How much is enough? Tips on tipping

Nobody likes a cheapskate.
Do I need to tip this person? Am I tipping the right amount? Why do we even tip at all?

We're sure you've asked yourselves these questions as your hand hovers over the credit card slip or you thumb through the singles in your wallet. Don't worry; these pointers will make sure you're leaving just the right amount.

"Tipping is supposed to be optional in most instances, and as a result it's something more personal," says Advanced Etiquette founder Syndi Seid.

Along those lines, it should be OK to tip an amount that feels right, when it feels right.

That being said, even though it's supposed to be optional, these days tipping has become the norm and in many situations, not leaving a tip leaves you looking like a jerk, both to the person helping you and even the people you're with.

So don't be a jerk. Leave a tip.


Leave your server 15-20 percent. Many restaurants pay servers based on the assumption they will be making a certain amount of money in tips, so leaving less than that means they're practically working for free.

Did your server anticipate your every need and make for a magical dining experience? Leave 20 percent or more. Did the meal suck? Still leave 15 percent, but speak to the manager and let them know what went wrong.

Don't forget to tip your delivery guy a few bucks, more if he slogged through bad weather to bring you food.

Protip: Did you use a Groupon deal or was part of your meal comped? Your tip should be calculated based on what the total cost of the meal would have been.

Coffee Shops

Did your barista remember your skinny, half-caff, soy latte with a half pump of caramel order from the last time you were there? Let her know you appreciate it.

Protip: Are you a regular? Leave a tip. Loose change some days, drop a dollar in now and then too.


Bars are crowded and everyone wanted their drinks 5 minutes ago. Bartenders have to remember long orders from multiple customers, keep track of how much you've been drinking and execute complicated drink recipes. Did you order a couple of beers? Leave a dollar or two per brew. Did your cocktail have seven ingredients and come out to you on fire? A work of intoxicating art like that takes time and talent and you should tip accordingly.

Protip: Never wave cash at your bartender to get his attention. He will ignore you.

Still need help? Check out this tip chart from waitbutwhy:

Related Topics: