How To Tip Like A Gentleman

Written by Christian


Image by guy paterson

Proper tipping etiquette is still a trait rarely found in modern men yet, when perfected, it can actually become quite enjoyable. It’s a selfless act of giving to others based on the level of service you’ve received. A lot of these people get a pitiful wage and the tips they get go a long way to supplement their income. Make them happy and you’ll be looked after. Annoy them and you’d be best advised to eat your meal with caution!

Tipping like a Gentleman

Tipping really is an art form and when you’re giving your tip you want to be as discrete and gentlemanly as possible. Hand over the tip with your palm facing down and shake hands with the person you are tipping, simultaneously placing the money in their hand. What you want to avoid doing is waving the money around and making a big deal of it. You’ll look like an idiot for starts and if that isn’t enough, you’re going to make the person receiving the tip feel uncomfortable because, believe it or not, you’re coming across like a condescending jerk. You’re not throwing a treat for Fido here.

So how do you figure out how much to tip? Well the truth is there are no tipping rules per se, however there are guidelines which suggest how much is appropriate to give. Let’s investigate.

The restaurant waiter/waitress

This is the one that causes most debate because there is no hard and fast rule. It is also made even more difficult by waiting staff who have lost sight of the fact that a tip is a gratuity and is not actually required. As a guideline though, I’d say you can safely use the following without a disgruntled waiter spitting in your salad:

  • Self-serve/Buffet restaurant10-12%. If the service was fantastic, you could up this to 15%.
  • Local restaurant15%. Again, you could up this by a few percent if the server worked particularly hard or went out of their way to help you.
  • A 4-star restaurant – You’ll want to tip the maitre d’ as you’re being seated, particularly if you’re a regular and he/she goes out of their way to reserve you a table or get a table when the restaurant is busy. The standard tip here is anywhere from $20-100. For the service of the meal itself I’d recommend a tip of around 20-22%. Don’t forget to tip the wine steward (a few dollars per bottle of wine) and/or the coat check attendant ($1 for a couple of coats).

Taxi driver

Unless you want to annoy the Travis Bickle-esque taxi driver by stiffing him on a tip you’d better go ahead and give 15% of the fare.

Hair salon

You want to make sure your hair looks as good as possible and tipping will ensure that your hair stylist gives a polished cut. They’ll also be more likely to look after you next time you visit too (I’ve been given a free colour before simply for tipping well). An acceptable amount is somewhere in the region of 10-15% of the cost.

Hotel staff

There are a number of staff members at the hotel that can make your stay very pleasant or a living nightmare depending on how you tip them. Here’s who you should tip and how much to give them:

  • Chambermaid$5 per night you stay. That is, if you want clean sheets, towels and plenty of toilet roll.
  • Room service waiter – Again this is the standard 15%.
  • Bellhop – If you let the bellhop carry your bags up to your room and show you around said room without giving them a tip then you’re going to hell. Tip them around $10-15 for their efforts.

The casino

If you’re going for a night out at the casino, you better be prepared to tip. Of course if you’re a professional gambler (or just extremely lucky) you’ll be able to tip from your winnings.

  • Blackjack dealer$5 chip (or more) per session. It’s also common place in casinos for the players to place a small side bet for the dealers. You can agree the amount with other players but a $1 chip is usually sufficient.
  • Craps dealer – Those craps dealers love the action as much as you. It’s common to place up to a 10% side bet for the dealer.
  • Poker dealer$5 per session. Winners usually tip at least $10 and sometimes as much as 10% on bigger wins.
  • Drink waitresses$1 chip per drink.

Parking attendant

You don’t want some juvenile attendant ruining your prized Bentley Continental because you didn’t tip the lad, do you? On second thoughts, why would you let a juvenile attendant park your prized Bentley Continental unless you’re asking for trouble?

You should tip, at the very least $1 ($5 if they help with your luggage) but I would tip a little extra to get a better level of service. Perhaps $10-15 to make sure they don’t take it for a joy-ride á la Ferris Bueller. Oh, that reminds me, always check the mileage of the car before handing it over to a parking attendant!

But what if I don’t want to give a tip?

