Tipping Standards

I spent three years working as a waitress while I was in college. I believe that everyone, at some point in their life, should work in the service industry. It teaches you humility and I guarantee it will make you think twice before treating your waitress or anyone else providing you with a service in a hostile manner.

On the other hand, I also believe that anyone working in the service industry should realize that they chose that profession and it is their job to provide service with a smile. Don’t be mean to me because you hate your job. If you want my money, then I expect you to at least pretend you want to be where you are.

I haven’t decided what to do about those service providers that don’t work for a tip. Not to get off on another subject, but if you are working at a drive through or as a cashier or in any position where you have to come in contact with the public, do us all a favor and just fake it until you make it.

Listed below are the tipping standards for most service industries.


  • Waiter/Waitress
    15% of pre-tax bill for ok service, 20% for great service but not less than 10% even if the service is poor (I know that sucks but they have to split their tips with the people who make the food)
  • Sommelier (Wine steward)
    15% of the cost of the bottle
  • Bartender
    15 – 20% of the tab with a minimum of $1 (about $0.50 for a nonalcoholic beverage)
  • Coat room attendant
    $1 per coat
  • Parking valet or garage attendant
    $2 to bring your car to you
  • Washroom attendant


  • Taxi driver
    15% of fare and an additional $1 per bag if they help you load or unload
  • Food delivery
    10% of the pre-tax bill
  • Grocery loader
    $1 for loading bags into car but $3 if you have more than 3 bags
  • Barber
    15 – 20% depending on service frequency, if you are a regular then you can tip less (minimum $1)
  • Hairdresser
    15 – 20% again depending on service frequency
  • Shampoo person
  • Manicurist
  • Spa service
    15 – 20% regardless of service frequency
  • Staff at coffee/food retailers with tip jars
    No tip is required. It is completely optional.
  • Handyman
    No tip
  • Gas attendant
    No tip


  • Skycap at airport
    $1 per bag if you use curbside check-in but $2 per bag if sky cap takes them inside for you
  • Hotel doorman
    $1 per bag for helping with your luggage and $1 per person for hailing a cab
  • Hotel bellhop
    $1 per bag if they take your bags to your room with a minimum of $2 (yes, even if you only have one bag)
  • Hotel housekeeper
    $2-$5 per night depending on how fresh you want your sheets
  • Hotel concierge
    $5 for getting tickets or reservations but $10 if they pull any strings to get make the impossible a reality and no tip for directions

3 thoughts on “Tipping Standards

  1. I always think of myself as a pretty godd tipper, but I know that i have had my off days. When I was younger I didn’t think about the fact that the waitstaff was paid so low and would tip very little. In college I would leave notes telling the person why they got a low tip or no tip at all. Just the other day a woman told me about how they had printed some cards that you give to the waitstaff. I was thinking why in the world would I buy these and give these to anyone. I think they were call GraTruetudes. Anyhow, I tip better, whether the servoce is good or bad.



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