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The Ultimate Tipping Guide for Any Service

by Allison

Tipping: it’s the phenomenon that leaves many of us scratching our heads when the check comes to the table. Quick math isn’t always easy, and don’t get us started on the social implications of the practice. Whether you love it or hate it, tipping is standard across America’s service industries.

In this guide we’re covering why tipping matters, who to tip, and how much to tip, so you’ll always be prepared when your next check arrives.

Why Tipping Matters

While tipping culture is an annoyance to many, it keeps service workers afloat. In fact, 4.4 million Americans rely on tips to cover their necessary expenses. Skipping a tip could directly impact your server’s day to day life.

Many states have set a lower minimum wage for tipped employees, making tips even more impactful to the server. Checkout this list from the U.S Department of Labor that breaks out each state’s minimum wages for tipped workers.

While tipping is not mandatory, it is a custom practice that enhances your service and directly impacts your server.

Who to Tip

Waiters and bartenders aren’t the only professionals that should be getting tipped. Here is our all-inclusive list of service workers whom it is customary to tip.

  • Restaurant servers
  • Bartenders
  • Baristas
  • Hair stylists or barbers
  • Nail technicians
  • Tattoo artists
  • Food delivery drivers
  • Uber/ cab drivers
  • Hotel housekeeping

There are some gray areas when it comes to tipping. When in doubt, choose to be generous. It won’t go unnoticed.

How Much to Tip

There are a couple different ways you can calculate a tip. You can either leave a percentage of the bill before tax or leave a flat rate. When leaving a percentage, you can choose anywhere between 15 and 20 percent based on how the service met your expectations. Flat rate tips are often between 15 to 20 percent of the bill regardless, and best used for food delivery and ride share apps and services.

Things to Remember

  • Tipping goes beyond restaurants and bars
  • Tip between 15 and 20 percent of your bill pre-tax
  • When in doubt, be generous