if they insist on picking up the tab. In that case I usually insist on leaving the tip (since they’re paying for the meal). In other cases (i.e., separate checks) I’ll usually over-tip by a LOT to make up for my cheapskate friends or co-workers. It isn’t fair to me, but it would be even LESS fair to the server if I didn’t.

  214. anon says:

    I am a little confused with full service gas stations where they pump gas for you. I always tip the guys a buck or two but I am not sure if I am suppose to or even how much I should tip

  215. Emily says:

    I have a hard time deciding what to tip at resturants where they make the food in front of you and the tips are split between the chef and the waitress. Do they pool the tips and everyone splits evenly at the end of the night? Do they split 1/2 right there? Do i tip more because there are 2 people taking the tips?

  216. John says:

    I do not tip people who are paid an appropriate wage for the work they do. This includes fast food, Starbucks, tradespeople and others in similar occupations.

    I only tip in situations where the gratuities are considered to be a part of a person’s pay structure, like waitstaff. I tip 20%, don’t like it, but do it anyway because they need it to live.

    To those who say that if I can’t tip 20% I can’t afford to eat out, I respond with if you don’t like it, get a job where your pay is not optional.

  217. Christine says:

    Massage Studio: I am generally a 15-20% tipper, the better the service the higher of the range I go. A massage costs $39 so in turn I round up for great service: $10 tip. But where I become uncomfortable is when I read the sign at the front desk. “It” recommends tipping at a range $10-15. ?????

    Sushi Restaurant: We always sit at the sushi bar in order to watch the ‘show’. The waitstaff seriously only attends to providing/clearing away the menu and refilling our water. The actual order is taken by the sushi chef and they also serve the food. We struggle between tipping the chef’s well but also leaving something for the staff. We realize they bus/clear and generally take care of duties more other than aleady provided with the menu & water service, but not much related to our service. Still – what is a proper % for each?

  218. Victoria says:

    I hate when I’m at a restaurant that I got to quite frequently and I get the older waitress. She is the mother or sister of the owner. She is horrible. But it makes me really uncomfortable to tip her poorly, especially when paying with a credit card and they are watching you. Everyone who works there knows me and I don’t want them to think I’m cheap, but she doesn’t deserve the tip.

    Also, at the hair salon, when you are checking out. When they ask if you want to give gratuity. I usually end up checking out with the person who cut my hair, so I’m like “what would be an appropriate tip for a hair cut?” FML

  219. Anonymous says:

    A question from a young Canadian woman:. What should you tip at spas if the spa doesn’t already include a tip in the price you are charged? Is it the same as a hair salon?

  220. Mikey says:

    Plain and simple, anytime someone gives me any kind of service, I tip. I am a huge over-tipper, but I love feeling generous. If I go to a bar, and my tab is $50, the bartender is getting at least $15, maybe $20. My minimum tip is $5, so even if I have a $5 or $10 lunch, I still leave $5. This is in restaurant settings.

    Doormen, bellhops, cab drivers, etc…usually a $5 will do. It just makes me feel good to dole out big tips…if I don’t have the money to give an extravagant tip, I do not go out or use those services.

  221. Mikki says:

    I never know how much to tip for:
    Picking up food-to-go
    Mail-people at the holidays, especially when they change during the week
    Bathroom attendants (so annoying)
    Tip jars at fast-food type places
    Anytime a delivery fee is already included, who gets it?
    Buffet-style restaurants
    All-inclusive vacation packages or large-party gratuity included bills
    Appliance/Furniture delivery folks

    The tipping situation that causes me the most stress is hands-down when I’m going to a restaurant with someone who is buying me dinner but they’re a terrible tipper. Sometimes I linger so they leave first and try to add in some cash, but my is this situation awkward.

  222. Allison says:

    I know when I order pizza to be delivered, we always tip the driver, but what about the frozen food guy who brings deliveries (Schwan’s)? Does he warrant a tip? What about flower deliveries (when I didn’t order it myself)? Who knows on that? It’s not like we tip the postal worker, UPS or Fed Ex guys who deliver our stuff.

  223. firefall says:

    Tipping Anxiety? when the service has been very bad, deciding whether to reduce the tip & by how much if so.

  224. Birdy says:

    When the waiter brings a portable debit machine that asks you how you want to tip… they hover until the transaction is complete, which is uncomfortable!

    Taxis – sometimes I only have exact fare, or to tip would mean breaking a bigger bill. Also, sometimes I KNOW I am being taken advantage of – since I live in Montreal, and my French is not strong, I cannot always argue the route with the driver – MY FAULT!

  225. joeinvegas says:

    For me it’s when service is horrendous. What do I do? I know they depend on tips to live, but when the server is just totally incompetant what can I do but say it via poor tip?

