Non-Restaurant Tipping

Since tipping in restaurants is being discussed at length here, with very little discussion of any other kind of tipping, I thought it would be worthwhile to open a thread devoted to all the zillion other situations in which tips are apparently expected.

It’s been my contention for some time that there are so many different tipping situations that only a member of the landed gentry has the spare time to keep track of the rules for each one.

I propose two stages for this thread: first, a data-gathering stage, where we contribute our knowledge of what tipping situations exist, and what the rules are; and, second, we can then discuss whether it seems reasonable that all these situations should be tipping situations.

I’ll go first:

Pizza delivery.
Hair stylist.
Bellhop (in the better hotels).
Baggage handler (in airports, etc).
Maitre d’ (in swanky restaurants).
Bartenders. (I didn’t know about this one until it came up on the other thread.)

I’ll admit my ignorance up front: I don’t know what ‘the rules’ are in any of these situations. I’ve been tipping hairstylists and pizza deliverers for years, and have no idea whether I’m overtipping or undertipping. I handle my own baggage in hotels and airports just so I don’t have to deal with the question of how much to tip.

My tuppence-worth:

Pizza deliveries? Nope, although often I’ll tell them to keep the change.
Hairdressers? No, never. It never occurred to me.
Bellhops? I’ve never been to a posh hotel.
Baggage handlers? I carry my own.
Bartenders? Haven’t done before.

I suck at tipping. I never know how much or when. But add taxi drivers to your list. I know you’re supposed to tip them.

There are many scenarios where tipping is appropriate.

About a month back my wife and I moved to a new abode about 5 miles from our previous residence.

We hired an “amateur” mover to take the big things while we handled the small stuff. This is a professional moving “company” that hires semi-skilled labor. Three college guys show up to do the moving.

Everything went well. They took care of our belongings, breaking nothing. They also loaded the truck, drove to the new site, and unloaded the truck, placing things as per our instructions in 3 hours.

The bill was $234.00, with the check to be made payable to the moving company. I tipped the movers an extra $20.00 each.

Pizza delivery? a buck
hairstylist? a buck
handle my own luggage
don’t go to bars
don’t know on other ones, either, sorry.

For me it’s always a degree on service. I do work part-time as a waitress so I usually tip quite well. All of the situations named so far are tip possible, but it all pivots on service. I usually over-tip, but I usually get very good service. :slight_smile:

I have always tipped hairdressers and taxicabs at least 15%. (Except for the guy who thought I was from out of town and intentionally took me the long way around). I usually tip $1 plus the change for pizza delivery, more if it’s raining heavily or snowing. Bellhops and other baggage handlers get somewhere between $1-$2 per bag. I may be the only person left in America who leaves a $1/day tip for the maids who clean my room when I leave a hotel (except for the time I was late to a dance competition because I couldn’t get towels after three separate calls to Housekeeping).

I recently got offered a tip for doing my job. I refused it.

I’m a computer techinician (aka, the help desk), and I got sent to a client of the company I’m contracting at now. The client was one of the more clueless people I’ve encountered in my day (and, oh, I’ve encountered a lot). After I fixed his problems, I got ready to leave and he shook my hand, thanked me, and then took his wallet out.

At first, naive as I am, I thought he was going to hand me a business card, in case I wanted to randomly call to offer help in the future. But, he looked at the wallet, then looked at me, and asked “Do I tip you?”

I told him no and he said he wanted to show some appreciation for my work. I replied that he should just tell the person I was sent to him by that I did a good job and just compliment me there.

I felt rather embarrassed by the offer, and only told one friend about it. She, a former waittress, didn’t understand why I didn’t accept it. I did used to work as a bag boy at a supermarket and accepted tips gleefully then. Of course, a dollar meant a lot more to me when I was 15 than it does now.

As for the OP:

I tip about 10% on pizza deliveries, or whatever rounds it up to a nice even number ($13 pizza, he’ll get $2 to make it $15).

Never had a bellhop carry my bags for me in a hotel. Usually I’m stuck carrying someone else’s.

When I get my haircut I usually tip them a buck or two, depending on if I get complimented on my hair or not (which happens more often than not – if she likes my hair, she’s getting an extra buck; flattery gets people places with me).

