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January 28, 2008

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I tip the first 5 (Starbucks only sometimes) but not the last 4. I'm not really quite sure how a sushi chef is different that a chef at a regular restaurant. Guess I haven't eaten enough sushi. I'm not sure why I do it this way really. I really HATE valet parking though ... especially at suburban restaurants .. I can walk the 20 yards to my car to save $3!!


If you feel they provided better service than you would typically expect, whether it is a smile, a nice attitude, a pleasant personality, going out of their way to serve you, something to make you feel better when you leave, are all good reasons to Tip, whoever it is providing the service. However, you should never feel obligated to tip just because the tip jar is out there or everyone else is tipping.

A Tip is to show your appreciation for a job well done.

Hairdresser (Barber)--yes. $2.
Valet attendant--yes, $2 or $3 in bigger cities.
Baggage handler--yes, $1/bag at curbside. $5 for bellhop service at a hotel if they bring them to your room.
Barista at Starbucks--Not unless some truly extraordinary service has been performed. I've yet to see it.
Pizza delivery man--Yes, usually 20%.
Gas station worker (yes, some have tip jars)--No since I'm doing self-serve. My friend in NJ (where everything is full service) tips if he happens to be filling up on a major holiday.
Fast-food restaurant server (Subway, Baskin Robbins)--Like Starbucks, no tip at places where the food isn't brought to you at the table unless some truly extraordinary service has been performed.
Sushi chef--Yes if the tab is settled up at the sushi bar, otherwise it's covered as part of my tip on the restaurant check.
Hotel maid--Yes--$3/night (subject to variation depending on the small bills I have on me). $5/night if I'm in a big city or my family has left a huge mess.

I would add hotel housekeeping. However from many years working in fast food...most chains will not allow employees to accept tips.

Hairdresser - 3 to 4 bucks
Valet - nothing since I don't like to use them and further hate getting forced to use on in certain situations.
Baggage handler - never used one in the USA, but in other countries I have, so not sure how that translates to dollars, and usually the baggage handler charges a set fee in the countries I have been in.
Never been to a Starbucks, ever, nor plan on it.
Always self-serve on the gas.
Never at fast food
Don't eat sushi
Hotel maid, I don't, but I plan on starting to do this, up to $10 depending on the length of stay.
Newspaper delivery - should, but don't
Mail carrier - should, but don't
Restaurants - 0 to 25%, depending on level of service and eating establishment


Hairdresser-yes, always!! I really like my hairdresser, and she gives me great service, so I tip here quite well.

Valet attendant-I've never used valet, but if I did I would tip

Baggage handler-rarely use, but yes

Barista at Starbucks-sometimes

Pizza delivery man-always, typically 10-15%

Gas station worker (yes, some have tip jars)-No, not sure why you would unless they offer full service.

Fast-food restaurant server (Subway, Baskin Robbins)-No, I'm not sure why I would. Fast-food doesn't offer the same personal service as a sit-down restuarant.

Sushi chef-never eaten sushi, but I probably wouldn't

Hotel maid-Usually, depends how long I stay at the hotel; the longer I'm there the more likely I will becuase they have had to put up with me and my messiness longer :).

Hairdresser - 15%; also $2-$3 to the the girl that washes my hair. When you dye your hair, washing it is quite a job. But if the hairdresser happens to be the salon owner, I only tip a little for exceptional service, but give more to the girl who washes my hair.

Don't eat sushi, don't drink in Starbucks, but in general no tip in places where I need to stand in line to get food.
Don't order pizza - too fattening, besides I could make it myself if I wanted to;

Gas station worker - nope, didn't know about it. Maybe if he did more than just fill up my car...
baggage handler - yes, valet - yes, hotel maids - yes; hotel's bellboy if he does something for me like order taxi.