  226. Sheri says:

    I put myself through college as a bartender. I believe that I should tip in accordance to the service I received period. Waiters and waitresses clearly are not paid minimum wage. Many bartenders, counter help, stylists, etc are. I tend to believe for those not paid minimum wage; if the service is okay I will tip at least 15%. I will tip more if the service is good or better. For those receiving a minimum wage; I will tip if the service was very good or I’m a regular and get those “regular” benefits. Bartenders are an exception because they usually control the quality of my beverages and I want to keep on their good side :). I agree that more and more places seem to have a tip jar out when little to no special service is given.

  227. Jill says:

    The hardest for me is when I get bad service. Often I can’t be sure if it’s the waiter’s fault, management or the kitchen. I usually tip 20% anyway, unless the person is overtly rude. I know they are trying to make a living in a bad economy & I probably don’t know “the rest of the story.”

  228. Jill says:

    Wow Denise in WI, I’m with you on making up for others under tipping at the table. Another problem I’ve seen is older people. Let me tell you my dad was a great tipper all his life, but the last 8 years or so of his life (with many medical problems), he just couldn’t do the math. (Very sad as he was great at math.) I learned to always keep some extra bills with easy access in my pocket or purse & would drop that on the table when he wasn’t looking or give them to the waiter on the way to the loo. I’m now noticing the same problem with my in-laws & still use my undercover technique.

  229. Peaches says:

    There are situations where I am pretty sure people aren’t “allowed” to accept tips, so I try to offer something else – example, tow truck driver and ATT tech recently; the weather was in the 90s so I gave them bottles of water. They seemed to appreciate the gesture.

    In restaurants, I generally double the tax rate (which equals about 18% where I live) unless service is really bad (one one occasion I left a $1.00 tip on a $10.00 lunch and that was only because I didn’t want to feel cheap, but the server only took my order, delivered the order and then I didn’t see him again – I asked the hostess to tell him why he only got $1.00).

    My hairstylist gets at least 20% and a Christmas gift. Don’t know her birthday.

  230. Peace Gardiner says:

    I used to occasionally be offered tips while working as a seasonal gift wrap. People just didn’t know what to do. I don’t tip for take-out at a sit-down restaurant. Does it make me a bad person?

  231. Katie says:

    I get anxiety now that I moved back to Oregon, I can not for the life of me remember if we are suppose to tip gas station attendents, I got so used to pumping my own gas, its annoying and socially awkward going back to having someone do it for me. I feel guilty for not tipping but I just dont know, how often how much and if they expect it every time.

  232. Wade says:

    Tattos. never quite got it until i had a great artist. i had 4 and a half hours work done in one sitting, ( well after he had to go to class), the work was great, and i wasn’t the best, um, customer (shaky, etc.) he quoted me 125/hr, and only charged me 400. i tipped a bill, but gawd, i still feel bad about it

  233. Jen says:

    I usually get anxious about tipping when I’m eating at a restaurant with friends who tip badly. I usually feel so weird about it that I end up tipping extra just to make up the difference.

  234. JFS in IL says:

    Places , such as hospitals, that offer free valet parking service (you unload your sick self or relative and they park the car for you). At restaurants etc. I would expect to tip – but hospitals? Is it even allowed? I know if I try to tip the grocery person who helps load stuff into the car they say they are not allowed to accept tips.

    I have NEVER used the free valet parking at the hospital simply because I do not know if I am expected to tip or not. I’d rather park in the lot and drag my sick self to the door than
    be in a situation where I do not kow what I am expected to do. Pathetic, I know.

  235. JFS in IL says:

    PS I am one of the folks who has to linger behind to slip extra tip money onto the table at a restaurant – my dad is an embarrassingly poor tipper!!!

  236. Donna says:

    I will be having a catered event next week from 2-6.

    There will be three servers, paid from the moment they walk in the door (noon) until they leave (6:30) $20.00 per hour

    The event is appetizers only passed by the servers.

    The servers are paid separately from the caterer, so all the money goes in their pocket.

    Do I also give the servers a tip ?

  237. Becs says:

    Anxiety about tipping everybody on a cruise ship (conveniently, I have not taken a vacation since 2006). I’m finally settled about tipping coat-check folks. I always leave the maid a tip because I was a maid, once.

    I have major anxiety about being in a fancy-shmancy hotel. I got majorly weirded out during a weekend spent at the Breakers in Palm Beach, but that was long ago. Luckily Courtyard isn’t exactly in that category.

  238. Malka Sabroe-JoHanson says:

    Yes, I get anxious. I wish to honor the expected if valid and ethical. As written in your book; that is one’s income. But don’t know all the rules except for waiters now – thanks to you.

