What You Should Tip In Every Situation

What You Should Tip In Every Situation

The world runs on gratuities! As a person who has spent a tremendous amount of time organizing and preplanning weddings, events, and other celebrations around the world, I know that money is the universal barter system. However, it’s often hard to know how much, or how little, to leave individual members of the service professions, whether it’s a concierge in a European hotel or the waiter from your favorite neighborhood restaurant. In general, I believe in tipping generously and often. Here are my guidelines for tipping:

Always tips:

  • Waiter
  • Restaurant maître d’
  • Hotel concierge
  • Pool attendant
  • Housekeeping staff

It’s not necessary to tip:

  • Chef
  • Busboy
  • Hotel owner
  • Hotel general manager
  • Airline reservations clerk

Tipping in restaurants: Reward excellent service accordingly; anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of your meal- net of sales tax. If the service has been less than ideal, you can leave a lesser percent of the bill, or if your waiter has been rude or inattentive, nothing. If the service is really shockingly awful, excuse yourself from the table and speak wit the maître d’ or manager on duty and ask for another server for the rest of the meal. By no means should a diner be expected to honor the same percentages when it comes to very expensive bottles of wine or liquor. Tips are a diner’s prerogative. They are up to the tipper- not the person who is being tipped. I tend to tip 20 percent of the food, then I add on at least 10 percent of the wine.

Tipping in hotels: I’m a huge believer in tipping up front, when I arrive or earlier, rather than afterward. If you tip someone before your arrival, then you have created an unspoken contract with that person, and believe me, everything will come your way! If you tip someone just before you leave, it naturally won’t matter as much to the staff whether your stay was underwhelming. One of the first things I do when I arrive a hotel is tip the concierge approximately twenty dollars a day for every day of my stay.  This may sound excessive, but the effort the concierge will then make to earn his money (and my respect) is well worth the price.

-Colin Cowie

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