Ask Giuliana: What Are Your Tips When It Comes to...Tipping?
Tipping is one of those difficult things to nail down. Kind of like getting a marriage proposal out of Clooney.
There are so many different variables. Suppose someone at a restaurant gets your car and another guy opens the door, do you tip both of them? Or, let's say you pick up food from a take out place--do you still tip? And do you always leave the same amount even if the server is rude? We've all had the experience of finally deciding to stand up to a surly server and not leave a tip and, then, realizing we left our sunglasses on the table…OK, that was just me.
Anyway, there are no real rules when it comes to tipping, but here are some good guidelines:
Server: Gone are the days when 15% was standard. 18%-20% is now the norm. Even more for exceptional service. Yes, you can leave less for terrible service, but remember that people have bad days and that a tip is actually a part of the server's salary.
Bartender: $1-$2 per drink or 15%-20% of the tab. If you order a beer, it's OK to stay on the lower end. If your bartender is mashing mint for your mojito, tip more.
Food Delivery Service: Whether it's pizza or a fancy night in, the delivery service guy deserves a good tip for braving the streets…not to mention the rain and snow that makes take-out so luxurious for those who order it. Think 10% to 15% of the bill and no lower than $2.
Food Pickup: 10% is a fair amount for those who pack up your dinner.
Hairdresser: 15%-20% of the total is the standard. Yes, this can get expensive if you're getting a cut, highlights and a keratin treatment, but that's the price we pay for beauty. If you have a separate hair washer make sure to slip them $2-$3 as well.
Manicurist: Again, think 15%-20%. If you have separate mani and pedi people, you should split the tip and give half to each person. And remember, cash is key. Many nail salons won't let you tip on your card.
Massage/Facial/Waxing: No surprise here—15%-20% is the norm.
Taxi Driver: 15% of the fare with a $1 minimum. Plus, if he loads your bags, add $2 for the first and $1 for each additional piece of luggage.
Bellhop: Like the driver, think $2 for the first bag and $1 for each additional piece.
Doorman: $1-$2 is right when he grabs you a cab. More if he loads your luggage.
Hotel Housekeeping: $2-$3 per day, left before turndown each day throughout your trip.
Pet Groomer: 10%—more if your pet is challenging or super dirty.
Valet: $2-$5 given to the guy who opens the door for the driver. If there is more than one person taking care of your car, don't worry, the tips should even out in the end.
Car Wash: To me, this really depends on how dirty your car is, and I have been known to have a very dirty car. Anywhere between $3-$10 can make sense.
Final Tip: Although it may not always be practical for our own wallets, overtipping is never frowned upon. Be generous to those who deserve it.
Make sure you catch the new episodes of Giuliana & Bill Tuesday nights at 8/7c on the Style Network!