How Much to Tip for...? - Quicken Loans Zing BlogReader’s Digest had a really good article in their February 2012 issue about tipping etiquette. Tipping is all about showing your appreciation when someone provides you a personalized service. Bad tips can show displeasure, but in some cases, a bad tip can really hurt a lot of different people.

I remember going to a new restaurant several years ago and having the waitress chatter at me throughout my meal about how she was only making $2.50 an hour. She also suggested that it would be polite to leave a full 30% tip. I was astounded at her rudeness – not only because she was talking to me while I was trying to eat, but she was complaining about her tip before we even got the bill! Needless to say, she got a decent tip, but I never returned there.

That being said, I think it’s important to keep up to date on “tipping rules.” According to Reader’s Digest, and some other sources from around the net, here is a go-to guide for tipping rules, no matter what the service.

How much should you tip your server at a restaurant?

Calculate the tip based on how much you would pay without any coupons, discounts, or specials. A general rule is to tip 15–20% on the pre-tax total, depending on the service; 15% is for good service, 20% is for exceptional service. Tip no less than 10% for poor service, because you don’t want to hurt the other restaurant workers if they split tips with the waiter. Instead, poor service can be addressed by a talk with the manager.

Should you tip on the tax?

The bottom line here is that the restaurant does not get to keep the tax money. While some people believe you should, tipping on the tax is not obligatory.

How much should you tip on drinks?

At the bar, you should tip the same as you would tip a server if you sat at their table and had a drink. Reader’s Digest recommends leaving a 15–20% tip, because the bartenders are the ones actually making the drink, and if you were seated a table, you’d tip the waiter that same amount for just delivering the drink. The bartender is doing the work, so why not pay them?

Should you tip your barista?

This can be complicated because unlike servers, baristas are paid a decent hourly wage. If you order a simple cup of coffee without ton of work involved, a tip may not be necessary. But if you order a complicated drink, your barista will be grateful if you give them an extra dollar, or even your spare change.

How much should you tip your masseuse?

You should tip 15–20% on the full amount of the service. If the spa tacks on an 18–20% gratuity or service charge, don’t worry about giving a tip. However, if you feel the service was exceptional, feel free to let the masseuse know, and give him or her a little bit of additional money.

How much should you tip a valet?

Especially if the service is free, you should tip a valet about $2 every time he drives your car. Therefore, if the valet service both parks and returns your car, the total tip for the night will be $4.

How much should you tip your hairdresser or manicurist?

Hairdressers, as well as manicurists, should be tipped 15–20%. If someone just gives you a shampoo, it is acceptable to give them a $2 tip.

How much should you tip for food delivery?

Food delivery drivers should be tipped 10-20%, with a $2 minimum. Also, take into consideration how difficult the delivery was. If they had to drive a little farther, or if it was a large or heavy order, tip a little bit more.

How much should you tip your housekeeper?

It’s customary to tip a housekeeper around 10–15% for regular housekeeping. It’s also nice to provide a little bit of a larger tip around the year-end holidays.

Bottom line: if someone provides you with a personal service, you should tip them. If you’re unsure of whether tipping is appropriate, don’t be afraid to ask; it’s better than stiffing an employee out of the money they’ve earned.


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