Tipping Etiquette: Chances Are You're Not Tipping Enough

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Tipping Etiquette: Chances Are You're Not Tipping Enough

Made Man / Sam Truong Dan on Unsplash

No one likes tipping. You may tell yourself that you do because society has conditioned you to feel that way, but realistically no one wants to give more money for services that they're already paying for.

That being said, it's nice to give a tip to someone if they go out of their way to help you out, but other than that who has bucketloads of cash to be giving away?

Tipping is actually frowned upon in some countries. In many European countries, tips are included in the cost of your bill.

In America, you're not required to pay a tip, but you're expected to. Chances are you're either tipping too little or way too much for the services that you're receiving.

Sit-down restaurants

You should expect to tip 15% to 20% of your bill, before tax.

Some states offer lower wages ($2/hr) for tipped workers. So if you don't tip, you might be preventing your server from being able to live a comfortable life.


The rule of thumb here is to tip 15% to 20% of the tab, which comes out to be $1 to $2 per drink.

Bartenders also rely on tips to make a living.


Sometimes I'll avoid getting take-out because I never know If I'm being rude by not tipping.  

I'm not receiving any special service, but every time I pay with my credit or debit card I see the tip option and feel uncomfortable.

The Emily Post Institute, which is an expert on standards of etiquette, says you should never feel pressured into giving a tip at take-out.

If your order was complicated, you can give a small tip if you'd like.

Home delivery

When you get food delivered to your door, you're forced into paying a delivery fee. That's fair, but not everyone feels comfortable with paying the person who delivers the food.

The Emily Post Institute recommends tipping 10% to 15% of the bill. This usually comes out to be $2 to $5 if you're ordering a box or two of pizza.

Once, I tipped my delivery driver $10 because he brought my pizza on time during a snowstorm.


I've never given a tip at a buffet. I feel like I'm doing all the work!

Apparently, wait service should be given a 10% tip before tax. Whoops.

Tip jars

When I worked at a smoothie shop, we had a small tip jar. We didn't ask people to tip the staff, but I sense that they felt obligated to.

I was grateful for the money, but I felt bad that people were sometimes dishing out a 50% tip voluntarily.

If you're a regular customer or the service is exceptional, you can give a tip, but you should never feel obliged to.


When I asked my colleagues about how much they tip at a salon, I got a lot of different answers. Some people said they'd give their hairdresser or manicurist $2, another said $5, and a few people said "usually more than $20."

Of course, if you're getting a cheap haircut you wouldn't be tipping more than the haircut, but even for high-end hair salons that sounds like a lot to me.

According to the Emily Post Institute and other etiquette sites, you should tip 15% to 25%.

Taxi or Uber driver

Cab drivers can make a lot of money if they have a decent amount of customers (even without tips).

I usually won't tip, unless the service is beyond exceptional, but most people do regardless.

The right amount to tip is at least 15% of the fare. And for every bag they carry, you should be tipping a dollar extra.


Inviting entertainment for your guests is nice, but should you tip them?

You already pay entertainers for their services, but how much should you tip that belly dancer, musician, or clown at your kid's birthday party?

Most people tip $5 or more, depending on how generous they feel.

If you choose not to tip, and you liked their services, you should pass out their business cards or recommend them to other people.

Hotel staff

I always tip hotel staff, like maids and valets, but I never knew if I was giving too little or too much.

The Emily Post Institute recommends tipping anywhere between $2 to $5 for these services.

That seems reasonable, but apparently people tip the concierge $5 to $10 for tickets or restaurant reservations. I've never done that.

Pet services

Do you tip your dog walker? Your pet groomer?

Not everyone does, but apparently they also deserve a tip depending on the service.

The rule of thumb here is to tip what you can afford.

Restroom attendant

You don't seem them everywhere, but when you do I'm sure you've questioned whether you should tip them.

They're always tipped in movies, and apparently they should be in real life too.

Depending on the service, restroom attendants should receive $0.50 to $3.

You should tip even when the service is bad

Leaving without tipping is always frowned upon. The reality is, many restaurants divide tips among the staff.

Personally, I don't think anyone should ever feel obliged to pay, but that's just me. Why should I tip someone that can't do their job or doesn't care to be polite?

Do you tip enough?

Have you ever wondered what happens to half-used hotel toiletries after you check out? The answer will surprise you.

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.