DIY

The Ultimate Guide To Tipping: How Much Money You Should Really Leave For 10 Common Services

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

You’ve just finished a meal with friends at a restaurant, and you’re handed the bill. Chances are, there is going to be some discussion about how much to tip, and phone calculators will come into play.

The truth is, everyone has a different opinion or set of standards when it comes to tipping. Some methods are pure evil, leaving the hardworking server high and dry, while others go above and beyond to reward excellent service.

That said, there are a number of services we rely on that don’t come with a bill that reminds you to tip, or come with a bill at all.

However, as any person who has ever worked a service job will tell you, that definitely doesn’t mean tips aren’t welcome. In fact, a lot of the people who help us on a daily basis depend on tips to supplement their income.

Instead of wondering about what’s right and wrong when it comes to tipping, check out this easy guide to make sure you’re being as generous as you should be!

Thumbnail Photo: Flickr / iwona_kellie 

1. Servers

1. Servers
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If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, then you know just how much servers rely on tips.

However, the rest of us may not be as knowledgeable. Since a tip is expected to be part of a server’s salary, the amount they are technically paid per hour is often even lower than minimum wage.

For this reason, you should always be generous with your server. If your service was good, 15% of the bill is a healthy number. However, 20% is recommended if the service was above average or you’re feeling generous.

2. Housekeeping

2. Housekeeping
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When you leave a hotel room, you’re probably too busy looking under the bed to make sure you don’t forget anything to remember the housekeeping staff.

But the people cleaning up your mess shouldn’t be forgotten. On the pillow or somewhere obvious, leave a $3 to $5 tip, per night of your stay, with a note saying thanks. It will go a long way.

3. Hair Washer

3. Hair Washer
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You probably always remember to tip your hairdresser, but the person who washed your hair also deserves an extra buck.

If you look forward to getting your hair washed as much as I do, show them a little love. Anywhere from $3 to $5 is also appropriate for this situation.

4. Flat-Tire Service

4. Flat-Tire Service
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No one can save the day quite like roadside assistance when you get a flat tire.

If you’re assistance is through a company like AAA, you may think tipping is unnecessary, but that’s not exactly true.

Often, these drivers are outside contractors and aren’t getting paid as much as you’d think for what is essentially risking their lives on the side of the road.

Slip the person changing your tire a $10 when they’re all done, and it will probably make their day — and the job worthwhile.

5. Delivery People

5. Delivery People
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There’s nothing better than getting piping hot food delivered right to your door. Delivery drivers definitely save the day from time to time.

Again, 15% is the default number, which usually ends up being around $3 t0 $5. If he’s hauling in a lot of food, feel free to give a little extra.

6. Christmas Tree Helper

6. Christmas Tree Helper
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When you go to pick out a Christmas tree, there’s usually someone there to help you cut the tree, net it, and tie it to the roof of your car.

Trees always seem expensive, but don’t forget to give the helper a tip. Chances are, they’ve been out in the cold all day, and chopping down trees is hard work! Around $5 is very appreciated.

7. Mailman With Heavy Load

7. Mailman With Heavy Load
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You may not always see your mailman delivering packages, but when you do, it’s always nice to open the door and receive it in person.

Moreover, if the box is especially heavy or fragile, it’s nice to slip them a few dollars for their trouble.

8. Bartender

8. Bartender
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Everyone has different opinions when it comes to tipping bartenders, but the rule of thumb is about $1 per drink.

However, if you’re paying with a card, 20% of the tab is usually a good way to go. The $1 standard also goes up if you order a fancy cocktail or something that’s a bit more labor intensive.

9. Parking Lot Attendant

9. Parking Lot Attendant
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Sometimes you’ll find yourself parking in a garage or lot where you are required to give your keys to an attendant.

It can be a little daunting, handing your keys to a stranger, but it’s their job to keep your vehicle safe.

When you come back, and it’s safely returned to you, give the attendant anywhere from $2 to $5 to say thanks.

10. Car Wash Employees

10. Car Wash Employees
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Watching your car be washed by an assembly line of people is always an impressive sight. You probably know that you should tip them for their work but are unsure which person to hand the money to.

An easy way to avoid confusion is to give the $3 to $5 tip to the person who hands you your keys. If you got your car detailed as well, the tip amount should reflect that.

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