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Tipping is a decidedly American practice that is not without controversy. Still, offering a gift of money to people in certain positions, such as restaurant servers or delivery drivers, is a customary way to show appreciation.
However, knowing who, when and how much to tip can be tricky. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the confusion, as more people have been avoiding restaurants, hotels, bars and other places that employ workers who count on tips to get by. In addition, more people are ordering food to go, shopping online and having staples delivered.
Because of this, experts say that consumers should be tipping more types of service workers. In addition, many people have become more generous and creative when tipping, offering thoughtful bonuses such as gift cards or food.
According to etiquette experts, the rules and guidelines have changed. Reader’s Digest divided them into five categories: Food and drink, hospitality, personal services, salon and spa, and home deliveries. Here’s a quick rundown.
Food And Drink Gratuities
- When dining in, tip 15-20% of the total check.
- For takeout, food delivery or personal shopping services, a 10-15% gratuity is adequate.
- Tip bartenders $2 a drink and baristas $1 or more, if your beverage is complicated.
- Give hotel housekeepers $1-3 per night.
- Bellhops should receive $2-3 per bag.
- Tip valets and doorman $5-10.
Personal Service Gratuities
- For pet care providers, 10-15% of the bill is adequate.
- For house cleaners, give 15-20%.
- For Lyft, Uber, and other drivers, give at least 15%.
- For other personal services, a small gift or $10-20 is thoughtful.
Delivery Service Gratuities
- Although you don’t need to tip USPS employees regularly, you can give a holiday gift of $50 or less.
- You can give an Amazon driver $5-$20 cash in an envelope for a large package.
- Gratuities of $5-$10 in cash are nice for special deliveries like flowers and gifts.
- For furniture deliveries and movers, $20 per person or 15% is considerate.
Who Doesn’t Need a Tip?
If you are dealing directly with the owner of a business, you don’t need to offer a gratuity. The same is true for in-home service providers. However, if you do business with either regularly, as with a monthly pest control service employee or a stylist who owns the salon, you can certainly say thanks with a nice gift or some cash during the holiday season.
When in doubt, you can’t go wrong by being generous.