New tipping guidelines for a changing world

In 2017 I wrote a blog post about tipping where I shared who to tip and how much. What a difference five years makes as I write this in 2022. A lot has transpired since 2017 that has impacted tipping. One of the biggest factors is the pandemic. When the COVID-19 virus shut everything down many of us were able to work from the safety of our homes to avoid being exposed to the virus. Because we didn’t have a vaccine for about a year, we were shuttering ourselves to prevent possible death from the virus. But front-line workers and many service people did not have that luxury. They put their lives in jeopardy every day they showed up to work.  Because of this we became much more aware of the inequities these workers face. As a result, tips went up or became a practice where one didn’t exist before. We started tipping when picking up takeout or getting food delivered. We increased our tips for waitstaff in the few restaurants that were able to be open knowing restaurants were barely making it.

The other factor that has contributed to new tipping situations is electronic payments. Most people today pay for goods and services with credit/debit cards or with money sharing apps versus cash and typically there is an option to add a tip. We may feel stingy if we don’t give the barista or the paddleboard rental attendant the tip suggested on the payment screen. The plethora of electronic payment has created an expectation that we need to tip anyone who helps us.

So, what are the tipping norms these days? I share tipping norms we followed before COVID and the norms for 2022 so you can see what has changed.

Food Service

Barista or restaurant take out

  • Before COVID: Not necessary to tip, but if you’re so moved give your spare change or up to $2.00 if it’s a large or complicated order.
  • 2022: $1 per drink for the barista. More if the order was complicated. Tip 10 to 15% for takeout.

Bartender. The amount depends on how complicated the drink was. Beer and wine is tipped less than a cocktail. No need to tip after each drink, simply leave the tip at the end when paying the tab.

  • Before COVID: $1 or $2 per drink. If you’re attending an event with an open bar, event tipping is optional, otherwise if you’re so moved, give the bartender $1 per drink.
  • 2022: $1 to $3 per drink or 10 to 15% of the tab. Tips are now expected for the bartender at an open bar – $1 to $2 per drink.

Food delivery

  • Before COVID: $2 to $4
  • 2022: $3 to $10

Personal grocery shopper. If a tip wasn’t included in the bill, tip more for larger or more complicated orders. Tip a few dollars if a tip was included in the bill

  • Before COVID: $2 to $5
  • 2022: $3 to $10

Restaurant server

  • Before COVID: 15 to 20% of the bill before tax.
  • 2022: 18 to 22%

 

Beauty for You and Fido

Hair salon/Barbershop. Ask that the tip be divided up by those who served you – stylist, shampooer, colorist – or you can specify the amount per person – commiserate with how much time they spent on you. If your stylist is the owner of the salon, you still tip her or him.

  • Before COVID: 15 to 20%.
  • 2022: The same

Nail salon:

  • Before COVID: 10 to 20%
  • 2022: The same

Waxing, massage and facial. Some massage therapists can’t accept tips. Always ask first.

  • Before COVID: 15 to 20%,
  • 2022: The same

Dog groomer

  • Before COVID: 15 to 20%
  • 2022: The same

 

Travel

At the Airport

Skycaps. These folks check your bags at the airport curbside and transport them into the terminal. They are not employed by the airlines, and they rely on tips to make a living. Increase the tip if your bag is heavier or larger than usual.

  • Before COVID: $1 to $2 per bag.
  • 2022: $2 to $3 per bag

Taxi, rideshare and limousine drivers

  • Before COVID: 15 to 20% of the bill.
  • 2022: The same

Rental car or hotel shuttle driver

  • Before COVID: $1 per bag
  • 2022: $2 per bag

At the Hotel

Doorman. The doorman removes and puts luggage into your car and puts it on the luggage cart. This person also can hail a taxi. Pay a higher tip if it was more difficult to flag down a taxi.

  • Before COVID: $2 for the first bag and $1 for additional bags. $1 to $3 for getting you a taxi.
  • 2022: $3 for the first bag and $2 for additional bags. $3 to $5 for getting you a taxi.

Bellhop. Tip more for heavier and larger bags.

  • Before COVID: $1 to $2 per bag.
  • 2022: $2 to $3 per bag

Housekeepers. If you ask the housekeeper for special services, such as bringing you an extra pillow or toiletries, leave an additional amount in an envelope labeled “Housekeeping” the day you check out.

  • Before COVID: $2 to $5 per night. $1 to $2 additional for special services. If you stay multiple nights, put the tip on your pillow each day, as the person cleaning your room may change.
  • 2022: $2 to $5 per night, $5 for special services. Because many hotels and guest are no longer having the rooms made up during the guest’s stay leave the cash in an envelope or on a pillow the day you check out.

Concierge. This person’s job is to suggest restaurants or activities and make reservations. A tip is usually not expected. However, if the person goes above and beyond, such as getting you a reservation to a popular restaurant or securing hard-to-get theater tickets, a tip is appropriate.

  • Before COVID: $5 to $10 for going above and beyond
  • 2022: $5 to $20 for going above and beyond

 

Other Services

Outdoor rental attendant

  • Before COVID: Tips weren’t necessary
  • 2022: Tips are still not necessary but 10 to 15% is a nice gesture

Tour guide. Pay cash and hand it to the guide at the end of the trip.

  • Before COVID: 10 to 20%
  • 2022: The same

Valet. Tip when the car is returned to you.

  • Before COVID: $2 to $5
  • 2022: $3 to $10

Feeling overwhelmed by trying to remember the correct amount to tip each person or who to tip? Keep these two points in mind – how much the service person’s wage is and how much time the person spends assisting you. Tip more for someone who makes low wages and are dependent on tips to make a livable wage and tip more for someone who spends a lot of time or extra effort serving you. When in doubt, 10 to 20% is usually a good amount to follow if you can’t remember the amounts per tipping situation. Don’t tip professionals such as doctors, lawyers or dentists.


Please note: We have a new method of delivering blog posts to your inbox. If you have previously received these blog posts through Feedburner, please subscribe to receive these blog posts through the form below and unsubscribe to the posts you receive through Feedburner.

Feel free to share:

Arden

Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Read more >>

Leave a Comment