There are some occasions where you feel unjustified to give out a tip, but let me tell you why you should.

  • The food was terrible. If the food was terrible, then complain to the manager (you might get a discount on the bill) but don’t take away the tip from the waiting staff because you’re punishing them for someone else’s mistake. Chances are they worked very hard for you and to not reward them would be unfavourable.
  • The service was below par. If the service was below par then you should tip at a lower rate than normal. Usually, I’d speak to the waiter I’m tipping and politely explain the reasons for the lower tip. Just make sure you’ve eaten all your food before you tell them!
  • You are a stingy and grumpy old man. So you don’t want to tip. Why not? You’re rewarding someone for doing good work. How would you feel if your boss decided to not give you the pay raise you’ve been asking for or taking your bonus away from you just because he felt like it? As the old saying goes, “Treat other people the way you expect to be treated yourself.”

Oh and for those of you wondering how to deal with people who flat out ask you for a tip. I like to go with the following:

Yeah, I’ve got a tip for you. Never eat yellow snow.

What’s your etiquette for tipping? Is it more or less than I’ve suggested? Also, if you’ve got a great tipping story from a restaurant for example, let us know in the comments.

59 thoughts on “How To Tip Like A Gentleman

  1. Neko

    Absurd. My wage (and most of the readers’ wages) could be also considered pitiful regarding the work we do and nobody tips our services.
    Waiters, taxi drivers,… if they “want to feel happy” they should ask their bosses, not me. I am a client, not a teddy bear.

  2. prot

    “How would you feel if your boss decided to not give you the pay raise you’ve been asking for or taking your bonus away from you just because he felt like it?”

    I am not their boss, if I would I would get cash for their work in my restaurant. Waiters are paid monthly just like coal mine workers. Why no one gives coal miners a tip huh ? Next time think about it when you’ll be warming your ass in a cold day ppl. Back to waiters. Why shouldn’t I give them a tip ? Because no one gives me a tip for driving my garbage truck nicely. As well as no one gives an F when it comes to rewarding my hard job with a tip. Just because some bunch of old snobby millionaires decided it is cool to give some tip for a waiter doesn’t mean it’s now everyones duty to do so. And if any waiter feels aggrieved with it, better stay away from my roundhouse radius.

  3. Wal

    Tipping sucks… a bad idea which is full of contradictions, discomfort and elitism. $20 – $100 for a maitre d’? Yeah if he spit-shines my shoes and gives me a back rub. And only a lousy buck for a casino dealer.

    Heres my advice, tell your boss to pay what you are worth, or find another job.

  4. Rbn

    I’ve been working as a waiter and I know it’s not so hard to do a good job and try to smile or just don’t show your worst face, so if service is bad I never tip, not a penny, to tip is something you do for an extra good quality, something that is better than you expected, there’s no reason to do it if you don’t feel like they really deserve it.

  5. Hard Working Bartender

    I think it is fair to say that none of you have worked in the service industry. I work 40 hours a week, and get paid less than minimum wage (per the US government for employees in the service industry). And taxes are automatically deducted from my pay based on a percentage of my sales. So when you run up a bill and not tip, not only am I not earning money, I am actually loosing money. ALL of my earning derives from tips.

    Now, I am not insinuating that every server/bartender deserves 15%+. I don’t believe that I should earn the same as a server/bartender that doesn’t give you his/her best service. I hustle to keep all of my guests happy, entertained and well served. And for my regulars that tips well, I have the ability to give out great perks (off menu meals, specials, freebies, and many other benefits). I only have so much to give in a shift, I will picky to who I give them out to.

    But for that service I would like to think that you would appreciate that and tip accordingly. And remember that you are tipping on the service, not the food. I am not a cook. If you don’t like the food, or something is wrong, I (or my manager/owner) would be willing to fix things (replacing food, comping a meal, buying a round of drinks). And even more so at that point I think I earned more than the average tip.

    Pay based on tips ensures that the restaurant’s staff wants to give their best service to the guest. This is actually to your favor. Not to mention it only costs you cents to the dollar.

