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Is The Tip Right?

Posted on June 14, 2013
By Nikki Martinez



You and I are human, bound to make mistakes probably every day of our lives! Part of the problem is that we just don’t know certain things, or aren’t “well-informed.” One such problem occurs when tipping…anywhere. Most think the standard 15% is what a tip should be, but that’s only at a restaurant, and even that has it’s stipulations. Thanks to Sasha Brown-Worsham, here is a guide to places and possible amounts you would leave on a day out:


Hotel Tipping:

  1. Doorman — $1.00 to $2.00.
  2. Bellman — $2.00 per bag.
  3. Concierge — $5.00 to $10.00 on general service, and $20.00 and up for a hard to get restaurant reservation or tickets to a theatre performance.
  4. Spa treatment — Hotels generally include gratuity in the bill (18 percent) so check first.
  5. Housekeeping — $5.00 per day, leave on the pillow to alleviate confusion; put in an envelope and label “Housekeeping,” but don’t leave on desk, they won’t take it.
  6. Room service — 20 percent of total bill.
  7. Maintenance — Nothing to fix a leak, etc.
  8. Special requests such as extra pillows or towels — $2.00.



  1. Food server — Poor service 10 percent, average service 15 percent, and excellent service 20 percent.
  2. Buffet — If the server refills your glass and asks if you need anything, 10 percent.
  3. To-go orders — Use your discretion, up to 10 percent.
  4. Maître d’ — $10.00 for a special request such as a table by the window.
  5. Bus boys — Nothing, they will be included in the nights tipping pool.
  6. Coat check — $1.00 per coat.
  7. Valet — $3.00 to $5.00, sometimes more if you are requesting special service like having your car at the curb at a certain time, or keeping it up front until you return. You would tip when you leave the car off, and then again when you pick your car up, another $3.00 to $5.00. If there is a valet fee, you still tip at least $3.00.
  8. Strolling musician — $3.00 for special request.

****When using a coupon, tip 15 to 20 percent of the meal on what the meal would have cost if you would have paid full price, not the discounted price of two for one.


Beauty and Massage:

  1. Hairstylist — 15 to 20 percent of total bill.
  2. Manicurist –15 percent of total bill.
  3. Shampoo attendant — $3.00 to $5.00, more for extra time and services such as a neck massage or if they work on you on a regular basis and you have developed a relationship. Some attendants do more than the stylist — they color, condition, and dry your hair, so you would pay them more.
  4. Massage therapist — 15 to 20 percent of total bill.
  5. Car wash attendant — $5.00 and upwards, depending on the service you requested. He or she is usually splitting it with other attendants.



  1. Coffee shop counter attendant — “If the tip jar is there, you are not obligated to tip; however, if they remember your name and have your drink order written up and started before you walk up to the counter, a tip would be a nice gesture,” says Gottsman. Throw in your extra change or be extra generous and leave a dollar.
  2. Barista — “If you feel like you want to offer something extra, by all means tip, but check the tipping policy of the coffee shop to make sure they can accept,” Gottsman says.
  3. Babysitter — If they are your weekend babysitter, you can pay them their hourly rate. If they do something you feel is over the call of duty, you can always give them more, depending on what you deem fair — there is no standard.
  4. Pizza delivery and other food delivery guys — $3.00 to $4.00, more if they are driving in the snow or have multiple orders of pizza or food. “This is not part of the delivery charge which they do not get,” Gottman says. “They work for tips and have to maintain their car to work as a delivery person.”
  5. Car wash attendant — 15 to 20 percent of service.


Spa/Hotel Pros and Attendants:

  1. Instructors and “pros” — In general, instructors are “pros” and aren’t tipped. While most would be insulted to take a tip, there are always those few that would enjoy getting handed a $50.00 bill after a surf lesson! Depends on the sport and the personality of the instructor, but generally speaking, most golf and tennis instructors I have spoken with would be insulted.
  2. Caddies — The general rule of thumb is 50 percent of the caddie fee. For exceptional service, you can add more to the gratuity.
  3. Resort fees — Gratuities are often included for resort service fees (i.e., 19.75%) for gratuities for the service staff, shuttle drivers, restaurant staff/parking attendants, bellman, at the resort, but extra discretionary tipping may be added for above and beyond service.
  4. Babysitter — You tip the price of the service, plus a tip because they are probably splitting the cost of the service with the company they work for. Check the hotel policy first.
  5. Pool attendant — For an extra towel or special service, by all means, tip at your discretion. If they bring you multiple towels, sunscreen, and a drink, $5.00. For only a towel, $1.00. Again, check with the hotel before you tip in the event they aren’t allowed to accept gratuity, but most are.