Ever stiffed a waiter on his tip or worse still waived it around like you were the superior man? If so, you need some tipping etiquette lessons, pronto!
Proper tipping etiquette is still a trait rarely found in modern men yet, when perfected, it can actually become quite enjoyable. It’s a selfless act of giving to others based on the level of service you’ve received. A lot of these people get a pitiful wage and the tips they get go a long way to supplement their income. Make them happy and you’ll be looked after. Annoy them and you’d be best advised to eat your meal with caution!
Tipping like a Gentleman
Tipping really is an art form and when you’re giving your tip you want to be as discrete and gentlemanly as possible. Hand over the tip with your palm facing down and shake hands with the person you are tipping, simultaneously placing the money in their hand. What you want to avoid doing is waving the money around and making a big deal of it. You’ll look like an idiot for starts and if that isn’t enough, you’re going to make the person receiving the tip feel uncomfortable because, believe it or not, you’re coming across like a condescending jerk. You’re not throwing a treat for Fido here.
So how do you figure out how much to tip? Well the truth is there are no tipping rules per se, however there are guidelines which suggest how much is appropriate to give. Let’s investigate.
The restaurant waiter/waitress
This is the one that causes most debate because there is no hard and fast rule. It is also made even more difficult by waiting staff who have lost sight of the fact that a tip is a gratuity and is not actually required. As a guideline though, I’d say you can safely use the following without a disgruntled waiter spitting in your salad:
- Self-serve/Buffet restaurant – 10-12%. If the service was fantastic, you could up this to 15%.
- Local restaurant – 15%. Again, you could up this by a few percent if the server worked particularly hard or went out of their way to help you.
- A 4-star restaurant – You’ll want to tip the maitre d’ as you’re being seated, particularly if you’re a regular and he/she goes out of their way to reserve you a table or get a table when the restaurant is busy. The standard tip here is anywhere from $20-100. For the service of the meal itself I’d recommend a tip of around 20-22%. Don’t forget to tip the wine steward (a few dollars per bottle of wine) and/or the coat check attendant ($1 for a couple of coats).
Unless you want to annoy the Travis Bickle-esque taxi driver by stiffing him on a tip you’d better go ahead and give 15% of the fare.
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