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Tipping Tips

Tipping someone for the service they are providing is meant to be a token of appreciation for a job well done.  However, every time you turn around, there are tip jars making it very confusing as to when you should tip and how much.  Listen to today’s show for our insights and experiences as  someone handing out the tips as well as the perspective of one who has worked to increase their tips in the service industry.

Today’s show was inspired by our fellow Atlanta-based podcasters at HowStuffWorks.  We loved the data they found surrounding the history of tipping and the psychology behind why people tip and how much they tip.

The history of tipping:  One theory holds that in the 17th century, the word was used as a verb to mean “hand it over” or “to give.”   Another theory is that tip is thought to be an acronym for “to insure promptness,” with its origins in 16th-century English coffeehouses.

How much to tip:  Proper tipping amounts seem to be changing constantly.  Below are some guidelines for when and how much you should tip.

  • Waitpersons:  15 to 20 percent of the bill
  • Sommelier or wine stewards:  10 to 15 percent of the bill
  • Maitre d’:  up to $20 for finding an exceptional table
  • Buffets:  10 percent of the bill
  • Bars:  10 to 15 percent depending on the complexity of your order
  • Cafes and coffeehouses:  10 to 15 percent of the bill
  • Bellhops:  $1 for each bag
  • Maid service:  $1 to $10 per night
  • Concierge:  $5 to $10 depending on how helpful he or she is
  • Doorman:  $1 gratuity if they call or hail a cab for you
  • Food delivery:  $2 to $5
  • Flower delivery:  $1 to 10$
  • Large deliveries (furniture, appliances, etc.):  $5 to $10 per person
  • Skycaps:  $1 to $2 per bag
  • Taxi drivers:  15 to 20 percent of the fare
  • Valets:  $1 to $2 per car
  • Mechanic:  $10 to $20 for jobs over $500
  • Gas station attendants:  $1 to $2

Who do you NOT have to tip?

-Owners of an establishment
-Food deliveries under $30
-Airline flight attendants
-Bussers in restaurants
-Hotel desk clerks
-Bus drivers
-Theater ushers
-Museum guides
-Employees at fast food restaurants

If you guys have any good stories about a tipping experience (whether you were the tipper or the tipee), please leave us a comment below or post on our Facebook wall!

Enjoy the Show?



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