SLIDESHOW: Tipping Pointers for Every Occasion
When it comes to tipping sommeliers, rarely do diners get it right. Easy answer is to give them a 10% tip on the cost of the bottle of wine you are ordering. That said, many diners believe wait staff share tips with the sommelier, but in many establishments, it just ain't so. If you're uncertain, just ask (they'll be happy you did) and take your queue from their response. Recently the Washington Post weighed in and said that the original rule was to tip on the meal, minus taxes and wine, and that wine was tipped separately, at 10 percent, which would go to the sommelier. If no sommelier, tip the waiter 15-20 percent on the food, then 10 percent on the wine and nothing on the tax. Sheesh - complicated!
- Car Wash Attendant
You might not think to tip these guys, but these guys don't make more than minimum wage, so it's much appreciated. $2 per cleaner and your car will sparkle, and you'll look good too.
- Massage therapists and spa personnel
The logic here is that massage therapists are paid more than aestheticians, so a 10% tip to a masseuse is fine, whereas a tip of 15 to 20% on a service like a mani-pedi is fair.
While bartenders do deserve a tip it should be based on the complexity of the beverage he or she's just served you. If he's popped the cap off a beer and proffered a glass, a dollar will suffice. But if he's created a couple of cocktails which required more time, it's thought that $2-$3 is more appropriate.
- Yard maintenance
They give your home its awesome curb appeal, and look after the exterior of your home so passersby will admire it. Because they're on a retainer (and often provide snow removal in the winter months) they belong in the group of people who should get an annual tip at the holidays. $20 to $50 should suffice.
- Dog Groomers
Think of your dog groomer as your pet's hairdresser and you'll see why they deserve a tip as well. Generally the thinking is that a 15% tip is appropriate.
- Airport shuttle driver
It's 2 in the morning, you've just landed at the airport, and a shuttle bus pulls up to take you to your parking lot. Should you tip him, and if so, how much? It's up to you, but if he's helped you haul your bags, and there's a tip cup, go for it. $1 per bag is about right.
- Hotel housekeeping staff
$2 to $5 a day is a solid tip for housekeepers, who have one of the hardest jobs in the hotel biz. If you leave a smallish tip daily, rather than a large one at the end of your stay, you'll ensure that the person who took care of you gets tipped. Plus you'll get great service during your stay. Extra pillow chocolates anyone?
- Hotel Doorman
You don't have to tip the doorman for simply opening the door for you, but you should give him $1-$2 for calling a cab; extra if he covers you with an umbrella in the rain, or has to actually hail a cab (rather than just signalling one from a cab line). You can also decide to tip at the end of your stay rather than each time you use his services.
- Hotel bellman
One of the classic tipping moments is the hotel porter, who totes your luggage in to the hotel and takes it up to your room. For his service, expect to give him $2 - $3 per bag, or $5 for multiple bags.
- Room service
What to pay the person who's lugged a heavy tray of food to you in your hotel room? It seems like an obvious time to tip, and you should - even if a gratuity is added to the bill automatically, as it often is for room service. In that case, tip an extra $2.
- Letter carrier
Through sleet and snow, and horrible traffic, they manage to deliver our mail and packages to us, dependably and on time, for the most part. At the holidays, it's nice to give them a gift certificate or a tip, of somewhere between $10 and $30.
- Hair stylists vs barbers
A barber is generally tipped somewhere between $2 and $5, but because hairstylists tend to spend more time on their clients, a tip of between 10% and 20% is correct depending on the services and time spent.
While finding a reputable moving company isn't always easy, when you do find a good one, it's considered good form to tip the movers $10-$20 each for light moves or $50 per mover for a very large move (like an entire household).
- Home and pool cleaners
At the holidays, it's customary to give your regular cleaning staff a tip equivalent to the value of one visit.