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Deciding how much to tip can be confusing because the rules vary based on the service you receive.  Typically, you’ll want to leave 15 to 20 percent of the pretax bill as a tip at restaurants.  However, your obligation may be a lot lower or nonexistent for other services.  The table below provides a general guideline for tipping in almost any situation. But at the end of the day, your tip should reflect your appreciation of the service you get and your willingness to help the people that serve you make a living wage!

Restaurants and bars

More than half of Americans dine at a restaurant, order takeout, or have food delivered 2 to 3 times a week.  When eating out, you’re expected to tip your server.  It’s the best way to thank them for providing good service and it helps them earn a living wage.  Keep in mind that when you have a party of 6 or more, the gratuity is often automatically included…so check your bill before you add a double tip!

ServiceAverage tip
Waiter (sit down restaurant)15-20% of pre-tax bill
Waiter (buffet)10% of pre-tax bill
Takeout$0 if you walk in to get your order; 10% for curbside pickup
Tip jarsNo tip required.  Only tip if you feel like it.
Food delivery10-15% of the bill, $2-$5 for pizza delivery
Bartenders$1-$2 per drink or 15-20% of the tab
Restroom attendant50 cents to $3
Sommelier or wine steward15-20% of the bottle cost
Coatroom attendant$1 per coat
Valet$2-$5 when your car is delivered to you

Everyday life

Always keep cash in your wallet or stop at the ATM before your appointment.  Some places don’t allow you to tip with a credit card…so if you don’t have cash, you won’t be able to leave a tip.

ServiceAverage tip
Hairstylist/Barber15-20% of the total cost of service
Shampoo person at salon$2-$5
Manicurist15-20% of the total cost of service
Facial, massage, waxing, lash extensions15-20% of the total cost of service
Animal groomers15% or more
Car wash$2-$3 for a car, up to $5 for an SUV, 15% for a full detailing
Pet sitters15% of the cost of the visit
Movers$10-$20 per mover for light moves, up to $50 per mover for larger moves
Cleaning services15-20% of the total cost of service

Travel

Most Americans plan to take a vacation this year.  Before heading to your destination, see if tipping is customary because it’s not required everywhere.  In fact, it is rude to tip in countries like China and Japan.

ServiceAverage
Airport skycap or porterUp to $5 for a single bag; $1-$3 per bag if you have multiple bags
Doorman$2-$5 for hailing a cab or helping with bags
Housekeeper$3-$5 per day
BellhopUp to $5 for a single bag; $1-$2 per bag if you have multiple bags
ConciergeNo tip for standard services; $5-$10 for theater tickets or dinner reservations
Room service10%-20% if gratuity isn’t already included
Tour guide15%-20% of the tours cost
Taxi driver15%-20% of fare