  239. Malka Sabroe-JoHanson says:

    I design custom organized cabinetry. Had a client, a principal of sorts at the local Napa Valley College, some one who influences many people not pay the balance of her bill she contracted us to do because something had gotten damages. We fixed it within our rule of two weeks thinking our rule was respectful for our clients, but this woman was beyond being a nasty bitch about it. She with held 10% of the job because of her inconvenience. That was my pay after paying my installers and manufactures. So for my service she stole from me.
    So if we all have to wait a little longer for service due to a rush, so what. That happens in life – why rip people off. If we cannot afford they don’t order.

  240. WS says:

    I never know whether or not to tip the guy at the hibachi grill that does all the fancy tricks and cooking. I assumed that they get part of the tip left at the table at the end, but someone told me differently. I ended up never tipping them whenever I went, hoping that someone else would bring it up…
    Also, what’s the standard % tip for a cab driver? When I pay, I probably usually overtip, though I feel like other people undertip.

  241. Kate says:

    I always worry about under-tipping, and I constantly wonder when a tip is appropriate. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to tip movers – for instance, two boys came from a thrift store to my house to remove a couch, and they worked so hard that I felt they needed a tip. They said they don’t usually get tips, but that they weren’t prohibited. I gave them each 20 dollars for what was otherwise a free service. I don’t know whether to tip valets at parking garages or lots, the guy at the deli at my work…usually I err on the side of tipping. As far as amount, I generally just assume everyone gets 20%-25%. If the cost is under $20, I give a flat five bucks.

  242. MAmanda says:

    There’s this pizza place I go to for a quick sandwich on my lunch break sometimes. If they deliver, yeah, I definitely tip. If I do carryout, there is no tip jar on the counter and I don’t think that person typically gets a tip (or do they?), but I feel really weird leaving the gratuity line of the credit card slip blank.

  243. jez says:

    Two areas….
    1. Newspaper deliverer who leaves a tip envelope. Somehow I just can’t wrap my head around it that this service deserves a tip.
    2. Hotels when I can and want to carry my own bags to the room and someone hovers around to carry my stuff up.

  244. Susan says:

    My main dilemma is how much to tip a taxi driver.

  245. Jasmine says:

    tattoo artists. especially when I’m not sure if the work is going to actually look great once it’s healed. They bandage it up so quickly, you don’t always know what kind of a tip it’s worth.

  246. Chris Mollo says:

    Hi Waiter! I just finished the book. It was wonderful! when can we expect another? As far as appropriate tipping, my rule is that if you are unsure it’s better to at least give a small tip thean give nothing and look like a total ass. Also, I’m sure the employee would rather have you ask then stiff him because you don’t know better.

  247. Mariela says:

    The tipping situation that gives me more anxiety, is when other people are paying, the other people that didn’t like the way their food tasted or can’t understand the concept of a busy period and there may be a little delay on the services.

    Those people who don’t tip well, they give me anxiety.

  248. becca says:

    It gives me more anxiety when I am not tipped. I work at a very famous amusement/resort type of place. I do childrens hair to make them look like little princesses. Some people tip us 5$ here and there, sometimes 20$, sometimes not at all. We have to box and share our tips (more anxiety.. I cant control someone else being nice and getting tips)..

    Our prices are 50-250$. 5$ when I spent almost and hour getting 3 different dresses cause “princess” couldnt fit or didnt like it, doing her hair, her makeup, making her feel perfect and not like a spoiled brat.. and you tipped me 2%? Wow.

    My favorite rule of thumb, if you would think of something as a service, you tip. 5-20% depending on what the service was. But if someone touches you or anything you may consume or even wear in some cases (including yor children, since they cant tip), I hand it over. If you cant afford to tip, maybe you should stay home.

  249. Sara Stricherz says:

    What I find interesting is that I recently asked my Advisory class (I’m a teacher) if they knew how to appropriately tip. The silence that ensued was scary… who is teaching kids how to tip? Sure, right now their parents pay in restaurants, but very soon they’ll be wreaking havoc on servers everywhere with their friends, and have no idea that leaving $2 isn’t really acceptable. Parents NEED to teach their kids how not to look like an asshole!

    Now onto my tip questions: what is the delivery charge with pizza places? Is that a tip that goes straight to the driver, or is it his compensation for gas? I am already pissed it takes an hour to get to my house when it’s a close pizza place, and then you’re going to add delivery charge AND I have to tip? Ugh. (I don’t like to pick up hot food because it stinks up my car.)

    And I will echo the complaints about coffee shops.. really, if I get an iced tea for $2.80 and it takes you 30 seconds to make, I should leave an extra dollar and all of a sudden I’m paying $4 for a bag of tea and some water? Very frustrating. I HATE those tip jars.