If I check a bag in curbside at the airport, I’ll give the guy a buck.

Never bribed a maitre d’. I don’t eat in those places.

At bars, I’ll leave an average of a dollar tip for 2-3 drinks, or whatever seems to be convenient. If I’m buying two drinks, and they come to $9, I’ll just leave a $10. If I get a drink and it’s $3.75, I’ll leave $4.

How about Hotel Maids?

I can see tipping if I’m spending multiple days in one (nice) hotel, but how about an overnight stay in the Super 8?

Pizza delivery (also applies to Chinese, Mexican, and any and all other food deliveries): Fifteen percent.

Hair stylist: I usually pay between fifteen and twenty bucks for a haircut, and I always tip five dollars. The barber is NOT someone you want mad at you.

Bellhop (in the better hotels): Buck a bag, maybe five bucks if I’m feeling like a high-liver. Ten if I expect him to provide female companionship later in the evening.

Baggage handler (in airports, etc): Buck a bag.

Maitre d’ (in swanky restaurants): Zilch. He probably takes a cut of the server’s tip, anyway.

Bartenders: Usually a buck a drink…I rarely stay at one bar for more than a couple of drinks, anyway.

My $.02
Pizza delivery. : I ALWAYS tip these guys… and well. To my thinking, they are just waiters with a long commute to their tables. Also, if I order pizza it normally means that I am unwilling to go out. (bad weather, sick kid, car trouble…whatever). Since the delivery man made a trip I didn’t want to make, he earns my appreciation, and a tip. (also, if it’s snowing or raining I tip more)
Hair stylist. : Don’t use one. (my hair is long, and straight, and can be trimed by anyone…normally a friend does just fine) I suppose if one has a stylist that does an extremely good job (getting EXACTLY what you wanted for example) or makes an effort like fitting you into a booked evening then a tip might be appropriate.
Bellhop (in the better hotels).
Baggage handler (in airports, etc). : I carry my own bags.
Maitre d’ (in swanky restaurants). : Nope… not unless he is also serving me something (wine ect…) I can’t see how walking… and pointing to a table earns a tip.
Bartenders. (I didn’t know about this one until it came up on the other thread.) : Yep… here again, I consider them sort of specialized waiters. If the service is up to par, then they deserve a tip.

To the list below, I’m adding:

  • Professional tattooists and body piercers (if they don’t own the shop): Usually $5.00 on up, depending on the price of your tattoo. I’ve left $20+ tips for work that cost over $200.

  • Airport super-shuttle type vans and busses. NOT the free car-rental shuttle vans, but those that for a fee, take you to your downtown hotel. They usually post a sign that says “Your ticket does not cover gratuity.”

  • Your coffee shop barista (not really required, but they’re like bartenders so I’ll pop my change in there after paying for that expensive $5.00 double-grande mocha).

This is from Tips on Tipping at the Web site for ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) and has to do specifically with tipping people you encounter during your travels. BTW you can cut out a LOT of this if you don’t carry suitcases that need to be carried.

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My Web site, the Travelite FAQ for tips on how to travel with just a carry-on bag so you don’t can save on tipping!!
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Okay, here be the list:

1.Taxi/Limo Drivers: A $2-$3 tip is usually satisfactory; more if he helps you with your bags and/or takes special steps to get you to your destination on time.

2.Porters: A standard tip for airport and train porters is $1 per bag; more if your luggage is very heavy.

3.Hotel Bellman: Again, $1 per bag is standard. Tip when he shows you to your room and again if he assists you upon checkout. Tip more if he provides any additional service. Note: A $5 tip upon arrival can usually guarantee you special attention should you require it.

4.Doorman: Typically, a $1 tip for hailing a taxi is appropriate. However, you may want to tip more for special service, such as carrying your bags or shielding you with an umbrella.

5.Concierge: Tip for special services such as making restaurant or theater reservations, arranging sightseeing tours, etc. The amount of the tip is generally dependent on the type and complexity of service(s) provided–$2 to $10 is a standard range. You may elect to tip for each service, or in one sum upon departure. If you want to ensure special treatment from the concierge, you might consider a $10-$20 tip upon arrival.

