Tipping and Holiday Tipping

Tipping is something that many of us who moved from Australia are not used to.  In the US it is etiquette to tip your service staff.

When I first moved to the US, I found tipping to be quite confusing.  I wished that it was just included in the final bill.  However since living here for a while, I have found that I do get better service when there is an incentive.

It is important to tip fairly, as many service industries rely on the tips as part of their income.  Tipping is taxed so if you don’t provide a tip, sometimes it is costing the waiter to serve you your food.

Everyday Tipping

Waitstaff: 15-20% of the bill.  If you have a larger booking, often 20% gratuity will be automatically put on your bill.

Bars: 10-15% of the bill or $1 per drink.  If you are getting difficult drink orders such as cocktails you would tip more than if you were just getting beers.

Coffee Shops and Cafe’s: 10-15% of the bill and you put on the counter tip jar.

Food and Pizza Delivery: $1-$5 (depending on difficulty and weather conditions)

Hotel Maid Service: $1-$10 per night (depending on how much mess you made)

Hotel Bell-Hops: $1 per bag

Hotel Concierge: $5-$10 for booking tickets or restaurants (not required for directions)

Tour guides: 10-15% of tour price

Taxi Drivers: 15% of fare (a couple of dollars more if they help with bags)

Valet attendent: $1-$3

Driver of Courtesy shuttle: $1-$2 per bag if they help

Large Deliveries (like furniture): $5-$10 per person

Hairdresser: 10-20% for one technician (or 10% each if you have a couple of technicians)

Manicure, Massage or Facial Therapist: 15%

Movers: $5-$10 per mover

Car Wash: $2-$5 per car, depending on size of car

As Christmas is this week, we thought we would outline some of the recommended tips for the holidays.  It is to thank the people who you use regularly over the year.

Holiday/Christmas Tipping

Cleaner/Housekeeper: One week’s pay if you employ the person directly

Gardener: One week’s pay

Regular Babysitter: One evening’s pay

USPS Mail Delivery Person: Up to $20 value of a non-monetary gift

Teacher or Day care service: $25-$100, Gift Certificate or a personal gift if you know their hobbies or interests

Also consider your regular hairdresser, dog groomer, manicurist, massage therapist, doorman and concierge.

If you do have a regular UPS or FedEX delivery person check with their company website on gifts accepted.

We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on what is appropriate tipping amounts.

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One Response to Tipping and Holiday Tipping

  1. Pingback: Holiday Tipping 2013 | Finding Houston

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