How and when do you tip?I never know what to tip for services.  I tip my hairdresser and my cat's groomer, but how much do you tip the house cleaner?  The gardener?  Is there a guide somewhere?

Expert Answers
wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think how and when you tip depends a lot on the service and the interaction with the service provider.  Services that we receive infrequently we often tip for immediately.  These types of situations might include tipping the waitress at a restaurant, the hairdresser, the dog groomer, the pizza delivery person, etc.  Often this type of tip is around 15-20%.  Sometimes this tip is dependent upon the quality of the service provided.  A good waitress or a fast delivery driver should be tipped more for their excellent service.  Of course, this doesn't mean that a bad waitress shouldn't be tipped at all, but he/she might earn less. 

While I haven't personally had a gardener, maid, or other such personnel, I think these types of services are general not tipped in the same manner.  Typically, this type of service is provided on a regular basis and a tip is likely given in the form of a seasonal bonus (many people offer this around Christmas time or another holiday time as a gift). 

Services that are provided through some type of service provider are not usually tipped.  For instance, I do not tip the Terminix person who comes to spray outside our home each quarter.  I hired the Terminix service provider and not the service person.  The indirect realtionship usually excludes the need to tip.  The same would be said for a repair man.  I hire the company and pay the company; therefore, I do not tip the repair man. 

Of course, this really only applies to the US.  Different parts of the country will tip in different manners as well.  Other countries have completely different practices.  In England, for example, one does not tip a delivery driver.  The drivers make more money per pay check because the tip is included in the cost of the product.  Each area will have it's own customs.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not sure what the norms are for tips outside the food industry. I found myself wondering a few days ago whether or not furniture movers get tipped...and if so, how much.

Personally, I try to tip about the same amount regardless of the quality of service because I don't want to think too much about how much to tip. It's just not something I want to spend time parsing out, so I simplify as much as possible and aim for a 15-20%, round number.


lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have heard that a gift/tip, like what you would give once a year for a holiday tip, for someone like a house cleaning service or a gardener should be equal to one service charge. So you if you pay the cleaning lady $50.00 to clean each week, then the one-time tip should be $50. I don't think it is necessary or appropriate to tip service people for each date of service. I think that the standard 15%-20% on wait staff, hair dressers, groomers, etc. is standard.

lffinj eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Every year around Christmas "guides" are published as to how much everyone should receive as a small gift.  There are guides on-line as to how much tipping is appropriate.  I'm sure Emily Post has some information.  I would venture to say the amount of tip is directly tied to the type of service, as well as where you live.  As for me, I don't have a house cleaner or a gardener, so I have no idea about these services.

mlsiasebs eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I tip for services but the amount varies depending on the quality of service and the type.  Keep in mind that many people work for tips and their pay can be very low.  Servers in restaurants may be paid as little as 2.13/hr because the businesses are expecting them to receive at least a minimum wage from tips.  Regardless of whether or not we agree with this policy, it is the reality of the economy.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't have that problem.  No house cleaner.  No gardener.  Maybe I should ask my wife for tips...

I tip wait staff at restaurants and I tip delivery people for things like pizza.  But I don't really do anything else where tipping would be appropriate.  These days, I don't even check my groceries out with a real person because of the self-check.  So I don't really have anyone to tip.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it's important to tip and always try to do it when it seems appropriate. My mother worked as a house cleaner and a waitress, and I know how much tips meant to her in simple practical terms.  I have read that 15% - 20% is proper for tipping waiters, and my assumption is that this would be the norm in other cases as well.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I always tip at restaurants but I usually don't go overboard--always 15% to 20%. I sometimes leave slightly less or none at all at buffets or totally self-serve restaurants when there are no waitresses. I also tip taxi drivers if they assist with luggage, and hotel valets, bellboys and chambermaids.

bhawanipur | Student

I like this discussion on a very triffle thing and yet it makes someone happy. I live in a small town with my family consists of my wife and two children. We do our day to day works of our own and so question of giving tips does not arise. Even if we go to a Restaurat, tips giving is not yet in practice. People working here get wages. But one woman come to my hose for cleaning clothes once in a week. I pay her daily and pay some money occasionally during festivals. However in big cities, I was made to give out of courtesy for the services rendered to me.