    And I will admit, I personally would never do anything disgusting to a guests food/drink, as the author jokingly implied, but I will be prone to not be as eager to give my best service to someone that I know that has in the past or has given me reason to know that I am getting sub par or zero tip. If you don’t appreciate my hard work (on my feet for 8+ hours at a time with no break trying to make your visit enjoyable), don’t expect me to give you my best. And believe me, if you take money out of my pocket, I will most definitly remember you.

  6. Neko

    Hard Working Bartender; I think you haven`t seen the point.
    We don’t argue that you deserve to earn the money they don`t pay you, that’s right
    BUT it’s NOT US who must pay you that money by tipping
    it’s your boss who must do it, all included in your wage.
    When I pay at a bar, restaurant,…, I am paying by all, food, drink and service included and when its gets more expensive, well, then I’ll pay more, but that’s all.
    WE definitely AREN’T taking money out of your pocket. Your bosses do that. So dare to ask them.

  7. steph

    I think you all are forgetting what tipping does for YOU… You get good service only because we expect a tip after. Us in the service industry wouldn’t really give a fuck about kissing anyone’s ass if it didn’t mean half our income.

  8. jess

    I’m a waiter and driving your garbage truck, or whatever lousy job you have pays at least $7 an hour or you should quit and work at BK, but waiters make $2.16 an hour. Our money depends on your tips if noone tip’d i would make $30/week if you don’t think that hearing all this reasons to not tip is complete B.S. then you are a complete idiot. The only reason we make the $2.16 is so that they help us pay some of the taxes back. My last paycheck actually said, “This is Not a Paycheck” because all of it went to paying taxes and medicare, ect.

  9. Russ

    I try to tip waitstaff in cash and the meal on a credit card. I’d like to think they can sink the cash in their pockets without declaring it.

  10. notip

    Tipping is against my religion, frak anyone who thinks they deserve a tip. You don’t get a tip for doing what you are paid to do.

  11. Seanitan

    I have to say all of you are a bunch of assholes (that or you live somewhere that tipping is not customary, in which case, get the hell out of the discussion).

    Neko: Actually, hardworking bartender did get the point and if you actually read his post it says that tipping ensures that the wait staff/bartender gives his/her best service to you in order to obtain a maximum tip. If you just paid them like every other job they would slack off and not give a shit (like every other job).

    As for tipping, always give something. It’s PART OF THE PAYMENT. Whether it’s written down or not, when you go out to a restaurant factor the tip amount into the price of the food.

    That’s how it works. Don’t like it? Eat at home you stingy fucks.

  12. High and Mighty

    I have done a myriad of jobs in my life, including pizza delivery and trash pick-up. Believe me, if you don’t leave a tip it is remembered. I always did the absolute best job I could do at everything in my life. During the Christmas season, I received well over a grand in tips. After I quit driving for the trash company, I STILL GOT TIPS FROM OLD CUSTOMERS. Because I did the best I could do for them.
    When my wife and I go on vacation to St. Thomas every year, to the same resort, we tip very well, sometime as much as 50% of our bill. We are treated better than family every year, so good in fact, that we will probably buy one of the condo units in the next year or so at that resort. BTW, we aren’t wealthy, far from it right now, we just know how to save money, and more importantly, how to spend money on purpose and not by accident (the new way of saying “budgeting”). If we can afford to tip that much, you cheapo’s can certainly afford the minimum of 15%. Even if the food is bad, tip your waiter/waitress, then let the owner know the food was bad. Believe, as a business owner it feels great to get compliments, but it is much more helpful to get complaints. I don’t give out gift certificates to complainers to appease them, but to thank them for informing me how I can improve my business.

  13. Angela

    Very informative. Regardless what country I visit I always try to give a tip. I know in Japan its not customary to tip, but i usually leave something on a table. Even a Thank you note.

  14. Neko

    To Seanitan (and sunny, and all those SONS OF A BITCH who are unable to talk without insultingthe others).
    You say:
    “That’s how it works. Don’t like it? Eat at home you stingy fucks.”

