Frequently Asked Questions

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Baptism Tip
Q Is it customary to tip a minister for a baptism? If so, how much?

A It would depend upon the service. For instance, in many churches one Sunday service a month includes the baptismal ceremony for babies recently born into that parish and for older children and adults who just joined that parish. Some families prefer to hold a private baptism in the chapel of the church for close family and friends on a Saturday afternoon.

In the first instance, a special tithing would be given by the parishioner in their weekly church envelope at the time of the church service. At a private service, you would hand the priest who performed the baptism an envelope with his name on it and a check or cash inside. If the priest came from another parish to perform the service, you would value his time by giving him anywhere upwards of a hundred dollars.

How much? That again depends upon your income and level of spiritual commitment and the amount of time given by the priest. When in doubt, call the church office and ask to speak with the priest's assistant. They are used to handling such sensitive questions. If the priest had travel and over night expenses, you would cover those as well a few hundred dollars for the time spent with your family. A tithe or tithing comes from the word tenth, when early Christian families were encouraged to give a tenth of their yearly income to their church.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Beautician
Q If you are getting a facial at one's home, do you tip?

A When the beautician owns her own business, then you don't need to tip because she's the owner. If she is employed by someone else, then she is on salary and therefore you would tip her anywhere between 15% and 20% (of the cost before tax) depending upon how pleased you are with her professionalism.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Beautician
Q I'm going for a Japanese eyelash perm. It's for $ 50. How much should I tip?

A If you are extremely pleased with the way it turncd out, then tip 20%, which would be ten dollars. If you think the job could have been done better, then tip 10%, which would be five dollars. Or anything in between, depending upon how satisfied you are with the job. Remember, if the owner of the business does the work on you, then you would not tip the owner, so that's a good question to ask going in. You would only tip a salaried employee.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Broker + Mortgagor
Q I'm closing on my first house today. Our buyer's broker has been very patient, recognizing that we had limited resources yet still very serious about buying. I know the broker usually gives a closing gift to the buyer, but should I give a gift to her? If so, what would be appropriate? Or should a thank-you note be enough? Also, the mortgagor is a friend who worked hard to get us financing (we've had debt issues in the past). Do I gift him as well? Again, what would be appropriate? Thanks for your help.

A Buying a house is business. You do not need to give your broker, or their broker, or the mortgagor a gift because they are receiving a lot of money for their service. You might tell each individually that you greatly appreciate their help and patience and that you will be sure to recommend them to your friends. Recommending people who have done a good job for you is payment enough. Also, if you are struggling financially, it would seem pretentious if you spent money buying presents for people who were making money off of you.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Cake Baker
Q Do I tip a person who is making a cake for me, like a birthday cake? If so, how much?

A If the baker owns his or her own business, then you just pay for the cost of the cake, whether he delivers it or not. If the person who makes the cake and delivers it to you is an employee of the bakery, then you would tip that person. The amount would depend upon how much the cake costs, plus how much time the person had to spend to deliver the cake. Then you would tip anywhere between ten and twenty percent to the employee.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Car-Side Restaurant Server
Q How much to tip people who bring out your food at a car-side pick-up space at a restaurant?

A Tip twenty percent of the cost of the food and beverage before tax. So: if your meal is ten dollars before tax, you would give the server a two dollar tip.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Caterer
Q Do you tip a cater that owns his own business? He owns his own restaurant and he has a catering business also. We tipped the servers and he pays them which is built into the bill.

A Traditionally one does not tip someone who owns their own business. If the catering was done through your business, you would send a thank-you note praising his service on your business stationery. If he catered a social event, you might write him a handwritten note of gratitude saying that you will pass the word about the excellent quality of his service. Assuring him that you will recommend his catering firm to others is a hugely generous tip.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Catering Service Delivery Man
Q Is it customary to tip a catering service delivery man?

A If you tip the pizza delivery man, then you would probably tip the catering service delivery man. Yes.