  250. Kelly says:

    When I get a tattoo, I’m never sure how much to tip the artist. And if the owner of the shop is the person doing the tattoo, is it insulting to tip him/her? I’ve always been confused about that. Also, when getting my nails done, figuring out the split of tip between the person doing the manicure and pedicure..or the delivery of such tips! The nail salon personnel always seem to rush off to another customer and may not have a specific station to leave the tip at.

  251. sarah cymber says:

    Jeff, you are definitely not at waiter. I hate you so much. I have to tell you something, even if the girl did a horrible job, still leave her 15%. It didn’t sound like half the things that went wrong were her fault, and if you have that big of a problem with it, talk to a manager. That girl works for her tips, she otherwise gets payed #3.25 an hour. You try living off of that.

    With that said, I tip above and beyond the required amount. No, I am not loaded, I do not have a fancy job…I am a server. I make crappy tips in a Red Lobster…But, I know that it sucks to deal with the public. I tip 30-50% most of the time, and if you suck so bad at the service, you get 20%. So Jeff, don’t ever come see me. I have enough idiots who already do.

  252. sarah cymber says:

    #162…Becky…Dude, girl, who do you think packed up your food? Put it in that bad for you? Dressed it and made sure you had condiments and silverware? You don’t have to tip them a normal server tip, but more than your change is good.

    I have found that if you tip well, you get better service next time around, and if you never ocme back, then you made someone’s day. Karma WILL come get you. And if not, don’t come back to me, or you’ll find that i used my bare hands to scoop your lettuce for your salad into the bowl.

  253. Anonymous says:

    THE DOORMAN!!!! The doorman loves the Xmas tip and I can’t really afford to give him a giant tip especially since there are a million of them! So what do you do when facing bad doorman service all year long? We never let them do much for us expcept hand us our mail so we don’t have to feel like we owe them something….

    And if we tip them trough the year do we have to tip them on xmas as well?

  254. JT says:

    Should I tip the carhop at Sonic?

  255. Booply says:

    If you ever go to a morning buffet, make sure you tip the bussing staff directly. Oftentimes when you tip the wait staff, they make a bundle while not shouldering much of the work (has been the case for three different places I’ve worked at). They come down with say…300 for the morning shift, and they tip out maybe 30-40 bucks total to the bussers, who do about 80% of their work. That includes bussing and resetting tables, prepping the buffet, getting water, cleaning buffet areas, restocking, and breakdown of the buffet, plus taking care of all the dishes that most servers tend to just throw in the buscarts as fast as they can, making it take even longer for them to do their job taking it to the dishroom and emptying them. If you see bussers generally taking care of the buffet, you can assume they are doing more than 50% of the work, where they only get about 5-10% of the money the server does who basically is just a face and an order taker. I tip people based on their work ethic as well as the manner in which they give service. Tip the server, but also tell them you tipped them only 15% maybe because you tipped the extra 5% to the busser covering your side, or ask the waiter to directly give them 1/4 of what you tip. I know it won’t catch on, but I used to be a busser, and I know how many servers think. It can be a greed thing, but most servers just think what they do is somehow more important than what their bussers do, and that is just plain ignorant.

  256. catscohen says:

    Im from the Uk and spend a lot of time in the US , I really dont like the tipping culture in the US , I actually think it encourages bad service , I find the best service in the world is in Japan where there is no tipping and it would be considered unclassy and insulting to people to even try to tip them, the service there is excellent and also genuine, in that you know the person is helping you out of genuine courtesy rather than in a charade to get you into giving a tip, there is no awkard moments either , If I am staying in a hotel I would rather have the guy who carries my bags be paid by the hotel , or even a charge put on the bill than to have to fumble round for cash as he spends an overly long time trying to explain how everything in the room works

    If a server gives bad service to bad tippers or people who he/she thinks wont be good tippers then this is bad service in itself if service is going to only be good if there is an expectation for a tip then that means the default is bad service, the mere fact so many people on here are guilted into paying bigger tips than they feel the service is worth tells you that its bad service or the expectation of future bad service that you are getting , now compare this to the bliss of sublime guilt free service of Japan , I always feel in the us that severs lower themselves to the levels of prostitures the way they angle for tips , it does not create a dignified culture , and in many places I find the wait staff detract from the experience.

    Second to Japan I like the system in singapore where all restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill and then zero people tip, there is therefore no feeling you need to tip and the service is uniform , also none of this money goes to the staff who are all paid a wage by the owner , I dont have an issue with this as in most county waiting tables is not considered a professional job but at the low end of the spectrum of jobs,

  257. Sarah says:

    What I find stressful is tipping in foreign countries where tipping isn’t usually done, but where they know that American visitors tend to tip. My husband and I go on a lot of scuba diving vacations, and it’s generally good form to tip the dive staff, along with the resort staff and everyone else. But we never quite know how much when we’re in a country that doesn’t tip. Do we tip the same as if we’d been in America? Do we tip what we can afford, which is usually less than what we’d tip in America since 15+% of a vacation is a good chunk? Do we tip each person individually or do we tip the head divemaster/reception and assume it will get passed around? What about the staff we never see–the guys who fill tanks, clean our rooms, take care of the boat? And on top of that, we usually have to convert foreign currency and be careful to make sure the amount we’re tipping is reasonable and not super stingy! It’s always an anxious moment when we sort it all out before handing out our money.

