A Cheat Sheet on Tipping Do's and Don'ts
Take the confusion out of tipping Tipping can be daunting. While most of us know that it's appropriate to tip our server at a restaurant, it's not always clear whether to tip the hotel concierge, funeral chaplain or dog groomer.
If you leave a tip, how large should it be? Is 20 percent an across-the-board solution? Will your tip leave you looking like Donald Trump or Ebenezer Scrooge? Are there situations where tipping isn't necessary?
This list from Bankrate should help you answer these questions as well as give you specific gratuity guidelines.
Cash for the hotel staff Thomas Farley, a New York-based manners expert for WhatMannersMost.com, says be prepared for a variety of tips at hotels. If the hotel is a five-star property, the service expectations are greater and the tip should be, too.
* Hotel porter toting your bags: $2 to $3 per bag. * Room service with gratuity included on the bill: $2. * Room service without gratuity included: 20 percent of the charge. * Toiletry/towel delivery: $2. * Doorman if he hails your cab: $2 to $5. * Concierge after guest's request: $5 to $15, depending on how difficult the task is (like procuring sold-out theater tickets). * Housekeeping: $2 to $5 per day.
Etiquette coach and trainer Constance Hoffman, of Social and Business Graces Inc. in Los Angeles, says, "Don't leave the maid's tip on the nightstand as that has sexual connotations. Instead, put it on the desk or a counter."
Also, the cleaning person may change daily, so give a tip each day before leaving the hotel so the housekeeper who makes up your room will get the money.
Tipping the wait staff The size of a restaurant gratuity depends on how well you are served, including whether your order is correct or if your server checks on you after you receive your food, says Hoffman. Don't base your tip on the food's taste; the server has no control over it.
Hoffman's tipping guidelines:
* Restaurant wait staff: 13 percent to 20 percent of the bill.
When your party stays through the time that the restaurant could seat and serve others, tip twice the amount. Hoffman says you should always leave a minimal tip, even with abysmal service. Tips are generally shared by the restaurant's workers.
* Takeout: Nothing is necessary. But if you receive some service, like a waiter packaging your food, then tip $1 to $2 or up to 10 percent. For sushi, tip 10 percent for its preparation, Hoffman says. * Tip jars at fast-food counters: Nothing required; it's your call.
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