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Tipping: How much is the right amount?

We’ve all been in a situation where we’re not sure if we should tip, or how much. Here are some guidelines to help you figure it out.

How much to tip

Nearly all of us have had that awkward moment when we’re unsure if handing over a tip for the service we just received is the proper thing to do. The good thing about being a good tipper? As you might expect, you may get more prompt and attentive service should you return.

Keep in mind that all of the tip percentages suggested below are based on the pre-tax total. To make your life simpler, use the calculator on your smartphone to calculate the tip, or download one of the tip-calculating apps on the market.

Also, if you’ve used a coupon for your service (for example, a Groupon where you paid $50 for a $100 meal) be sure to tip on the actual value of your service (in this case, tip on $100).

At the salon

You’ll likely deal with several people at the salon. A few dollars is appropriate for the person who washes your hair. For the stylist cutting or colouring your hair, leave a 15 to 20 per cent tip based on the total bill when you pay for your bill. Follow the same guideline — a tip of 15 to 20 percent — at the spa if you’ve gotten a manicure, pedicure or facial, for example. Most spas and salons will have small envelopes so you can discreetly leave a tip; if not, simply hand it to the receptionist.

At a hotel

It’s smart to carry small bills of the local currency when travelling. If the doorman at the hotel helps you up to your room with your luggage, a proper tip is $1 to $2 per bag. Also, if he hails a taxi for you, offer a similar tip.

At a restaurant

A standard tip at a restaurant is 15 per cent. If you’ve had fantastic service, by all means tip 20 per cent or more. If you’ve had a terrible experience, it’s in bad taste to leave nothing. Instead, consider asking to speak to the management and play it by ear from there.

Delivery people

The pizza guy? Hand him $2 to $5. Same goes for furniture delivery, but give that amount to each delivery man, and you may want to err on the higher end if they’ve carried a large piece of furniture up a flight of stairs, for example.

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