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Tips on Tipping

Who to tip, and how much?

Oftentimes consumers are faced with this familiar dilemma: Who to tip? And, how much do I tip?

A tip is an amount of money given voluntarily or beyond obligation to a person who has performed a service. Tipping for services has become a custom in the United States and other countries for centuries. It started as a way to ensure good service, and has become an expected practice in many industries.

Most people know to leave a tip for their waiter/ waitress, bellhop or housekeeper. But these day’s you’ll often see a tip jar when you go into a coffee shop, sandwich shop, ice cream parlor, or any other place with counter service.

There is that constant grey area when it comes to tipping. Since leaving a gratuity is optional in most cases, one’s experience and values are what come into play when determining which service to tip, and the amount.

According to USA Today, Trip Advisor, Business Insider and CNN Money there was a consistent tip suggestion for the most common services in the United States.

Below is a quick tip guide:

Food Service:

Waiter / Waitress – 15% – 20%
Bartender – 15% of total bill or $1/drink
Delivery – 10%
Takeout – Optional (no obligation)
Barista – Optional (no obligation)
Sandwich Shop – Optional (no obligation)
Ice Cream Parlor – Optional (no obligation)

Personal Care:

Barber – 15% – 20%
Hairdresser – 15% – 20%
Manicurist – 15%
Spa Service – 15% – 20%
Shoe Shiner – $2 – $3
Coat Checker – $1 per coat


Cab Driver – 10% – 15%
Bus Driver – $1 – $2
Valet – $2 – $5 when your car is returned


Bellman or Porter – $1 – $3 per bag
Housekeeper – $2 – $5 per day
Room Service – $5


Movers – $20/mover
Car Wash – $2 – $5
Counter Service – Optional (no obligation)

Additional tips:

Before you travel to a foreign country, always research and learn the customs regarding tips. In some countries, tipping is considered an insult.

Always look at your receipt before leaving a tip, as gratuity may already be included on your bill.

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