  258. Eric says:

    I work as a concierge at a “resort hotel” in the Orlando Area. (my boss is a mouse … does that give it away?) Most of my job deals with making dining reservations and selling theme park tickets. I don’t expect tips for what I do (and can actually get in trouble if I take tips.)

    (However, if you feel we do an exceptional job, anything that you hand us in a sealed envelope is considered confidential, and it won’t be opened until I’m off the clock, and off the property)

  259. Jeff says:

    Went to buy my wife a gift certificate for a massage. Was taken aback when I was asked if I wanted to include the tip with the gift card purchase. Didn’t even know that a tip was expected for someone who gets paid reasonably well to provide a professional service. While waiting, I noticed a signed with recommended tipping levels depending on the service provided. Their recommendations were for tips ranging from 20% – 40%. It better be a damn good massage to get something like that when I am already paying $50.00 for 45 minutes.

    P.S. I didn’t “buy” the tip. I told them I would let my wife decide how much she would tip based on the service. When I gave my wife the gift card, I included a ten dollar bill so she would have tip money available, if she thought a tip was called for.

  260. Peggy says:

    What I’m unsure about is tipping for take-out from a restaurant, say Chinese carryout, or Outback’s pick-up window or my local pizza restaurant.

    I will usually tip 10%, but when I’m with others and do that, they look at me like I’m crazy – “you tip for carrout”?

  261. syro says:

    I’m going to add to the noise here, just because I’m catching up, didn’t see it mentioned, but wanted to put it out there.

    I actually just returned from my first cruise.. The tipping thing there really got to me as well… I mentioned it to some of the folks at my table at dinner (we went the traditional route, dining room every night, same seating, etc).. They were all veteran cruisers and said that most of the people who we were expected to tip on the ship didn’t receive a wage, and that tips were all they’d be paid for the week. That was part of the reason why the staff of a cruise ship is more like the UN than the USA.. I don’t know how much of this is true, but considering I ran into about 5 people who weren’t part of the entertainment staff or office staff who were from the US, I kind of tend to believe that.

  262. Charles K says:

    What’s the rule here: I am in a party of six. I have been clearly informed that a 17% gratuity will be added to the bill for parties of six or more, which is absolutely fine with me. When I get the bill I see that the 17% has been calculated on the post-tax amount (rather than pre-). Seems kind of unfair. I had had the intention of adding more to the tip, but once I’d noticed the post-tax calculation, I didn’t add anything. I asked the server why they calculate it like that but I don’t think he understood my question and things got unnecessarily tense, so I dropped it and have never gone back there even though I like the place a lot.

    So, party-of-six-auto-tips should be calculated on the pre-tax amount, right? Or am I nuts?

  263. Lesley says:

    One situation that always annoys me when I go out with my husband he never tips enough. I used to be a server and have told him repeatedly how much bad tipping bothers me, but he is still a cheapskate tipper. I always try to pay the bill so he doesn’t have a chance to sign the receipt, or leave extra money while he’s not looking. It’s truly annoying!

  264. Blair says:

    One situation that I am always unsure about is when I get my hair cut. I definitely think I have been over-tipping. What percent do you guys tip? This would make for some good stories on my site http://www.stuckserving.com!

  265. Laura says:

    @James-absolutely tip the tattoo artist if you are satisfied with their work (in many establishments 1st touch ups are no charge after initial ink).The way I see it, tattooing my skin is a lot more involved than taking my order and (possibly) cleaning plates.

    %15-%20 I would think is standard.

  266. kaiori says:

    I feel embarassed with eating out with my parents because they are both poor tippers. 10-12% is accepted as the standard tip for average Asian restaurants (we are Asian and we often eat Asian) but still, I feel very guilty and leave quickly and hope the the waiters dont hate talk when we’re gone 🙁

    But I usually always get tipping anxiety anyway because I am bad at math and I have to pull out a calculator to calculate the tip. I feel so embarassed, but I do it becuase I don’t want to undertip.

  267. ichimunki says:

    I just had a personal massage at home as a gift from a friend. The masseuse is in his own business and is not part of another company. I agonized over whether I should tip or not. I ended up not tipping because I rationalized that this is his business and would be taking the full fee but I’m still confused. =\

  268. I Got Stiffed! says:

    I don’t like tipping the bag check dude at the airport. I don’t know what to give him/her because I don’t know if I’m getting ripped off by the “service” or not.

  269. Aubrey says:

    I cannot believe how many people think 15% is a good tip at a sit down restaurant! Servers tip 3-4% of their sales to the bar, the busser, the host. So your 15% is really 11%. Your tip to the server also tips the bartender who made your drinks, andthe busser who is keeping your tables clean and water glasses full. The tip to the server is a tip for everyone. And the server you stiff- they just paid money to wait on you.

  270. Andy Soto says:

    I can’t say I’ve ever been unclear on how to tip but that’s only because I’ve been in hospitality my whole life. I know from working in several hotels that bellman, valets and such are usually satisfied with $3 – $10 a pop, especially in this economy. This is arguable since you are not working off a percentage. I usually give the guy that cuts my hair $5 on $15. Servers will get 20 – 25% depending on the service. When I eat at buffet restaurants, I will usually throw $5 or $6 on the table. I usually look around the room and notice many people have left pocket change or only $1 if anything at all. I don’t get anxiety over these things because I will let the service I receive speak for itself. I have been known to over tip if I’m left with a warm fuzzy feeling. What can I say, sometimes people deserve extra gratuities for doing an extra good job. There has only been one time in my life I did not leave anything and we won’t get into that.

  271. RS says:

    I am wondering about wineries. Do you tip the person at the tasting counter? A lot of wineries charge a fee for tasting. Where does that money go? This came up last weekend where the guy at the winery who was pouring our wines was really great, knew his stuff, etc. I have never seen anyone tip for wine tasting though. There’s never a tip jar or anything. I know these folks can’t possibly make that much.

    I always tip 20+% at restaurants and for personal services (waxing etc.) when I return regularly to the same person. I want to make sure they are taking the care necessary with my eyebrows, hair, mani/pedi.

    Also, my dog walker…she and her husband own the business, do I tip her? Or would a gift at Christmas be appropriate?

  272. T, Faust says:

    I find tipping at hotels confusing–especially if you don’t travel often and/or if you jump up in class from your usual. (e.g. Holiday Inn to Westin.)

    When I drop off the car do I tip the guy who takes it or the guy who later brings it to me or both? How much?

    Do I tip the doorman every time he hails a cab for me?

    What about if the conceirge helps me with a reservation?

    You could easily drop an extra $25 per day on tips at full-service hotels.

  273. Sher says:

    [I cannot believe how many people think 15% is a good tip at a sit down restaurant!]

    I actually think 10% is a good tip. In the restaurants I come to where they show good service I’ll tip 20% if I can afford it.

    Then again, I’m not in US, and in canada 10-15% is perfectly acceptable. Also I come from a country where there is never any tipping, so the whole idea that apparently you’re supposed to tip your hairdresser (for what? I Just shelled out $70 for 20 minutes, which is about x200 times more that what I make, I think she should tip ME) is news to me.

  274. Steph says:

    ANY time you go in with aquaintances, co-workers or other people you’re not friends with, rather just friendLY with, you’re gonna’ get stiffed. Everyone has a different idea of what a good tip is and many still believe in that 15% thing, whatever the hell that is — they don’t want to cook, they want to be egomaniacs who’ll put you in the weeds and when it’s all done, don’t remember a service was rendered and still mess with the amt. they want to part with. Do you know how often ppl take from the “pile” once I’ve left what I want to give — sort of like making change for themselves? How the hell do they figure that belongs to them? Ge*&% fabulous!
    -Steph (waited tables twelve yrs. ago but still has nitemares cuz it wuz so traumatizing!)

  275. bartender says:

    so this is to jeff at number 2. on the list here, and most anyone who has tipped 10%, i understand sometimes service is not the best and maybe the atmosphere can get annoying but besides maybe not getting your meal comped which isn’t even a privlige waiters get unless they are a head waiter, that girl probably did nothing wrong besides catch you in a bad situation with a newbie food runner as for the atmosphere you chose where you were eating you should have known better i know people who would ensure you got visine in your drink next time they saw you people unless your server bluntly offends you to your face 20% is the miniumum i never have gone below that in my life but i also had a single mother who waitressed and taught me better whcih is what i tell myself when i get 10 percenters like jeff, he probably just doesn’t know any better and jeff she wasn’t scared when she was looking at your table she was waiting till she coould get you out of there with the least amount of communication because you were seeming like a lost cause for the tip

  276. bartender says:

