Thomas Farley, a New York-based manners expert for WhatMannersMost.com, 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.
Hotel porter toting your bags: $2 to $3 per bag.
Room service with gratuity included on the bill: $2, if server sets up the meal in your room.
Room service without gratuity included: 20% of the charge.
Toiletry/towel delivery: $2.
Doorman if he hails your cab: $1 to $5.
Concierge after guest’s request: $5 to $25, depending on the difficulty of the task (such as procuring sold-out theater tickets).
Housekeeping: $1 to $5 per day.
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.
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:
Restaurant wait staff: 13% to 20% of the bill.
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.
Takeout: Nothing is necessary. But if you receive some service, like a waiter packaging your food, then tip $1 to $2 or up to 10%. For sushi, tip 10% for its preparation, Hoffman says.
Tip jars at fast-food counters: Nothing required; it’s your call.
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:
Wait staff: $20 to $25 per server.
Bartender: $20 to $25 per bartender or 10% of the total bar tab.
Coat room/bathroom attendants: $1 per guest, paid by the host.
Disc jockey: $50 to $100.
Presiding official: Some prefer a donation to their house of worship and others have a suggested honorarium.
Altar boys: $10 to $15.
Wedding planner: $50 to $100. If it’s for the planning firm’s owner, don’t tip.
Funeral tips guideline:
Presiding official: $50 to $300 if an honorarium is not preset.
“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.”