How Much Should You Tip? (A Complete Guide to Tipping)

If you were born before 1999 there are just some things you will never forget from growing up in the 90's, things like:

  1. Dial-up internet
  2. America’s Most Wanted on Saturday nights
  3. The boy band craze (NSYNC is still the best).
  4. And when your parents ordered delivery pizza!

I am not sure what it is about the boy bands of the 1990s or why we sat through the pain of dial-up internet and watched shows like Family Matters, but the 90's rocked.

One of the fondest memories from growing up in the ’90s was when you got home from school on a Friday knowing you had nothing to do all weekend and just prior to running out the door to go play you would usually scream, “Mom what is for dinner??”

And the best reply every time was always, “I ordered pizza!”

When you saw the pizza delivery guy drive down the street you knew it was coming to your house, so you would sprint home to beat him. Once inside, out of breath, you would ask your mom, “Can I pay the pizza delivery driver?!”

But then it happened, you had no clue how much should you tip the pizza delivery driver.

That was always the magic question when you were 12, but in reality as an adult, most of us still don’t know the answer of how much you should tip.

So here is a short guide of how you should tip pizza delivery drivers, movers, hairdressers and more!

How Much Should You Tip (Complete Guide)

The general rule for tipping, or at least tipping etiquette in America, is 15-20%. However, this percentage is generally reserved for tipping in American restaurants, but how much should you tip the person who cuts your hair or moves your luggage?

Use this guide to help you figure out how much to tip:

  • Pizza delivery drivers
  • Tipping at restaurants
  • How much to tip your hairdresser
  • Tipping when traveling
  • General guidelines to tipping

So let's start with the most common tipping question, how much to tip the delivery driver!

How much should you tip pizza delivery drivers?

The big question I had at age 12, was how much should you tip the pizza delivery guy?

The question for the 21st century actually might be, how much should you tip the food delivery person considering the populatiry of food delivery from companies like:

  • Uber eats
  • Postmates
  • Doordash
  • City Cheetah

Different people will give different answers mostly because unlike a waiter, a pizza delivery guy (or food delivery person) doesn’t say hello, take your order and do all the fancy restaurant stuff.

But the truth is that delivery guys in general often earn less than minimum wage, since tips are considered part of their compensation. They may not take your order, but they do package it up, which sometimes takes even more time than if you were eating on the premises. They also usually pay for their own gas.

Overall, most people recommend tipping 10% of the pizza delivery bill, or at the very least, $1 for every $10 you spent on delivery.

If the delivery was difficult (meaning you’re located in a somewhat rural area, a rougher neighborhood or the weather was bad) then 15%-20% is a more appropriate tip (Did you know that pizza delivery is the busiest when it is raining?)

If you don't like doing math but just want to tip the pizza delivery guy then another general rule is to tip at least $2 per pizza.

But what if you don’t want to pay for tips? Other options aside from delivery include using coupons on Grubhub or using a meal-kit delivery service such as Plated or Blue Apron.

Pizza Delivery & Delivery Tipping Guidelines:
  1. Tip at least $1 for every $10 you spend at a minimum
  2. $2 per pizza
  3. At least 15% if it's raining, or $3 for every $20 spent.

How much should you tip at restaurants?

Depending on where you live and what country you are visiting, there are different social norms when it comes to tipping.

Most people agree that a restaurant tip should be 15% for adequate service, 20% for very good service and in general never less than 10%, even if it was really bad service (in this case talk to the manger or use Google comments).

Both cash and credit tips are fine, and if you’re using a credit card then it’s absolutely OK to leave the tip on the credit card, but waiters like cash better – so when applicable tip in cash.

Some people such as Eater NY chef critic Ryan Sutton may say that 20 percent before tax should really be the minimum. But sommelier and Eater Young Gun Kaitlyn Caruke also explains that,

If you’re splurging on a nice bottle of wine, then you’re not expected to add 20% (imagine if it’s a $1,000 bottle of wine!). Tipping often varies depending on what you’re buying. “

Many establishments now have built-in gratuity that’s pre-calculated and included on the bottom of the receipt. Depending on the party size, some restaurants include the tip in the bill – in that case, there’s no need to leave any additional cash, it’s at your discretion to add more.

Restaurant Tipping Guidelines:
  1. 15% = $1.50 for every $10 on the bill
  2. 18% = $1.80 for every $10 on the bill
  3. 20% = $2.00 for every $10 on the bill

How much should you tip hairdressers:

67% of people tip their barber and hairstylist.

Considering the fact that they hold sharp scissors and blades to your face, it’s understandable, so tipping them 15 to 20% is a standard amount for tipping your stylist.

Most men typically get their haircuts for cheap at a barber shop, and $3 for every $20 spent is pretty standard, or $3-5 each time you get a haircut.

