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Tipping Manners

Remember that pizza you ordered using your good telephone manners? Well now you have to tip the delivery driver (this is a good chance to impress your date).

Classroom | Business | Telephone | Tipping | General
Manners: Tipping Manners

One difficult part of any kind of travel is tipping. Tipping—leaving a gratuity—is a way of thanking people for their service. It could be in a restaurant, taxi, or even a barbershop. Depending on whether you are in Tokyo, Athens, or Los Angeles, the guidelines for when and how much to tip vary greatly.

Use this chart to determine how to tip in America:

Bartenders 10% - 15% of bar bill
Tip with each round for better service
Bell staff $1 - $2 per piece of luggage
Coat Check $1 - $2
Door staff $1 - $2 per bag if checking into the hotel
$1 for hailing a cab (more in rain or for special effort)
Hair Cut/Barber 10% - 15% of the cost
$2 - $3 for wash in a salon
Hotel Concierge $1 - $2 for help or guidance other than simple directions
$5 for special services
You may tip after each service or at the end of a stay
Limousine Driver 15% - 20%
Maid/Housekeeper $1 - $2 a day (up to $5 a day in very expensive hotels)
Restaurant
Maitre d'
5% - 10% of the bill, but only if they provided special assistance such as finding a table when you had no reservation.
Room Service 15% - 20%
Skycap $1 - $2 per bag
Taxi/Tour Bus Drivers If the charge is below $10: $1 plus the change
If the charge is over $10: 15%
Valet Attendant $1 - $2 for each trip to the car
Waiters/Waitresses 15% for average service - 20% for good service

Always remember that tipping is optional, but it is often the main source of income for people such as wait staff at restaurants. Sometimes restaurant, hotel room service, or other bills may include a gratuity in the charge; in these cases you do not need to add a tip, though you should add a small amount for special service.

For services that we do not list in the table above, just make your best guess. It is never rude to tip for services in America, though an increasing number of companies providing services such as home grocery delivery instruct their employees to refuse tips. Offer a tip, and if the person refuses the tip, thank them for their service.

If you receive poor service, be prepared to tip anyway (at the low end of the range), but also be sure to speak to a manager. Businesses such as restaurants want to maintain good service, and it helps if you inform them when service is poor. You can tell the manager that you don't wish to get your server in trouble, but you wanted to point out the problem. Also speak to a manager if the service was excellent. Hearing when their employees do well is as important as hearing when they did poorly!

If you want to receive printed tipping guides, you can send mail to these organizations:

Etiquette Company
P.O. Box 652
Carmichael, CA 95609

Tippers International
P.O. Box 2351
Oshkosh, WI 54903

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