The New Tipping Etiquette: How Much to Tip in Every Situation

From Your Hair Dresser to a Barista, Here’s How Much You Should Tip in Every Situation

Tipping etiquette has become a hot topic lately. Some folks are outraged over being expected to cover the cost of employees’ livable wages, while others see it as a nice way to show our appreciation for a job well done. But let’s face it—knowing exactly how much to leave can be super confusing. We’ve got you covered with this guide to help you navigate tipping in various scenarios!

Tipping Etiquette is Circumstantial

Tipping is always a nice way to say “Thank you,” but changes in tipping etiquette, especially since the pandemic, have left many of us scratching our heads. Should you tip when you only get takeout? After all, essential workers have been doing a lot to serve us during tough times. It turns out that tipping varies depending on the situation, but it’s a gesture that’s pretty much welcomed everywhere.

Tipping Etiquette is More Inclusive

First thing’s first: more service jobs deserve tips. Yes, we should tip spa and salon workers, our favorite bartenders, and helpful bellhops. But tipping isn’t limited to these traditional roles. Many more service providers fill our lives, and they deserve a little gratuity too. Even non-monetary thanks count if you know how much to give in different situations.

Tipping Etiquette for 10-20%

Let’s talk specifics. While tipping for takeout wasn’t always the norm, these days, adding 10-15% of your bill for takeout is a good rule of thumb. This also applies to pet sitting, walking, grooming, and food or grocery delivery services. For other services, such as dining in at a restaurant, a nice 15-20% tip is standard.

Tipping Etiquette for a Few Dollars

Sometimes, a buck or two will do just fine. Tipping bartenders around $2 per drink is a good move. As for your morning coffee run, leaving $1 per drink or $2 for more complicated orders for baristas is appreciated. With hotel staff, it’s courteous to tip housekeeping $1-$3 per night and a bit more—say $5—if extra cleaning services are needed. Bellhops should get $2-$3 per bag, and an extra $5 for room deliveries.

More Costly Gratuity

When service providers go above and beyond, show your appreciation with more generous tips. A doorman might be tipped $5, but if they’ve really helped you out, consider giving $15-$20. Valet drivers, post-pandemic, often receive $5-$10 or more, especially for special requests. Personal trainers don’t need a tip every session, but $10-$20 at the end of a program shows your gratitude. Big delivery job from Amazon or FedEx? Tip those drivers $5-$20. And if you’re moving, give movers $20 per day each, or $50 for a supervisor.

No Need for Tipping Etiquette

Some service professionals don’t expect tips, and in certain cases, they can’t accept them. For example, USPS and other government employees are prohibited from receiving tips. Here are a few more situations where tips aren’t necessary: those working in government-related roles, and other regulated services where tipping is not allowed.

Other Ways to Show Gratitude

Cash is great, but there are other creative ways to show your appreciation. Small gifts like a note with a gift card, or a modest gift under $50 during the holidays are wonderful ways to say “thank you.” Plants, flowers, and hand-written notes can also brighten someone’s day.

Another heartfelt way to show appreciation is writing a review. Small businesses cherish positive reviews as they help draw in more customers. Taking a few minutes to share your kind words can mean a lot more to a small business than a few extra dollars.

So, while some folks argue that tipping culture has gone too far, it’s never a bad idea to spread a little joy if you can afford it. Plus, places you frequent will remember your generosity and maybe even throw in a little perk like extra sauce or a coffee refill. So next time you wonder about tipping, go ahead and make someone’s day!


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