    To charles at 51. I cant believe you reall even asked that question say for instance your bill was 200 bucks with a sales tax of 8% you only pay an extra $2.72 and seriously even if it was 600 or 1000 bucks for the check which would add $27.20 is that little percentage killing you?? you should be sorry that you didn’t step the tip up 6 tops always add extra elements of stress to waiters not to mention that most 6 tops love to one a waiter to death so next time dont worry about the tax and toss the extra bucks on the end and if ur gripping over that little bit of money im sure mcdonalds can always accomidate a six top in your price range dollar menus are great for people worried over that little bit of cash

  277. bartender says:

    to sara at 48. I just wanna say right on about parents needing to teach their children about tipping except jeff and that dick who is from the uk and goes to japan (please stay there sir), i dont know how many times i have seen high school or college kids come in get meals at a restaurant and leave the waiter a bucker or cover something like 36.96 with 37.00 in the book actually i have had to chase down kids in the parking lot a few times for waitresses cus the little pecker heads cant add and shorted the bill but that is more on our school systems… wait no their parents probably can’t add either so for god sakes people teach your kids to tip. and sara i kinda gotta disagree toss the baristas a tip one they have to understand starbucks language i mean seriously double chocolate mocha with a double esspresso venti???? god bless those people for dealing with that hell even i had to learn how to order a black coffee with 2 shots of espresso, (a black eye), ill toss em a buck anytime plus just like foodies in a restaurant coffee shops have their snobs too

  278. bartender says:

    To all the people who dont wanna tip the starbucks girls cus i just saw a few more, i am a bartender and i know how to mix you $10 long islands, red deaths, and i make amazing martinis that can easily go upwards of %15 and i expect a tip for it i have made sure to know how make a shit ton of drinks just so when u think your being a wise ass and order sex with an alligator or anyother crazy drink i can do it and so do the people who make your coffee their tip jar is just on the counter and mine is behind the bar toss em a buck you cheap prick if your entittled enough to spend $6 on coffee then whhy can’t you afford a tip??

  279. sarah dos says:

    I’m pretty bitter about tipping since I’ve worked my ass off at various crazy/hectic/gross jobs that provided no tips (or benefits). But that being said, I thought this was outrageous: some gf’s and I went out to get massages a while back and inside there was a huge sign not only asking us to tip our massage therapists (whatever, ok) but it SPECIFIED HOW MUCH. That’s fucking absurd. If you’re going to bother with a number just add it to the price. Jesus christ. How tacky.

  280. Chris says:

    My son works in a pizza restaurant – food set-up, cooking, waiting, etc. He occasionally does deliveries; when he does, he’s off the clock and gets paid a small delivery fee charged to the customer based on the delivery location. Tips can be nice but not everyone tips. One evening he may bring home $100+ and on another only $20. The $100+ nights are when he takes 30-40 pies to one of the local refineries and they tip him $40 or more. He says it all averages out.

  281. J says:

    In general, I tip well, closer to 20% than 15. However, there are two things that make me especially anxious.

    1) Every time he pays for anything, my boyfriend, who is not American-born, asks me how much to tip. Often in front of the person who is receiving it. I don’t always know, so I tend to guess high.

    2) I consistently get worse service than anyone around me — presumably because they think I am going to tip badly? (I’m in my late 20s, but I look almost ten years younger; I’m a grad student, so I may well look cheap.) The thing is, on the rare occasions I go someplace nice, I want to be treated well. If I give a bad tip, I confirm their expectations … even though they’re treating me worse than everyone else. (Why do three tables of people who came in after me have wine they’ve ordered, when nobody has bothered to even bring me water?)

  282. Bonnie says:

    My mother owned a bar and grill for 22 years and she also liked to gamble. Whether, in Vegas or pulling tabs at the local VFW, she always stressed tip, and tip big, it will always work out in the end. I always tip, and always will, because it always works out in the end. My Mother passed away this April 2009, and I miss her terribly. Love you Mom.

  283. Lance says:

    Foreign countries where tipping is -not- the norm. We’re clearly American tourists…and I constantly worry about not-tipping: do they expect it from Americans at this point? How much? In some cultures it is actually an insult to tip or, more bafflingly, to over-tip. I have no idea.

  284. Constance says:

    I’m just terrible with math LOL I feel like such a dork standing in front of the chinese food delivery guy/bartender/whomever trying to figure out how much I need to put down. =)

  285. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the new rule — Don’t tip anyone ever again

