Tipping Guidelines For Non-Restaurant Services

Advice & Stories
on July 12, 2012

Tipping is the act of giving money to someone for performing a task or a service. Most people know the guidelines for tipping waiters and waitresses. But what about others that provide services? Are we required to tip everyone for every service they provide? If we should tip them, then what is the appropriate amount of the tip? The important thing to remember when it comes to who to tip is that aside from restaurants, the two main situations where tipping comes into play are while traveling and at salons or spas.

Traveling situations can result in a number of people that should be tipped. For example, skycaps and bellhops should always be tipped based on the number of bags they assist you with. The going rate is $2 for the first bag and then $1 for any additional bags. If any additional services are required or requested, then $2 to $3 is an appropriate tip depending on the service. The doorman is another person you might encounter when traveling. Doormen typically should receive anywhere from $1 to $4 for carrying luggage depending on the amount of luggage and its weight. If the doorman hails you a cab, that is worth $1 to $2 and if this activity takes place in inclement weather, then another $1 to $2 should be added. Typical doormen duties include carrying luggage and hailing taxis, so if they do anything else for you, depending on what it is, that service could be worth another $1 to $4.

So now that the employees at the front of the hotel are taken care of, what about the ones on the inside. Who do you tip? The ones that you must remember are the concierge and the housekeeping staff. When it comes to the concierge, you most definitely do not tip for just getting questions answered. However, if the concierge assists you in getting tickets or reservations, a $5 to $10 tip would be in order. And, if the tickets or reservations are hard to get, a $15 tip or 10-20% of the ticket price may be more appropriate. As for the housekeeping staff, a great deal of what to tip depends on what kind of guest you are. If housekeeping comes in and makes the bed and puts out clean towels, then a $2 tip should be sufficient. If you have managed to produce a large amount of trash and have left food and drink scattered all over the room, then you are looking at a tip of $5 or more depending on how much there is to clean up.

The last person to be considered for a tip in your travels is the taxi driver. The driver’s tip should be 10-20% of the fare. An additional $2 for the first bag and $1 for additional bags should be included if luggage is involved in the ride. Some of the most memorable people encountered when traveling are cab drivers. Their personality in addition to the traffic they encounter and how effectively and efficiently they deliver you should be taken into account when determining the amount of the tip.

Finally, salon or spa services are another area where tips are appreciated. If you are getting a manicure, a pedicure, a facial, a waxing, a massage or having anything done to your hair, the standard tip for these services is 15-20%. However, if more than one person provides the service, any tip given should be split among all parties involved. So, if at the hair salon, one person washes your hair and another cuts and styles it and you are charged $50, then the correct tip would be $7.50 to $10 for both of the assisting people. Simply request that the tip be shared, and leave the how it is to be shared to those providing the services.

There is one more thing to remember about tipping. While a tip is always appreciated, there are times when smaller tips are also appreciated. These times occur when the tip is accompanied by words of praise or when the party receiving the service goes out of their way to tell a supervisor about the great treatment they received. People providing services to others also appreciate being treated with respect and not being treated like a servant. And remember, do not flash the cash. Be discrete when tipping. Making a big to-do about tipping someone any amount of money really just makes the tipper look bad. And, if you receive bad service, remember the respect rule. Do not call somebody out on their lack of service or poor service. A quiet word to their supervisor will likely fix the problem for you and others.

While there might be some other situations that warrant gratuities, the three main settings for tipping are usually in restaurants, in salons or spas, or while traveling. Knowing how to tip at a restaurant is pretty straightforward. In other places, there are a few things to remember. If you are not in these other places frequently, you might want to keep a small card on you to remind you of these other tipping guidelines. Doing so will might it easier for you to make sure that you are tipping the right people the right amount for the service they provide to you.

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