Cheapskate, here’s a few tipping tips

To tip originally meant “to ensure promptness.”

Tipping was a reward given to ensure prompt and attentive service. Today, tipping has become a vital part of one’s income in the service industry. In some parts of the United States, restaurants pay their staff far below minimum wage, counting on tips to fill in the gap. In most cases, a tip is not mandatory, but neglecting to do so will negatively impact the livelihood of those serving you, as well as your own personal image.

Be prepared to tip. Keep several one dollar bills where you can easily access them. Do not ask for change.

Tip guidelines are based on the culture, location and level of service provided. When in doubt, ask what the policy is for a given situation. The following guidelines are for tipping in the United States.


Wait staff: 15–20 percent, based on the service provided, prior to tax. Never tip below 8 percent.

Wine steward: 10–20 percent. Based on the amount of service provided. Tip on wine bill only.

Buffet service: 15–20 percent. High-end hotel brunch buffets. $1 to $2 for breakfast buffets. $1 to $2 per person where less service is provided.

Fast food service: No tipping is necessary.

Pizza delivery: 10–15 percent. Be more generous when weather is poor.

Tip jar: Optional; may leave 5–10 percent for good service or complicated orders.

Coatroom: $1 per coat.


Courtesy shuttle driver: $1 to $2 per person, or $4 or $5 for a group.

Taxi or limousine driver: 15–20 percent of the total fare.


Doorman: $1-$4. For services such as handing bags to bellhop, hailing a cab, asks to have the garage bring your car.

Bellhop: $1-$3. $1 per bag. Never less than $2.

Room service: 15–20 percent. Make sure gratuity isn’t included in the bill.

Housekeeping: $2-$5. Per night based on the type of hotel and level of service.

Delivery of special items: $2 for one item or $1 each for many items.

Concierge: Directions only — no tip is necessary. Special arrangements, $2-$20.

Hair stylist: 15 percent.

Manicurist: 10–15 percent

Massage therapist: 15–20 percent.

It is not necessary to tip business owners.

Deborah King is a former Federal Way resident and is president of Final Touch Finishing School. Contact: or

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