The exception would be if you had a contract with the catering service that stated the gratuity to staff was included in the fee.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Christmas: Secretary: Hairdresser: Newspaper Guy
Q Dear Didi,
Tipping is always a dilemma. I know I'm a cheapskate, but I want to give as little as possible to the paper delivery guy, my hairdresser, and cleaning lady, who comes twice a month. Also, I share a secretary with a colleague and I don't know how much to give her. She said she wants cash. Please help. M.B., Boston

A Dear M.B.,
If the newspaper delivery person delivers every day all year long, then tip at least $25 in a holiday card. When you don't tip for a cut and blow-dry every time, give the cost of both (before tax is added) to the hair stylist in a VISA or Mastercard gift card enclosed in a festive card. Give the cleaning lady what you pay for one cleaning.

Ask your colleague how much she or he is giving your shared secretary. When the secretary has been working for you for at least a year, give her the same amount. If she's new, then break it down proportionally. Again, give her a VISA or Mastercard cash gift card, but along with a festive "extra" token of your appreciation. If this is your secretary five days a week, even though you share her, she's got your back and you want to make sure she continues to do so. Therefore, a VISA or Mastercard gift card for $200 would be appropriate. Secretaries and assistants in large companies often give the tech guy or/and the person in the mailroom $50 as a holiday gift to watch their back all year long. How much you give your secretary may well trickle down. ~Didi

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Clerk When Winning the Lottery
Q If I were to win 15 million dollars in the lottery, what is proper ettiquette concerning how much I should tip the clerk who sold me the ticket? The ticket was generated by a computer.

A Tipping is all about what you might feel good about giving. Since the number was generated by a computer, you might feel more generous if you actually won. Giving is always a good thing. Best of luck in making the right decision when you win.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Clown
Q Do you tip clowns at children's parties?

A If the clown does not own the business, then you would tip him twenty percent of the cost of his service before the tax.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Co-op
Q I would love to hear your thoughts about the "going rate" for tipping a New York city co-op staff, both at Christmastime and during the year, assuming they perform an out of the ordinary service. Our staff is very helpful, and most have been employees for a long time; however, since my husband and I are relatively new at this (we use the place about three days a week), I would appreciate your input. The building is an upper east side highrise, between Park and Lexington.

Many thanks

Carol Guthrie

A As you know, with real estate it is all about location, location, location. As all buildings in NYC are not the same, you would consult with a member of your co-op board about tipping. Usually, a list of the co-op's employees is sent to each owner a month or two before Christmas with the idea that the staff is given their Christmas bonus in time to buy gifts for their families. Even though you only use your co-op three days a week, your apartment is being "guarded" by the staff 24/7. Should there be, say, a flood from the apartment above while you are away, the staff would rescue values from harm's way and call you immediately. In situations such as this, it all evens out over time. For instance, if in the future your apartment needs extra attention, or your mail needs either to be forwarded or left in your apartment, you know it will be well taken care of. While you are away, one of the maintenance men might come in and clean or change the filters in your air conditioners and you might not realize that this service is being done, because you're not there when they clean them. More thoughts are these: in order to sustain a relationship of trust and cooperation with the staff, you will want to reward them once a year for their loyalty. Think of it this way, the staff is watching your back 24/7 because they know that if you are aware of this, you will reward them at Christmas. Obviously, some co-op members are more time consuming than others, for instance those with pets and children. It is assumed that new owners start off tipping conservatively until they get a better sense of all that the staff does behind the scenes, as well as the more obvious.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Coupons
Q I currently work as a waitress at a golf club. They put out coupons in the newspaper that say "a 15% gratuity will be added to the bill". They are coupons that say buy one get one 50% off or buy one get one free. If someone uses that coupon, are they not confirming that they will tip 15%? If they tip me under 15% when using the coupon can I change it on the credit card statement to reflect 15%? I feel like by them handing me the coupon we are in a contract, and by me accepting the coupon, they have to accept to pay the 15%. Is it illegal for me to change the tip amount on the credit card ?

A This is a matter for your accountant or whoever does your taxes. You cannot change the tip amount on someone else's credit card.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Facial
Q How much should you tip for a facial?

A Twenty percent of the actual service or services before the cost of products and tax are included.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Florist
Q Is it okay to tip a florist if you feel they have done an excellant job? She made an arrangement for the casket at a relative's funeral with limited time. She went an extra mile to make sure everything arrived on time. She even closed her store an hour or two early to start working on the arrangement.