I didn't post at another discussion, but just read it and noticed comparisons with Europe and complaints about the service. There are two main differences that everyone needs to be aware of and that haven't been brought up. 1) cultural - the definition of good or bad service is different in Europe. Bringing you bill, for example, is considered impolite, it is like telling you to go home. Hence you need to ask for it. Bothering you with "is everything OK" is considered intrusive - customers may be in the middle of conversation and don't want to be interrupted. Some Europeans hate the US service because they think it is too intrusive. People there go to a restaurant less often, and the idea is to sit there, talk, not to rush or be rushed. They don't want the bill unless they are ready to leave, then they ask for it. They aren't in a hurry to start eating or to leave, not like busy tourists who have 5 more places they need to visit the same day. So, if someone isn't bringing you something - you need to ask for it. These are cultural differences, not bad service. 2) waiters earn more than factory workers, for example. Hence they don't expect tips. Like my German cousin said - "my mother works in a factory, earns very little, they don't even have an air conditioner in summer, and nobody gives her tips". So it is a different environment entirely. But next time you are in Europe, and think you get bad service, keep the cultural differences in mind. Sometimes it is bad service, other times it is not.


A correction to the previous message. in 2), what I wanted to say was that waiters in Europe earn higher salaries than waiters in the US, and that they earn more than factory workers.

I always tip hairdressers/massage therapists/manicurists 15-20%. That's basically mandatory unless they just do a bad job - some spas even include gratuity.

I always tip anyone who delivers food to my home. Usually $1-$3 ($3 if it's raining or something).

I always tip valet attendents $1-$2 (or, on occassion, I apologize profusely for not having cash to tip them with; they are usually grateful I mentioned it because "lots of people don't tip and don't say anything.")

I NEVER tip anyone who is simply doing their job i.e. preparing sandwiches at Subway, pouring me coffee at Starbucks, manning the cash register at a gas station, or preparing food/sushi in a restaurant.

Also, I don't usually tip maids in hotels. I think it's a nice gesture, but I think the people who do it do it more out of charitable giving than because it's a tipping obligation.

Haha, you must of read my mind. I was thinking the same thing as I was tipping the girl behind the counter at the lodge where my daughter goes for ski lessons. I give 35 cents on a $1.65 hot chocolate. I figure the change is ok. As for other place, at the drive through I don't, but the valet and hotel maid yes. I don't do the other things, so have no comment.

These are the people I tipped last year:

Hairdresser / massage / pedicure: 10% of bill.

Food service: if food was delivered to my table or driven to my house. In an establishment, I'll tip 15%-20%. For food delivery, $2-$3.

Valet - $2 (or a little more is the weather is bad).

Movers - I moved and the moving men were so incredibly careful with my things. I gave them $20 each.

Carpt installers - $10 each for 4 hours work. They were very polite and careful.

Also - I have a friend who is a mailman. He TOTALLY expects tips at Christmas and criticized his customers who do not tip him - of if they give him $5, he calls them cheap. I really can't stand that attitude.

Hairdresser - Yes usually 15-20% which is about $2-$4 depending on service.

Valet attendant - I usually give $3-$5 depending on the prestige of the place.

Baggage handler - Usually a $1 or $2 if I take this option. Most likely will not.

Barista at Starbucks - I don't go to Starbucks but my wife does and I've never heard of her tipping them.

Pizza delivery man - Yes unless extememly late and no warnings. They usually get $5.

Gas station worker (yes, some have tip jars) - Ha nope not if I'm the one at the pump. I can see a case for it in NJ though.

Fast-food restaurant server (Subway, Baskin Robbins) - Never had but I do see tip jars occasionally.

Sushi chef - Never had Sushi

Hotel maid - I have never left a tip for the Hotel maid but it does sort of make sense. I probably would only do this if I knew I would have the same maid and I was there for an extended time.

Why don't we simply tell the manager or write an appreciation letter instead?

Their employers will consider raising their salary or promoting them based on the positive feedbacks.

I don't mean to be nit-picky, but I don't understand parts of a comment above. Maybe someone can explain it to me:

"I NEVER tip anyone who is simply doing their job" - Isn't the hairdressers/massage therapists/manicurists doing their job? Isn't the food delivery person simply doing their job? Is the Valet doing more than parking your car, and then bringing it back to you?