As far as it goes for women, there can sometimes be more included in a haircut including:

  • Cut
  • Color
  • Styling
  • Blowdrying
  • And other hair services

So in this case, when tipping your hairdresser, tip 15% or $15 for every $100 you spend at your hair appointment.

Holiday Months: When it is close to the holidays, such as Christmas, it's a good practice to tip a little more just to be generous in the season of giving!

How much should you tip movers:

When you hire movers to help you relocate, there is a standard etiquette that you tip each of the movers anywhere from $20-$50 each.

Most moving companies give homeowners an estimate that determines how many movers they need to send/how much time it will take to complete the job.

The movers are paid hourly, but it is widely acknowledged that the homeowner tips the movers after all their hard work. $50 is a generally agreed upon amount, but it depends on the time and effort.

Some moving jobs last two hours, while others can take 12-14 hours. With so much disparity in moving times, consider tipping $5 for every hour the mover is working for you.

What should you tip when traveling?

There are 196 countries in the world, all with pretty different tipping practices. How do you know how much to tip? Should it be just spare change? 20%? A few euros? Every country has a different culture around tipping, so it’s worth doing your homework beforehand.

A few main rules to follow are:

  • Make sure that you tip in the currency of the country that you’re visiting. Even if dollars are worth more, it’s a hassle for the server to exchange the currency.
  • You’re better off paying your tip in cash, since depending on the country credit card tips may not be available.

In some countries such as Japan and China, tipping in a restaurant is considered an insult. In countries like the United Arab Emirates, tipping is automatically added to the bill and is a government mandate. So it helps to talk to your travel agent or do a quick internet search before eating out in your new city!

When it comes to the travel industry, here are some basic tipping rules:

  • Skycap at the airport: $1 per bag, $2 per bag if skycap takes bags back to the check-in counter
  • Hotel doorman: $1 per bag help; $1 per person for hailing a cab
  • Hotel bellhop: $1 per bag for bringing luggage to your room
  • Hotel housekeeper: $2-$5 per night
  • Hotel concierge: $5 for getting reservations
  • Cruise: Varies – you’re better off asking the cruise line.

How much should you tip in your daily life?

Figuring out how to tip and to whom you should tip can add unnecessary complications, which is why it’s good to read articles like this one to make sure you’re following the appropriate tipping practices.

One simple way of doing this is by incorporating tipping into your budget, and increasing it by 20%. This allows you not only to tip adequately for a good service, but you can also tip less if the situation calls for it.

Here is a chart with some basic tipping rules:

Furniture delivery$5 to $10 per person
Bartender$1 per drink
Car wash$2 for a car, 15% for detailing
Coat checker$1 per item
Dog groomer15 to 20%
Emergency roadside service provider$5 to $20
Hairstylist or colorist15%
Movers$20 to $50 each
Valet parking$2 to $5

You can always use tip calculators and apps!

If you’re like most of us and you don’t want to be calculating random percentages in your head, use a tipping calculator.

Every time you buy something, you also have the option to download an easy to use app for sticky tipping situations.

Apple:

This Free Tip Calculator is the quickest and handiest free tip calculator. Not only can you quickly calculate how much to tip, but you can also easily split the bill among several diners.

The Gratuity app is a nice simple and easy to understand interface which allows you to enter the total amount with a keypad. Then you choose the percent you want to tip and the number of diners to split the tip with.

Android:

This Tip Calculator is very similar to the Apple version, but it also allows you to round up and round down. It makes it very easy to tip exactly what you mean to – no more, no less!

The Tip Me Calculator, like all the others, lets you input the total bill, choose a tip percentage and select the total amount of people – and it’s got a beautiful design.

General Tipping Guidelines

In general, there are no hard and fast rules for giving gratuities. The easiest way to tip is to round up to the nearest dollar, then take 15 to 20 percent of that amount.

Keep in mind, there will always be places where you are expected to pay a tip, simply because the service workers are paid only minimum wage or live by commissions.

  • Sit-down restaurants and buffets, you want to be tipping between 15 to 20 percent. Buffets can be a little less at 10 percent.
  • Baristas and bartenders, you can help them out by just throwing in a buck or about 10 to 15 percent.
  • Taxi drivers and valet drivers, you want to be tipping them as you would a waiter or waitress, so about 15 to 20 percent.
  • Hotel and housekeeping staff, all in all about $5 to $10 per night is a good practice, including the bellhop, doorman, and housekeeper.

At the beginning, it may be a bit confusing to remember all these numbers when tipping various different service workers, but the more you do it the more you get into the habit.

When in doubt, tip 20 percent!

Start with some of the tipping apps mentioned above and you won't have to do mental math like most of us 90's millennials when mom ordered pizza on the weekends!!!

And remember…. always tip the delivery guy well – he handles your food 🙂

how much should I tip?

Question: How do you feel about tipping, even when the service isn't good?