Anyone who, like me, has ever been an underpaid, under-appreciated member of the service industry knows how awesome it is to get a tip from a happy customer. Not only can that tip mean the difference between eating tonight and not, it can also make a terrible job more tolerable when you know that someone appreciates your commitment to providing the best service possible to each and every customer. However, when on the other side of the relationship, rewarding someone for a job well done is not quite so clear and simple; the line between thanking and insulting can be very thin. Some professions do not expect a tip, some see a tip as trivializing their work and some see tipping too low more insulting that not tipping at all. How can we be sure that our intended gratitude will be interpreted correctly? The following is a generally agreed upon list of whom and how to tip.
Restaurants and Food
- Servers: 15 – 20% of total bill. In Canada, servers can legally be paid less then minimum wage because it is expected that their tips will make up the difference. However, many restaurants require that servers share their tips will other employees (and sometimes owners) that are paid the standard minimum wage or more. Remember this and tip well for good service!
- Bartenders: 15 – 20% of tab or 50 cents – $1 per drink.
- Wine stewards / sommeliers: 15 – 20% of total purchase, if they helped you make your selection.
- Coat check attendants: $1 per coat for up to 5 coats, 50 cents per coat after that.
- Washroom attendants: $1.
- Sushi chefs: 15%.
- Independent coffee shops: $1 for a drink, 10% for a meal.
- Chain coffee shops: put a quarter in the tips jar for good service or a complicated order.
- Take-out food: 10% of total bill.
- Pizza delivery: $2 – $5, depending on distance and weather.
Hair and Spa Services
- Stylists: 15 – 20%, depending on quality of service and complexity of cut / style. Remember, the more you tip, the more likely your stylist is to squeeze you in if you have some sort of unexpected hair emergency.
- Colourists: 15 – 20%.
- Shampooers: $1 – $2, depending on skill and special services.
- Barbers: 15 – 20%.
- Manicurists: 15 – 20%.
- Make-up artists: 10%.
- Message therapists: 10 – 20%.
- Aestheticians / Facialists: 10- 20% per service.
- Spa attendants: 5% of total bill at front desk or directly to an attendant who provided particularly good service.
- Taxi drivers: 10 – 15%, or 20% if the driver helps you with your bags.
- Limo drivers: 15 – 20% of total bill.
- Long- term parking shuttle drivers: $1 – $2 per bag if the driver helps you.
- Furniture delivery: $5 per large item.
- Flower delivery: $1 – $5, depending on size of arrangement.
- Third party delivery services: 5 – 10%.
Hotels and Travel
Remember to tip in the currency of the country you are visiting.
- Housekeeping staff: $1 – $5 daily, depending on quality of hotel and how messy you were the night before. Be sure to place tip in an envelope labelled for housekeeping.
- Bellhops / porters: $1 per bag.
- Room service: 10 – 15% if tip is not already included in price of room service.
- Valets: $1 – $2, depending on overall cost of service.
- Doormen: $1 – $2 per bag assisted with.
- Concierges: $2 – $5 if they arrange entertainment or make a reservation for you.
- Fishing guides: 10 – 15%.
- Museum guides: $1 per member of your group.
- Tour guides: $1 – $5 per member of your group, unless tip is included in the price of the tour.
- Airline porter: $3 – $5 per bag.
- Drink servers: $1 – $2 per drink.
- Blackjack dealers: $5 – unlimited chip per gambling session depending on table minimum bet.
- Poker dealers: $5 chip per dealer rotation. Tip more if you win.
- Disc jockeys: $5 per request.
- Tattoo artists: 10 – 20%, depending on complexity of work.
- Piercing technicians: 10%.
- Grocery carry-out service: $1 – $3 depending on how many groceries you have.
- Movers: $10 – $20 per mover, depending on amount of work.
- Tow truck drivers / auto club services: $3 – $5 per car. Remember, the service these people perform can be quite dangerous.
- Auto detailers: 5%.
- Shoe shine people: $1 – $5 per pair of shoes, depending on how dirty the shoes are.
- Pet groomers: $10, especially if they provide pick-up and drop-off services.
Wedding Vendors and Services
- Altar boys and girls: $10 – $15 each.
- Servers: 20% of total bill if tip is not included in bill. Servers work much harder at weddings.
- Bartenders: 10% of total bill if tip is not included in bill. Guests will most likely also be tipping the bartender.
- Disc Jockey: $50 – $100.
- Musicians and singers: 8%.
- Banquet or catering manager: $50 -$100 for exceptional service.
- Photographer and videographer: $50 each.
- Officiant: make a donation to the church.
- Florist: $5 per delivery location or $10 – $20 per staff person for delivery with set-up.
- Wedding cake baker: $10 if they offer free delivery.
- Wedding coordinator / room manager: $50.
- Personal wedding planner: 10% of total commission / bill.
Annual, Holiday Season Tips
- Garbage collectors: $10 – $15 per person if they still collect by hand.
- Babysitters: small gift card.
- Day care providers: $15 – $25 and a gift from your child.
- Newspaper carriers: $5 – $15.
- Mail carriers: Cookies, a thank-you card or a letter of appreciation written to their supervisor. It is illegal for government employees to accept pecuniary gifts.
- Personal trainers: price of one session.
- Tennis coaches: price of one session.
- Dog walkers: one week’s salary.
- Housekeepers: half a week’s pay or more, depending on quality of service.
- Hairstylists: increase tip to 30% during the holidays.
- Manicurists: $10 – $50.