Tipping. In the U.S., rewarding someone for their service isn’t legally required, but it’s often expected. When in doubt about tipping, ask or call ahead. If you still aren’t sure, go for a 15% to 20% tip. When you experience bad service, it’s customary to leave only 10%. In the end, giving someone a tip is not only a way to say “thank you,” but for many in the service industries, your tips help pay the bills. Here’s a guide to every situation we could think of where tipping is expected—and where it’s not.

 

A Day-to-Day Guide to Tipping

 

Appliance/Furniture Delivery

  • $5 -10 per person
  • Tip extra $5 – $10 per person if they helped with assembling, or for very heavy and/or difficult-to-maneuver items.

Bartender

  • $1 a drink

Buffet Server

  • $1 – $2 per diner or 10% of the total bill before tax

Car Washer

  • $2 – $3 for a car
  • $3 – $5 for an SUV or larger vehicle
  • 15% for detailing
  • Tip extra for waxing.

Coat Checker

  • $1 per checked item

Dog Groomer

  • 15% – 20% of the total service

Emergency Roadside Service Provider

  • $3 – $5 for a jump or tire change
  • $5 – $10 if you were locked out of your car
  • $5 – $10 for a tow
  • Skip the tip if the cost of the tow is outrageous.

Food Delivery

  • $2 – $4 or 10% of the bill before tax, whichever’s better
  • 15% – 20% for a difficult delivery

Hair Shampooer

  • $3 – $5

Stylist

  • 15% of the total service
  • 20% – 25% when you’ve developed a relationship with them and they spend 1 – 2 hours on your hair

Manicurist/Pedicurist

  • 20% for a regular manicure, more if you feel your service was outstanding
  • 20% for a regular pedicure, more if you feel the service was outstanding

Movers

  • $25 – $50 overall, or $10 – $20 per mover, depending on the quality of the move

Server

  • 15% – 20% of the pre-tax bill

Shuttle to/from Airport or Hotel

  • $2 per person

Wine Steward or Sommelier

  • 10% of the total wine bill

Valet Parker

  • $2 – $5 when they return your car.

 

 

How to Tip When Traveling

 

Airport Skycap

  • $1 – $3 per bag and depending on heaviness of each bag

Airport Wheelchair Assistance

  • $3 – $5 when you reach the gate

Bellhop

  • $1 – $2 per bag
  • $5 if the bellhop shows you around the room and is helpful

Concierge

  • $5 – $20 more on the higher end if they go out of their way, or secure hard-to-get tickets for you

Hotel Housekeeping

  • $2 – $5 a night
  • Tip extra if there are more than 3 people in the room or suite

Rental Car Employee Who Picks You Up

  • $1 – $5 depending on the distance of the drive

Room Service

  • 15% – 20% if the hotel did not include a room service charge on the bill

Taxi Service Driver

  • 10% – 15% of the total fare

Tour Guide

  • 10% – 20% of the cost of the tour.
  •  $1 – $2 per tour driver for a half-day tour, and $3 – $5 for a full-day tour
  • Don’t tip employees of national parks and government sites

 

How to Tip During the Holidays

 

Assisted Living Staff

  • Bake some cookies or holiday desserts for the whole staff

Babysitter

  • $25 – $50 gift certificate, or one night’s pay
  • A card or small gift made by the kids

Building Super

  • $75 – $175 on average, with $50 – $500 on a broader range and if the Super has been very helpful

Doorman

  • $25 – $75 or in some places depending on location, it can be $50 – $150.

Housekeeper

  • Equivalent to one week’s pay (in the form of money or a gift)

Kennel Staff

  • $10 – $20 per staff member
  • Consider giving food to the whole staff

Landscaper or Gardener

  • $15 – $50

Mail Carrier

  •  $20 is the maximum value of a gift that a mail carrier can receive by law.
  • You can give multiple gifts to your mail carrier, but they can’t exceed more than $50 in a calendar year.

Nanny

  • One week’s pay

Newspaper Carrier

  • $10 – $30, or a small gift

Trash/Recycling Collectors

  • $10 – $30 each.
  • For city collectors, call ahead and check if there are any regulations to follow.

Teacher or Tutor

  • A small gift from your child, and check with the school first to make sure it’s acceptable.

 

 

How to Tip Special Interest Professionals

Body Piercer

  • $5

Massage Therapist

  • 10% – 15%
  • A referral

Shoe Shiner

  • $2 – $3

Tattoo Artist

  • 10% – 20% with 15% being the average
  • Go as much as 30% if you’ve developed a relationship with your tattoo artist, similar to a stylist

Waxer/Threader

  • 15% to 20%

 

RELATED: 10 Kinda Weird Ways to Earn $500 Next Month

 

How to Tip on Special Occasions 

Bartender

  • 10% – 20% of the total bill when a service charge has not been added
  • $1 – $2 per guest when a service charge has not been added

Catering Staff

  • 15% – 20% percent of the total bill for the kitchen, serving, and bar staff to split if it’s not in the contract

Chef

  • 15% – 20% of the total bill when gratuity is not included
  • $50 – $100 for each chef when a gratuity is not included

Children’s Party Entertainer

  • 5% – 20% of the final bill if you are exceptionally pleased with the performance
  • Write a raving review so the entertainer can attract more customers.

Limo or Bus Driver

  • 15% of the final cost

Makeup Artist

  • 15% – 20% like you would a stylist, or more if there’s a crisis that requires fixing

Party Planner

  • 10% – 20% of the total bill

Photographer/Videographer

  • $30 – $100 depending on how long they worked, more if they do something exceptional

Presiding Official at a Funeral if an Honorarium Isn’t Present

  • $50 – $300

Reception Musicians

  • 10% – 15% of total bill to the band or DJ
  • $25 – $50 per band member
  • Tip a little extra if they carry heavy equipment to different locations.

Restroom Attendants

  • $1 – $3

How to Get Bonus Points for Tipping

Barista

  • Loose change and up to $2

Gift Wrapper

  • $1 – $5 per item, but check ahead with the store policy

Maître D’ or Hostess

  • $10 – $20 but typically only when the maître d’ or hostess has gone out of their way to help you

When Not to Tip

  • Acupuncturist
  • Bed & Breakfast Owner
  • Bicycle Repair-Person
  • Bouncer
  • Cable Guy
  • Chiropractor
  • Gas Station Attendant
  • Grocery Bagger (unless they carry your bags to the car then consider offering a buck or two)
  • House Sitter
  • Home Contractors
  • Makeup Artists at the Mall
  • Mechanic
  • Personal Trainer
  • Plumber
  • Sports Instructor
  • Tailor
  • Tech Expert
  • Theater or Arena Ushers
  • UPS, USPS, or Fed Ex Delivery Person

 

Note: The tipping guidelines above are average American expectations. Always consider tipping more if you’re happy with a service. Tell us if you agree or disagree with these tipping guidelines in the comments below.

 

UP NEXT: 13 Little-Known Ways to Save on Sporting Events, Shows & Concerts

 

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Knowing How Much to Tip