    OK, you fucking bastards, assholes and whatever you might be called, stinky fucks too: go to the fucking hell of bartenders and tip yourselves into your asses. I’m tired of you, stupid people who can’t write two lines without offending who doesn’t think like you.
    THIS is how it works. I’ve got my money, you’ve got your shit of job. And your empty minds. Don’t like it? FUCK YOU, idiots!

  15. audrey

    What hardworking bartender didnt mention, when you dont tip your waiter ends up paying to wait on you. This is because of the tip out/ taxes that are based on a server’s sales.

  16. Learn To Fucking Type

    To all service people who have been bitching and moaning about how it’s your god given right to get a tip, let me say this. YOU ARE WRONG.

    I tip when I feel like someone has done ABOVE what is called for on their job, not because of the social stigma that is mandatory tipping. You do not give good service in hopes of getting a tip, you give good service because, guess what, YOU ARE IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY. Your fucking job is to make my drink with a fucking smile on your face and be attentive. Your job is to take my order and make sure that is correct because that’s the easy job that you opted to do. I walk into a restaurant or bar and politely ask for my meal the way I want it, or the drink that I enjoy and it’s always with a smile on my face and with a please and thank you and I FULLY expect the same in return. If I do not receive the same politeness and courtesy back, then guess what, NO FUCKING TIP.

    Did you take a job at the bar not knowing the pay rate based on no tips at all? Did you take your waitress job unaware of tip share? I’m going to guess no on that one. Don’t like the wadge? Get a fucking office job or pick up a fucking shovel and dig ditches for a living. You refill glasses of water for a fucking living and demand compensation from people? FUCK YOU. It’s called a gratuity for a fucking reason. “Well I base my income on tips, so it should be expected.”

    If you are that stupid to base your salary on something that is not contracted into your hourly or yearly wadge, then I hope to God you have comfortable shoes, because you will be working that shit job for the rest of your retarded life. I hope to God you don’t breed.

  17. James

    Here’s an interesting thought for those of you who think waiters shouldn’t be tipped. First of all, I consider myself lucky to work in a state that pays servers the regular minimum wage, most states pay servers $2-$3 per hour. Now, the restaurant COULD just flat out pay me $15 or so an hour, and I could take my tips as they were meant to be, a reward for good service. But guess what? Your $13 entree just went up to $23 to cover my wages. Which would you prefer? And if you think $15 an hour is too much, then obviously you haven’t had to deal with the same people that we deal with every day; this is hard physical labor, people; it’s not construction or anything but it sure takes it out of you.

  18. pnut

    Cheap people sure are bitter and nasty, it must suck to be ugly. People who don’t tip are stingy scumbags. Not only do the service workers despise you but so do we other customers. If you can’t or won’t perform the social norm of tipping just stay your miserable self at home.

  19. oishimitzu

    James makes a good point. One that a lot of people seem to be missing. Your tab in a restaraunt is for the food/drink only, not the service. Disagree? Do you pay less when you get the same food as carry out then? Your tip doesn’t ‘supplement’ the server’s income, it often ‘is’ their income. Tipping is meant to give the customer the power to determine compensation for service based on it’s quality (rather than an arbitrary amount tacked on to the price of every item). Trust me, you want it that way. If a waiter knew they were getting paid the same rate no matter how quickly they brought your food what do you think the chances are that they are going to get themselves in a hurry? Likewise if the waiter kept your drinks filled and brought your food out to you promptly then they did their job, and should be paid (by you) accordingly for the service they provided (to you). To stiff a waiter who did a good job is a total dick move.

  20. todd

    Well… I always tip at least 15% in resturants, if the service is good then normally more. Its a shit job. True, they could find something else, I suppose, but screw it. I’m a bleeding heart I guess.

    My question … and i’ve heard various answers … Tattoo Artists? I’ve tipped everytime normally, and it feels ridiculous seeing as how it costs a lot of money, but its the way of the world. If they have talent to do something I can’t, i appreciate it.

  21. sd

    It’s a waiter’s duty to do their job well and be polite to the customer. No tipping required for that.
    If they do anything out of the ordinary for the customer, they deserve a tip.

    Eating at a restaurant is expensive. It isn’t fair for customers to lose money by giving tips. Rich people, go ahead.

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