  286. Sal's Girl says:

    I don’t think you should tip people if you are paying a fee for something like delivery or moving. Forty dollars to deliver something is plenty! Several thousand dollars to move someone is plenty! (That doesn’t mean I won’t offer water or something.)
    For other things (not food) I tend to go by cost. My lady charges thirty dollars for a pedicure and it takes a little less than an hour. I do not tip. I’m an RN and I don’t make thirty dollars an hour!
    I also don’t tip at a full service gas station (provided I could even find one!) because they already charge you more in the cost of the gas.
    I usually tip twenty percent or more for a sit down meal but if I get bad service in our small town it’s usually because the management didn’t teach the kid (non-professional, usually college kid) any better. In that case I think it’s okay to point out to the kid what they should have done so they will know better next time. If nothing changes I ask for a different waiter’s station or talk to the manager.
    I also don’t understand tipping for maid service or other services at a hotel. The last time I went somewhere(6 or 7 years ago) it was to Boston and the room (cheapest) was $250.00 per night! Maybe I’m just a country bumpkin, but that’s a heck of a lot of money to me and I don’t see why I should pay any more per day unless someone goes out of his or her way to do something special for me.
    I tip at our one coffee shop because I go there often, they know me and they know what I want and start it before I even pay.
    I had never heard of tipping a pizza delivery guy until my brother-in-law told me they tipped in the big town where he works so I started tipping a couple of dollars over the delivery fee.
    Frankly I’m with the folks who say pay a living wage and stop tipping.

  287. Sarah says:

    I don’t typically have a problem tipping though I also am a server. Though one of my friends I cannot go out to eat with because even though she works in a resturaunt and knows correct tipping procedure cannot part with her money. I cannot understand how she can think a server that did an OK job I know the service wasnt amazing or anything but they were busy and seemed to be short staffed. This server was clearly overwhelmed and I think we were sat outside his section. She picked up the money that I had set down on the table for my portion of the tip and wouldnt give it back to me until we were in the car. Which was quite shitty becuase it was the last of my cash and she had paid by CC while i gave her cash for my half. I was soo pissed and went back in to give him the money i finally got back. I don’t understand how people can be that fucking cheep to make someone pay to wait on them. 🙁

  288. JD says:

    This evening I went to a local restaurant that I’ve been meaning to try out, basically a sports-bar married with TGIF. It’s a Saturday and I went alone. I sat at the bar and ordered an appetizer and main course. My appetizer came and went and I spent the next hour waiting around for my main course.

    Eventually they started offering me free beers and in the end, I wasnt even hungry anymore. I asked for the meal to go, waited another 25 minutes and finally when it arrived, the bartender said the whole tab was on the house. I must have had $40 in food and drink, yet I had to pay nothing.

    I immediately thought of this post, which I had read earlier today… I didn’t know what to do – they took fucking forever, but the bartender was a real sweetheart about it when I was only irked. I ended up leaving her a 5, I felt like a total cheapskate, but I felt like I had to leave *something*…

  289. Emily says:

    I get anxious about tipping in my hair salon. My stylist charges an even $40 for a cut…so if I’m paying cash I need to get change beforehand for a tip. And if I’m paying credit/debit I have to tell the girl ringing me up what amount to charge me.

    And what about the girl shampooing my hair? When do I tip her and how much?

    As a side note, I always tip at least 20% when I eat at restaurants, less if the service was horrendous, more at places I eat at frequently. But what about buffets? I’m getting my own food myself, so do I really need to leave 20% for the guy that refills my water and clears my plate?

    I also get anxious when I’m out with bad tippers. One of my friends NEVER tips at restaurants and I feel like I need to compensate for her, even though we get separate bills

  290. Devin_Iowa says:

    just remember that 20% is the same as 1/5 one fifth, meaning two dollars for every ten spent.

  291. Kathy says:

    I’m not sure how much i’m supposed to tip at buffets.They bring you extra plates and fill your glass but thats about it.What do they deserve?Also my main question was i really dont understand why i should tip depending on the price of my check.If i order a burger and fries or a lobster dinner it takes the server the same amount of effort to bring it to me,so why should they get a much higher tip becuase i want something expensive?They are not doing any extra work.

  292. Rob says:

    I think expecting a tip is appalling. Pay a decent wage and be done with it.

  293. Andrew says:

    I have tipping anxiety every time I visit the US.

    Restaurants aren’t so bad, because there’s an app I can use to calculate a tip (even better when there’s six of us and it’s all there).

    Hotels are the worst, because while I think people probably expect tips, I (a) do not have local currency, and (b) have no idea how much to tip even if I did. IMNSHO the hotel should just add a “service charge” onto the bill, or better yet factor it into the room rate (and while they’re at it: add the damn taxes in as well) so I know what I’m expected to pay rather than having to spend my days making it up. So I never tip anyone in a hotel, and if anyone offers to take my bags to my room I will do my damnedest to make sure there’s no obligation.

    Taxis are in-between, so I tend to tip them about half what I would tip in a restaurant.

    Nobody else gets a tip from me, ever.

    Outside the US I don’t tip at all, unless a local tells me I should, and how much.

    Yes, you guessed it: I come from a country where all of these people need to be paid a reasonable wage, tipping is decidedly *not* customary, and all taxes must be included in published prices by law.

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