Monday, July 19, 2010

Tipping Etiquette

Tipping has become a widespread social custom of including extra payments to service-related industry workers. They are never required and vary by culture. Failing to give an adequate tip often violates etiquette standards. Knowing when and who to tip is always uncomfortable when you are unsure of who should receive it and the amount to delegate. Here are some basic rules of gratuity…

Service-related industries are built upon gratuities. The actual wages of the workers are extremely low, approximately $2, as employers factor in tips to the overall salaries of employees. If employers had to pay higher salaries because workers were not generating enough income from tipping, the costs of the said businesses would increase and no one would be happy. Therefore, one should always tip a bartender, taxi driver, delivery person, hotel maid and server but each one requires a different method. (Keep in mind that these are GENERAL rules of gratuity.)

o Tipping a bartender $1 per drink is usually sufficient.

o For a Taxi Driver, everyone has different ideas of right/wrong, but it is customary to give between 10% and 15% of the fare. Citidex has the New York City pricing guides.

o It is customary to tip a delivery person between $2 for small packages and $4-$5 if there are more. For large items, such as a bed, $10 is appropriate.

o Hotel maids/housekeeping should get $2-$3 per bed per night. The tips should be given each day. Check out’s Tipping Guide for Hotels by Charlyn Keating Chisholm.

o Servers typically receive between 15% and 20%. When calculating the tip, dividing the pre or post-tax dollar amount by 5 would provide you with a 20% tip. Dividing by 6 will give 17.5%→18% and diving by 7 will offer 15%.

o Tip Jars: Up to You… There is no steadfast rule about a tip jar next to a cash register. Although the trend has been popping up around pizzerias, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks alike, do not feel obligated to contribute to the fund. At this juncture, many only tip if they receive exceptional service.

You may tip anyone who went above and beyond to help you. A tip is not only a cash gift but an acknowledgement of your appreciation for services rendered. Eye contact, a smile and a big thank you are also a must when someone does something for you.

Etiquette enables people to avoid uncomfortable situations by providing social standards. Setting a good example for kids by using and applying the behaviors will ensure that they will have the social skills to succeed in society in the future. PS- is a great resource to answer the rest of your burning questions about tipping.

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