6.Hotel Maid: Maids are often forgotten about when it comes to tipping because they typically do their work whe you are not around. For stays of more than one night, $1 per night is standard. The tip should be left in the hotel room in a marked envelope.

7.Parking Attendants: Tip $1-$2 when your car is delivered.

8.Waiters: 15-20% of your pre-tax check is considered standard. The same applies for room service waiters. Some restaurants will automatically add a 15% gratuity to your bill, especially for large parties–look for it before tipping. If the 15% is added, you need only tip up to another 5% for superlative service.

9.Cloakroom Attendants: If there is a charge for the service, a tip is not necessary. However, if there is no charge, or extra care is taken with your coat and/or bags, a $1-$2 tip is appropriate.

10.Tour Guides/Charter Bus Drivers: If a tip is not automatically included, tip $1 for a half-day tour, $2 for full-day tour, and anywhere from $5-$10 for a week-long
tour. Tip a private guide more.

Yup; I usually leave a dollar or two for the maid. I also try to remember to do so each day, since I don’t know how they rotate their work schedules. Leaving $10 for a few nights’ stay will make the single maid really happy, but probably won’t take care of those who cleaned my room earlier.

I’ll add stadium vendors to the list (I’m talking about the guys that walk around the stadium carrying 50 pounds of pizzas). I don’t do it as consistently as I should, but if it convenience (I can shout out keep the change) I’ll do it.

One class of people I summarily refuse to tip are owners. There is a guy near my office that has a corner coffee cart. We’ve spoken, he owns the cart. I refuse to put money in his little tip cup. If he doesn’t think he is making enough money off the price he charges, he has the authority to change the price.

Also, some places I have seen tip jars are not particularly appropriate. I am not going to tip the Noah’s person who just spend 3 seconds handing me a plain bagel.

Hookers. If the hooker works for a pimp (or in an establishment that takes a cut) a tip may be appropriate depending on the quality of service - not that I know from personal experience.

Strippers. A dollar every thirty seconds or so is the preferred rate.

Police Officers. It is customary to tip the police officer, in multiples of $20s BEFORE they decide not to write a ticket.

This is probably one of those old timey customs that is falling by the wayside, but I’ll mention it because it used to be standard practice and still makes a lot of sense. That is:

You don’t tip the owner, even if he/she serviced you.

This rule most frequently applied to barber shops where the guy who owned the place had one chair, and other barbers who worked for him had the other chairs.

Oops. I just noticed that baglady half-mentioned my “don’t tip the owner” rule in her post, but slipped it in under “tattoo artists.” Sorry, but I skipped that paragraph at first reading, knowing that I’d never need that information.

Double oops! Now I see that obfusciatrist mentioned my “owner” rule too! (But he slipped it in while I was typing my post, so I really can’t be faulted there. Sorry anyway.)

[Baglady does a quick calculation in her head.]

Sweetie, want a table dance when we get home?

Hey now, no comments about “but she’s the owner!” from the peanut gallery!!

Hmmm… I’m having a hard time with that owner’s rule.

My Aunt used to own a coffee shop when everyone including their mother owned one. She worked there almost non-stop. Tipping was important to her and she really appreciated it. Not much money to be made in coffee shops. We told her, but she wouldn’t listen.

On the other hand, I worked at a busy ass bar and we sometimes would get overwhelmed behind the bar. The owner would hop over and help us out. He refused to tip out at the end of the night because he owned the bar. He thought it was wrong and none of us were about to complain. But he still collected tips from customers.

I mean, the problem with me hear is that your tipping for a service, not how much is so-and-so making by owning the place. Good service= good tip regardless of who owns it. My opinion.

BTW-I can’t believe you didn’t know to tip the bartender. I bet you walked out of there as sober and when you walked in.

I feel like an idiot, this honestly never occured to me. I guess it would make more sense especially since I don’t have the maid clean every night during extended stays. Hmmm!

Is anyone else stunned that MattK DOESN’T tip his bartender? I don’t know if that’s the norm in the UK, but here in the states that would make it difficult to obtain enough alcohol to become drunk (and what you are finally served may be too dangerous to imbibe.)