September 16, 2016 in Smart Money

Tipping Guide – A Cheat Sheet On Tipping Dos and Donts

There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to tipping. For instance:

This list from Bankrate should help you answer these questions, as well as give you specific gratuity guidelines.

Thomas Farley, a New York-based manners expert for, says be prepared for a variety of tips at hotels. If the hotel is a 5-star property, the service expectations are greater and the tip should be, too.

Farley’s suggestions:

Etiquette coach and trainer Constance Hoffman, of Social and Business Graces in St. Louis, says, “Don’t leave the maid’s tip on the nightstand as that has sexual connotations. Instead, put it on the desk or a counter.”

Also, the cleaning person may change daily, so give a tip each day before leaving the hotel so the housekeeper who makes up your room will get the money.

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The size of a restaurant gratuity depends on how well you are served, including whether your order is correct or if your server checks on you after you receive your food, says Hoffman. Don’t base your tip on the food’s taste; the server has no control over it.

Hoffman’s tipping guidelines:

When your party stays through the time that the restaurant could seat and serve others, tip twice the amount. Hoffman says you should always leave a minimal tip, even with abysmal service.

Tips are generally shared by the restaurant’s workers.

When you’re on a trip, how much you tip can be a quandary. Patricia Rossi, a Tampa, Florida-based business etiquette expert at, sorts it out.

Rossi’s tipping instructions:

Farley adds, “Roadside service is situational, like if someone changes your tire in subzero temps, you should tip them.”

With all that happens at major events like weddings and funerals, giving gratuities might be easily overlooked. Farley, the manners expert, offered these recommendations.

Wedding tips guide:

Funeral tips guideline:

“Any tips for funeral home staff are handled by the funeral home,” Farley says. “Sometimes those fees are itemized on the bill (as a gratuity), or they can be included in the overall price that the family pays.”

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Many workers in the beauty business get paid a commission only or minimum wage plus a small percentage of the fee. Remember them with these gratuities suggested by etiquette coach Hoffman.

Salon/spa tipping suggestions:

Don’t forget your four-legged friends:

Your best gauge is to consider the service you’re getting and to give what’s appropriate, says Hoffman. “Any tip given with a genuine smile and a ‘thank you’ is better than nothing at all,” she says.