A If the florist owns her own business, then you would not tip her. The reason she worked so hard to please you is because she wants your return business; she wants you to recommend her to your friends. With so many FTD florists advertising on the Internet, smaller florists have a hard time competing and this is how they compete. They know if they please you, you will order from them again. The nicest thing you can do for your florist is to call her and tell her how much you appreciated all that she did, then tell her that you will use her again and that you will recommend her to all of your friends.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Furniture Delivery Man
Q What is (or is it) proper to tip a person delivering a piece of furniture to your home (store delivery)?

A It would depend upon how heavy the piece of furniture, how many flights of stairs, and whether or not the person helped you to move other pieces of furniture in order to situate the piece. Estimate how much time the person spent accommodating you and your piece of furniture and add that into the equation. Five, ten, twenty dollars depending on the above, I am sure, would be greatly appreciated by the delivery person.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Gift Deliveries
Q I saw a lot of questions in reference to tipping but none regarding flower/gift basket delivery. I had a gift basket delivered to my young son at my house. I paid for the basket and paid a delivery fee on top of that which was equivalent to 20%. Should I have tipped the delivery driver? What about when you receive flowers?

A The delivery of flowers and gift baskets is a gift that includes service because you, the recipient, haven't asked for the gift. Not in your situation obviously, because you ordered the gift, but in general a delivery of flowers or a gift basket is part of the prize and the recipient is not expected to tip the delivery person, or the driver. Often this depends upon the situation. For instance, if the gift basket to your young son included a song and dance from a clown in costume. The next time that you order such a gift, ask if the gratuity is included. There is a difference between ordering pizza or Chinese food delivered, because it is all about the convenience and it is not about sending someone special a gift. In the future, you can assume that with such a delivery as to your son, a gratuity is not expected, but nonetheless always appreciated.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hair Stylist
Q What is the proper amount or percentage to tip your hair stylist?

A If you are happy with the job the stylist did on your hair, you might tip twenty percent of the cost of the service before tax. So: if the haircut and blow-dry cost twenty dollars, move the decimal over one space to the left, which is ten percent and double it; that's your twenty percent tip.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hairdresser
Q I've heard that when getting your hair styled by the owner of a salon you are not expected to tip. Is this correct?

A You do not need to tip the owner of the salon because it is her business. People who own their business are not tipped because they are not on salary, the money is theirs.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hairdresser
Q How much should one tip their hairdresser?

A It might depend upon how much time the hairdresser spent on your hair and how much you liked the final result. If you are pleased with the job, then you might tip twenty percent before tax. If not, fifteen percent before tax would be fine.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hairdresser
Q What is an acceptable tip to a hairdresser these days, or are tips outmoded?

A You would tip the hairdresser 15% to 20% of the cost of the service before tax. For instance, if she did a really good job and the haircut cost $20 before tax, you would give her a $4 tip.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hairdresser Owner
Q is it proper etiquette to tip the owner of a hair salon if they do your hair?

A You wouldn't tip the owner because all the money goes to the owner. You would tip salaried employees.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hairstylist
Q What is the proper amount to tip a hairdresser/stylist? Is there an accepted range of percentage of the total service amount?

A If you are pleased with the service, then you would tip twenty percent of the cost of the stylist before the tax is added. If she or he just did an OK job, then you would tip fifteen percent before the tax is added. So: you would take just the cost of the stylist's service and move the decimal point to the left one place and double it. Therefore, if you are happy with the work, and the charge for the stylist alone is twenty dollars, then you would tip him or her four dollars. If the cost of the styling was forty-five dollars, then you would tip him or her nine dollars. Remember, if another staff member washes your hair, you will need to tip between one and two dollars for that service separately.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hairstylist: Do You Tip the Owner?
Q Why is it not ok to tip the owner of the salon who is doing your service? Do you think that person makes more money because they own the business? Have you yourself ever owned a business?

In the defense of those who are like me, I am paid on salary from MY business. That being $850/month (please do not disclose this). This is to pay for my rent (home) and utilities. Not much more. What I make and what my business makes are two totally different things. If my business doesn't make any money in a given month, I have to pay for my business expenses out of pocket. I actually rely very much on tips to pay for groceries and for my fun money.

Just something to think about. I think that you will find the same response from any small business owner in the beauty industry.

A Thank you for your thought provoking email. Customarily, clients assume that they tip the salaried hairstylists and colorist and anyone else who works on them; for instance, the hair washer and the manicurist. However, not the owner of the establishment because s/he profits from the business. Now, if I knew the owner made the same salary as the other employees, I would tip him/her, if s/she charged the same fee as the salaried employees. Usually, the owner charges a higher fee.

