Modern Day Tipping Guidelines

19 May, 2016 / By

It seems that wherever you go there is a tip jar asking for a few dollars. Even at take-out joints and fast food restaurants it appears that it is expected to hand over a few dollars. However, with such shifting formalities of expected tipping practices it can be easy to mix up how much money you should tip to reward someone for their good service. It is not just restaurants that you have to tip either, as many service providers expect a reward.


Everyone knows that it is customary to tip restaurants in the United States, but not everyone knows that it is required to tip at least 15 to 20 percent. Presently the expected standard is 20 percent if you’ve received good service. This is especially the case for more expensive restaurants and cities.

Great Service

If you think that 20 percent seems a little steep to tip than keep in mind that many bartenders and waiters make less than minimum wage. In fact, it is legal to pay employees as little as $2.13 an hour if they make tips. Whenever you are debating whether or not to tip try to think about the server’s situation, and consider that they may make their livelihood off of their tips.

Tip Jars

When it comes to the tip jars that you see at every store nowadays, there is no expectation that you put money into them. However, if you go to the same café every day for your morning latte, then you’ll likely be able to afford to throw in a dollar or some loose change. However, when it comes to tip jars, contributions should generally be made out of respect to the server and not because you feel guilty.

Hotel Stays

It is customary to hand one or two dollars to the bell person and a dollar to the doorperson if he or she hails you a cab. When it comes to room service, tipping practices can get a little more convoluted. It is recommended that you hand between $2 to $5 each day to the hotel staff, especially the ones with the toughest jobs. You should not wait until the end of your hotel stay either, as there is often a shift change, instead try slipping a few bills under your pillow with a note each day.

Hair Dressers

A few years ago you could leave the hair salon without tipping and not bat an eye, but those days have long past. It is now expected that clients tip their hairdresser between 15 and 20 percent. If someone other than your stylist shampooed your hair or colored it, then divide the tip amongst all the employees that worked on your hair, with the most going to the stylist.


It is not common knowledge that card dealers often live off of their tips. However, seasoned gamblers will often throw a chip or two the dealer’s way every once in a while, or even make a bet on the dealer’s behalf. To do this, you simply place a bet in the circle and the bet going to the dealer on top of that. Make a few $1 bets every hour to the dealer to make him or her happy to shuffle for you.

Valet Parking

It is expected that you hand at least $2 to the valet attendant when he or she gives back your car. However, if you really want your car taken care of, it is better to hand off a tip beforehand. Giving $5 to the valet before he or she gets in the car will ensure that there are no dings when they return it.

Jennifer Hamilton

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