It's not like the pizza deliverer drops off your pizza, and then installs a new garage door for you. His job is to bring you your pizza, but you said you tip him.

Just curious where the line is of doing their job, and going beyond their job.

Hairdresser -- yes, if I might use the person again. no, if I got a bad haircut and won't be back. I don't have a regular barber.

Valet attendant -- yes if the guy hustles and/or has a good attitude. No if the guy has a poor attitude or is clearly slothful. Rarely use a valet

Baggage handler -- I don't use curbside checkin, usually just carry on, sometimes check in inside to avoid the added tip expense.

Barista at Starbucks -- don't go to starbucks, if I do I won't be tipping the barista who gets a very nice benefits package.

Pizza delivery man -- of course, just like a server.

Gas station worker (yes, some have tip jars) -- no. I use self serve, so not really applicable.

Fast-food restaurant server (Subway, Baskin Robbins) -- no.

Sushi chef -- don't go to sushi places, but if I did, I would go along with whatever seemed customary. Gotta trust the guy preparing raw food.

Hotel maid -- depends on quality of service. Tip is extra, not implicit in the cost of a room.

After working a few years in the vacation industry, I'm much more likely to tip jobs that aren't necessarily "tipping jobs" such as tour guides and such. When I worked in Yellowstone taking people on all day tours, I worked much harder than the $7/hr they paid me. Guests in my coach (max of 9 people) got personalized service and a tour catered to their interests. Most didn't think to tip, but even worse was the man who one time tipped me $2 for his party of five. Five tickets at $90 apiece and he tipped $2. That's less than a 2% tip.

Greg --

Actually, it's worse than that. A $2 tip on a $450 purchase (5 tickets times $90 each) is closer to "nothing" than it is to 1%. ;-)

Hairdresser - I never had done it before my wife said she did and thought it was odd that I didn't. So I have been giving a dollar if I thought they did a good job. That said, at Hair Cuttery, when you pay with a card they now give you a pre-receipt to add your tip onto when they run your card. I think that is a bit presumptuous, so I have considered stopping tipping based upon that. Also, if I think the place overcharges (anything over $12 for a standard cut) then I don't tip usually.
Valet attendant - I don't use valets really, so I can't say.
Baggage handler - If I had cash I would probably tip, but I avoid them for that reason.
Barista at Starbucks - Never.
Pizza delivery man - Usually a couple bucks, but I started getting carry-out because there are often special deals and a lot of places started a delivery charge.
Gas station worker (yes, some have tip jars) - No.
Fast-food restaurant server (Subway, Baskin Robbins) - Not unless something excellent happened.
Sushi chef - Never considered it, but probably not.
Hotel maid - I used to not do so, but I often leave a 5 at the end of a stay if they did a good job.

I can't think of any others I tip besides restaurants.

You are a bunch of cheap people! Always tip twenty percent and never any less. That is why the quality of service has gone down so much in these recent years. People don't appreciate service and always want something for free. Well, no one owes you anything and they have to usually live on the tips that they are given for service. It is called Karma and from the sounds of it you guys have already created a negative karma around you and sound like unhappy tight wads. What goes around comes around and you should try to give a little and see what comes back your way.

Hairdresser I pay 20-30 tip (they are creative and have to touch your hair you know!)
valet always 4-6
Pizza/waiters at least 20%
starbucks always a dollar a drink
sushi chef always 5-10 because they are artists and incredibly skilled workers
hotel maid 5 a night unless they go over the top then you should leave more (20 bucks for 4 nights isn't much for touching your filthy towels) Of coarse I actually stay at up-scale places and not the Holiday Inn!
You have forgot any service that is done in your home like repairs ect. If they are contractors and have others working beneath them, then you should tip those who actually do the job.

I know how nice it feels to get tips, so I probably tip more than average.

Hairdresser: Usually 20% tip
Barista at Starbucks : Give them leftover change
Pizza delivery man : 4-5 Bucks
Gas station worker: For full service,2 bucks
Fast-food restaurant server (Subway, Baskin Robbins) : if they accept tips, usually a dollar
Hotel maid: 3 a night

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