Complete Guide to Tipping: When & How Much

Have you ever encountered a situation in which you weren’t sure if you’re supposed to tip or not? As restaurateurs flock towards the fast-casual scene, nothing has become more awkward than filling out your receipt with a blank tip line. In this post, we’ll aim to help you understand when you should tip and what an appropriate amount is.

Previously, whenever you decided to go out to eat, you could assume it would come with a 15 to 20% tip for your waiter or waitresses service. But in 2020, it’s becoming increasingly popular to ditch the waiter leaving the guest to do half of the work. So should you tip in these situations? Keep reading to find out!

A Brief History of Tipping

Tipping and gratuity have roots dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It began with servants in the Middle Age. When a visitor visited a mansion in which there were servants, it was expected that the visitor “tip” in order to pay for the servant’s work. This eventually transformed and found it’s way into many different service sectors.

Today, tipping is a way of expressing your satisfaction with the service provided. If the person completing the service does a great job, consider tipping them more.

Do you tip if there is no waiter?

Picture this. You arrive at a restaurant and walk in the door only to be directed straight to a cash register where you are to place your order. You tell the cashier your order and get the total. The recipe prints out with a place to sign right below the typical “Tip:” line. Are you supposed to tip?

For these scenarios, it is not expected but encouraged. Because you do not have a waiter, it is not necessary to tip. If you do choose to tip, a few dollars should do the trick. Do not feel bad for leaving the tip line empty in these situations.

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Do you tip on a to-go order?

If you have placed an order online or choose to get your order to-go, are you supposed to tip?

Similarly to the above scenario, you are not expected to tip, but it is encouraged. If you do tip, just a few dollars will keep employees happy.

How much to tip for sit down meal?

It is commonplace to tip between 15 and 20% of your total bill for a satisfactory experience at a restaurant. If your waiter or waitress went above and beyond to make your experience better, consider tipping 20 to 25% of the bill or whatever amount feels right to you.

How much should I tip the bartender?

Whenever you purchase drinks at the bar, you’ll need to tip the bartender for their service. How much? Some people claim that $1 to $2 per drink is an acceptable amount, while others will choose to tip 20% on their entire order.

How much to tip taxi or Uber drivers?

As ride-hailing services have gained popularity, a big debate has spurred on if you should and how much to tip drivers. Previously, ride-hailer Uber did not allow tipping as drivers were getting paid for their services by the company. Currently, they have reversed their opinion and have made it easy to tip. So should you tip if used a ride-hailing service?

If your driver did a satisfactory job of driving and was friendly, we would recommend tipping between $2 and $5 of dollars, depending on the duration of your trip. If you were not satisfied with your drive, don’t feel bad leaving them without a tip.

What about taxi drivers?

Taxi drivers are different than ride hauling services when it comes to tipping. It is expected that you tip between 15 and 20% of your fare for their services. Typically they will help you with your luggage or other items and your tip should compensate them for going above and beyond.

Do you tip a hairdresser?

The hair salon or barber is another place where tipping is expected. Employees are paid via the money they make from tips with a measly hourly rate in case they are not able to support themselves.

How much to tip hairdresser?

How much you decide to tip your hairdresser is completely up to you. For men’s haircuts, you should aim to tip on average $4 or $5. For women, the amount you decide to tip should depend on the quality, difficulty, and length of your work. If your appointment took a few hours of their time, you should tip anywhere from $25 to $100.

Do you tip pizza or delivery drivers?

Since the adoption of mass food delivery services, tipping has become the subject of many debates. Whereas traditional pizza delivery drivers make their income through tips, some delivery services pay their employees in more traditional methods.

How much to tip pizza or delivery drivers?

Deciding how much you should tip pizza or other delivery drivers depends on a few things. How long did your delivery take? If it was within 5 minutes of the expected time, you should aim to tip at least $3 to $5.

Was your driver forced to drive through treacherous conditions to make the delivery? If so, you should be a little more generous to compensate them for their trouble.

Considerations for Tipping

It’s important to understand that tipping is different in different geographical locations. In areas where the cost of living is extremely expensive, you should tip more than areas in which the cost of living is low.

It’s also worth noting that tipping is optional. For many workers in the service business, this is there primary source of income. You should always plan on tipping unless you are extremely dissatisfied with the service provided and even still, you should try to understand if it was the worker’s fault or if it could have been a different issue.

What if I use a coupon?

If you are using a coupon or receive some sort of special discount, you should tip on the pre-discount amount.

What about the holidays?

If you visit a restaurant on a holiday, you should try to tip more than you typically would. Your waiter doesn’t want to work on Christmas Day (trust me!), so you should compensate them for working on that day.


Tipping should be considered standard for many occasions but there are some instances when it might be okay to leave the tip line empty. You should always consider your experience when determining how much to tip. If you are satisfied, you should leave a tip. If you are dissatisfied, you should consider the worker’s condition before leaving the tip line empty. Was it their fault the service was subpar? If not, consider leaving a good tip but asking to speak to someone about your experience. If you’re unsure of whether or not to tip, we recommend leaving some sort of tip behind.

How much do you normally tip for good service? Comment below!

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Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing enthusiast dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He owns several different blogs and is also passionate about health and fitness.

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