Traditionally, when the owner works in the salon, s/he is considered the expert hairstylist and therefore when you book an appointment with the owner, you assume the charge will be greater than that for the work of the salaried employee.

Try looking at it this way, when I go to Joe's Diner for breakfast, I tip the waitress who serves me; however, if she's not there one morning and Joe himself takes my order and brings me my bacon, eggs and coffee, I don't tip Joe. I don't tip Joe because he owns the diner and it would seem insulting. I don't know if Joe is on salary, but for better or for worse, he is the owner.

Now, a hairstylist is in another league from a waiter. I tip her/him and I give him/her a monetary Christmas gift. No, I don't give Joe at the diner a monetary Christmas gift, but I would give a favorite waiter or waitress larger tips around Christmastime. I certainly wouldn't think to give the owner of the beauty salon a monetary gift at Christmas - unless he was my regular stylist- anymore than I would give Joe at the diner a monetary tip at Christmastime.

I hope you understand the reasoning here, if you still disagree, I would be happy to discuss this further. Where I live there are hair salons where the hairstylists pay to rent their station, therefore all the stylists are on the same level and all the charges are the same for the same services. Perhaps, the standard etiquette is wrong or should be more flexible to consider owner/stylists who make the same salary as their employees. In that case, the owner/stylist would have to communicate this to his clientele.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Holiday Guidelines
Q Holiday tipping?

A Yes, at holiday time, you would tip people who service you year-round: doormen, building staff, drivers, housekeepers, hairdressers, manicurists, personal trainers, cleaning staff, baby-sitters, etc. How much depends upon how dearly you and your family rely on the individual's service; whether you pay them a week's salary, say, for a housecleaner, if he or she cleans your house once a week, or the cost of a haircut, if your hairdresser trims your hair once a month. Obviously, you would tip live-in or/and full-time staff much more, say, at least two weeks salary.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hotel Bellboy
Q My business sends me to big cities where I stay at posh hotels one or two nights carrying only a small bag and my briefcase. My question is this: Because I don't know how much to tip, I tell the bellboy that my bag is very light. I need your advice as to how to tip the bellboy?

A You play the game when you opt to stay at an expensive hotel. Let the bellboy carry you bag. He'll also turn on the lights, adjust the temperature of your room, and get you whatever you need for a comfortable stay. Depending upon the weight of your bags, you would tip the bellboy between ten to twenty dollars. On your expense account, you simply have to specify the reason for your.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hotel Maid Service
Q What is the appropriate tip for maid service when staying at a hotel one to two weeks or more?

A It would depend upon the quality of the hotel and how long your stay. Over a period of one to two weeks, several different maids might service your room. If you are always asking a particular maid for more towels or shampoo, you might tip five to ten dollars per night depending on the hotel and quality of the service. For instance if you have children she has to clean up after, you would pay at least ten a day.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Hunting Trip
Q I am going on a guided hunting trip to Mexico; I will have a cook and of course the guide as well as the man who arranged the trip. Can you tell me what is expected in the way of tipping? The guided hunt's cost was $6000 not including my airfare.
Thank You,

A Look at your contract to see if gratuities have been included in the fine print. If they have not, then you will have to ask your travel agent or trip representative the policy on tipping. During your trip you will encounter many people you might have to tip, so it would be best to be prepared by having blank envelopes that you can put the person's name on and fill according to how much they do or don't do for you. You would tip the baggage handler $1 to $2 per bag depending upon the weight of the bag. You would pay 10% of the cost of the food and having the food prepared by a chef as a tip to the cook the final night. How you would determine the 10% might or might not be in your contract. The hunting guide would receive between 10% to 20% depending upon the service; once again you need to know his fee in the all inclusive package. The man who arranged the trip might receive a one-time tip at the end of the trip predicated on the success of your guided hunting trip. He is the person who should know the answers as to whom to tip what. Often they include a tip sheet printed out; if not, ask for one so that you have the breakdown and know what you're paying for, including the fact that Mexicans like to be paid in U.S. dollars, which means you can have the cash in envelopes ahead of time and add or deduct as you see fit. If he doesn't have this information, then tip the server $2 a day, the chef $5 a day and the guide $20 per day per person. Tip 10% in bars and restaurants and $1 for drivers.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Massage
Q What is the etiquette in tipping for a massage? The massage is not in a spa atmosphere. Do you still tip?

