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How Much Should You Tip?

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Part of the Etiquette For Dummies Cheat Sheet

In the United States, tipping is a voluntary practice in most places and is based upon your experience of a service or meal. Knowing how to tip gracefully is an important skill in etiquette. Here are some tipping suggestions:

  • If you’ve received excellent service and food, you should tip 15 to 20 percent of the before-tax amount of the bill.

  • If a wine steward or sommelier gives you special help selecting wine, tip equal to 15 percent of the price of the wine.

  • Give your barber or hairstylist a 15 to 20 percent tip if you’re having a cut, color, or perm. If you have a separate colorist and stylist, each person should receive 15 to 20 percent of the cost of the particular service that she provided. If you’re having your hair set or washed and blow-dried, a 20 percent tip is sufficient. If other people in the salon help you (for example, if a junior assistant washes your hair), tip each person a few dollars for her service.

  • If you have a manicure or pedicure, tip the manicurist a minimum of $3 or 15 percent of the cost of the manicure or pedicure.

  • If a doorman carries your bag, give him $1 to $2 per bag. Give a doorman who hails you a cab $1.

  • If a bellman arrives at your hotel room with your luggage, tip him $2 per bag.

  • For a concierge who gets you into a fashionable restaurant, tip $10 to $20, or if the concierge gets you into the opening night of a popular play or opera, tip $20 per ticket.

  • Tip the parking valet who retrieves your car $1 or $2.

  • Give your hotel maid $3 per night.

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Etiquette For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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