Penny Wise: Tipping Tactics

Thursday, 7 April 2005

While most of us are familiar with tipping servers at restaurants, we're not always sure about who else may require monetary recognition, and how much to give. Here's a quick refresher on tipping tactics.

Want a place where everybody knows your name? Tip early and tip well! When service is good, we recommend tipping:

  • 15% in restaurants

  • 15% for beauty services

  • 10% to the food delivery guy when he brings around pizza, etc.

  • 50 cents to $3 for a cab ride, depending on the distance and whether they carried your bags and held the door (although some cab companies automatically charge extra for bags, so don’t make the mistake of paying twice for this)

  • $1 or $2 to the bellhop when he brings up your bags

  • $1 or $2 a night to the maid at the hotel

  • $20 to the concierge if he nabbed theater tickets or a coveted reservation (more if he helped you out over several days)

  • $20 to the paper delivery person at Christmas

But as always, read the fine print, especially in restaurants and hotels. Sometimes gratuity is included, as is often the custom in foreign countries or for large groups at a restaurant.

And when it comes to room service, gratuity and delivery charges are often added to the already astronomical food prices. (Makes us want to go hungry!)

Showing your gratitude is also about those little extras (e.g. remembering a birthday, a tip at Christmas) that make your hairdresser, cleaning lady or paperboy go the distance. They are working for you after all, and no one wants to be thought of as a bad boss.


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