The Basics of Tipping
Tipping is not optional in any situation (in America, that is). Though you may be thinking, “Tipping is optional, I have the choice to,” you’re wrong. Tipping is part of an employee’s salary. Most employees in the service industry make well below minimum wage and depend on your tips to have money to live.
But sometimes, you may not know if you should tip, or even how much. I’m here to clear that up for you. Listed below are common services average people encounter probably at least once a year, and how much to tip those employees.
1. Waiters/Waitresses As a common courtesy, you should always tip your server AT LEAST 18%. Here’s how the scale goes: 15% = below average service, 18% = average service, 20% and over = above average service. Notice how I didn’t list 0%. This is because you should never stiff a server. I don’t care if you think the server was hitting on your significant other, or if you didn’t get your refill 2 seconds after you asked for it. There’s no excuse to not tip.
A server’s tips are usually 100% of their salary.
2. Nail Technicians Depending on your service (manicure, pedicure, fill-in, etc.) the tip amount will vary. You should tip around 15-20% for your service. But if you get a pedicure and have gross feet or decide to have complicated nail art done, throw in a couple extra dollars. I always tip my technicians at least $5. I usually get fill-ins every two weeks, which cost $20, since I have been going to that nail salon since I was like 3 years old, I always tip 25%. During holidays, I tip 50%.
A nail tech’s tips are usually 25-50% of their salary.
3. Estheticians Now here’s where things get complicated. Sometimes at salons, you can get ripped off big time (like a Brazilian waxing costing $150) so I can’t really give you a percent range. I would say to never tip under 15% though. For example, if I get a waxing done that costs $75, I’m going to leave $15-$20 as a tip. Personally, I like when estheticians talk to me. If you don’t talk to me, or don’t do a thorough job because you think I haven’t gotten the service done before, you’re not getting $20, you’ll get $15.
An esthetician’s tips are usually 25-50% of their salary.
4. Cab Drivers I’ll be honest, usually when I’m in a cab, I don’t stick to percentages, I go with dollar amounts. I think the average number people tip is 10-18%. I tip $2 per 5 minutes because I’m bad at math and it takes me awhile to do it. I live in the city and take cabs all the time, and no cab driver has ever had any trouble with this method. On super sunny days when everyone’s walking, I’ll give an extra couple dollars because it probably sucks just sitting in a car all day.
A cab driver’s tips are usually 15-30% of their salary.
5. Bellmen This one’s easy: $2 per bag, (unless you only have one bag, then give them $5).
A bellman’s tips are usually 50-75% of their salary.
6. Food Delivery I always tip delivery people at least 20% or at least $5. If it’s snowing and dangerous out, give this person like $20 and a hug because they’re so unsafe and even you wouldn’t dare go out in that weather.
A food deliver’s tips are usually 40-70% of their salary.
7. Valet My grandpa was in the hospital for a few months and my family would go up to see him everyday. When I drove my car there, I always gave them $2. Usually I would tip more, but since I was seeing them everyday, $5 just wasn’t affordable for a broke college student. At restaurants, I always give $5. The only time I would tip less than $5 at a restaurant’s valet is if I was waiting 20 minutes for my car in the rain.
A valet’s tips are usually 50-80% of their salary.