Top 10 Tipping Situations

May 13, 2012

tipsWhen you go out, do you always tip? In situations where I feel a tip is reasonable and customary, I always do. And unless something unusual happens, I usually give a 20 percent tip. Why? Having waitressed to make ends meet during college, I was stiffed on tips plenty of times. After that experience I swore that I would never do anything like that to someone whose livelihood relies on gratuities. Unfortunately, I seem to be the exception instead of the rule when it comes to tipping situations.

A recent survey from, online destination for coupons including online coupon codes, printable grocery coupons and more, showed that nearly one-third (32 percent) of U.S. adults haven’t left a tip after receiving less than average service. In addition, more than one-in-five (21 percent) of surveyed tippers report they tip less when the economy is down. In my opinion if you can’t afford to tip 15% to 20% when you go out when the economy is down, then you shouldn’t be going out.

When asked which types of the following people or services they typically feel obligated to leave a tip, U.S. adults identified these top 10 tipping situations:

  1. Restaurant staff (including wait staff, take out coordinator, maître d’)
  2. Hairstylist
  3. Bartender
  4. Taxi, car or limo driver
  5. Valet
  6. Bellhop
  7. Beauty treatment provider (manicures, pedicures, waxing, etc.…)
  8. Spa treatment provider (massages, facials, skin treatments, etc.…)
  9. Restroom attendant
  10. Home delivery (new furniture, appliances, etc.…)

When it comes to how much people tip in restaurants, many report leaving gratuity above the old standby of 15 percent. More than half (51 percent) said they typically tip 16 percent or higher for average service in a restaurant. Seven percent said they tip 21 percent or higher. On the flip side, nearly one-third (32 percent) said they tip between 11 percent and 15 percent for average service. Thirteen percent said they tip 10 percent or less for average service. Personally, I always tip 20 percent. Why? It’s the easiest math to do and it ensures that I haven’t stiffed the service person.

“Whether you’re at a restaurant or receiving services from other professionals, factor the tip into the overall cost,” said Jackie Warrick, President and Chief Savings Officer at “It’s easy to forget that the tip could push you over your budget, so plan accordingly. Take the time to add in the tip ahead of time and if it exceeds your budget, seek out less expensive services or make alternative plans.”

Good advice, indeed!

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2 Responses to Top 10 Tipping Situations

  1. Leah Ingram on May 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Good points. I should have pointed out that you should always tip on the full amount. Thanks!

  2. Lori on May 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Remember to tip on the full price instead of the discounted price I know you actually paid. Also, leaving a $25 certificate on a $20 bill does not necessarily mean the server received the $5. I also tip the kennel, dog groomer, tow truck driver, and the helpful lady at the laundromat. If you have a group with seperate checks please figure what the total tip should be so the server doesn’t suffer.

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