A It depends, if the masseuse owns the business and they are a one man band, you would not tip because you never tip the owner. However, if you are in a spa or the masseuse is through a service, you would want to tip a masseuse for their efforts.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Massage
Q Is there a tactful/creative way to state gratuity is not included in the price at a spa and salon for massage therapy?

A If the therapist performing the massage owns his/her own business, then the client would not tip the owner. If the therapist is on salary, the client tips according to the quality of the massage. To remind clients of this distinction, the receipt for the massage would include words such as these: Gratuity not included. If a client asks how much gratuity, then you would say ten to twenty percent depending upon how appreciative you are of the service you received. In the massage room, place a small card within view that says: The cost of the massage does not include gratuity; if you are pleased with the service provided, show your appreciation by tipping.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Massage Therapist
Q Are you suppose to tip your message therapist? My brother says yes. I feel I don't tip my Dr. for care. Why should I tip for tension treatment?

A It would depend. If the massage therapist owns her/his own business, then you would not. However, if the massage therapist worked for a company and was paid as an employee, she/he would be tipped. Your doctor makes more money because he owns all or part of his practice.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Masseuse
Q There was a debate at a gathering I attending yesterday. I feel I am a decent tipper when it comes to restaurants. I usually tip between 10 and 15%. We were discussing massages and the cost. If a massage was $50, is a $5 tip unheard of? Please let me know asap; I was made to feel like I was a terrible person.

A Customarily, you would tip twenty percent of the cost of the massage before the tax is added. So: if the massage was $50, then you would give a $10.00 tip. However, if you were unhappy with the massage, then you would only give fifteen percent. The only time you would not tip the masseuse would be if the masseuse owned the business.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Minister
Q Do you tip a Presbyterian minister at a baptism?

A You would send a small check to the minister with a note of appreciation.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Minister for a Baccalaureate Service
Q What is the proper etiquette for tipping a minister for a baccalaureate service? (High School)

A Assuming that you are tipping on behalf of the high school, you would telephone the minister's office and ask his secretary, assistant, or office manager. It would be the person who keeps his schedule. That person would know what he customarily receives. How much he receives depends upon how much time he has had to spend preparing for the service, as well as preforming the service. Expect to tip between two hundred to five hundred dollars depending upon the makeup of the community. It goes without saying that the check would be sent to his office and not handed to him in public.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Mobile Dog Groomer
Q Should I tip my mobile dog groomer? If so, how much?

A The rule about tipping is that it is not necessary to tip the owner of the business. So: if the mobile dog groomer owns his business, you do no tip him. If the groomer is an employee of the company, you might tip him fifteen percent for an okay job or twenty percent for a great job. Remember, the tip would be based on the cost of the service before tax.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Owners
Q What is the answer to tipping owners?

A You never have to tip the owner because it is her/his business and he/she is not paid by the boss; he/she is the boss.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Painter
Q Do you tip a painter of your home?

A If the painter owns the company, you would not tip him. If you feel the painter has done an extraordinary job, do reward him for going beyond the call of duty.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Pizza Delivery Driver
Q What is the proper way to tip a pizza delivery driver?

A Take the cost of the pizza before the tip is added on and move the decimal point to the left one place and double that amount. You can round it off.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Restaurant
Q My gentleman friend has been relying on me to check our dinner tab and add the tip. I have always taken the tax and doubled it (which comes to 16.50%). However, since he has been adding the bar tab to our bill it just dawned on me that my method is probably wrong since the tax is already on drinks and bottle of wine. I enjoy all the places he takes me and I'm sure we will encounter the same servers. If I am in error, does one tip on the amount of the entire bill or figure one tip for the meal and add a cetain amount to it for the bar tab?? Please advise.
Thank you.

A In a good restaurant, the waitstaff is usually very careful to distribute all tips fairly, as they work as a team. I take the subtotal before the tax is added, move the decimal point over one place to the left and double that number to get the twenty percent tip. So, if the bill is one hundred dollars before tax, then you would leave a twenty dollar tip. The twenty dollars would be divied up between the bartender, the waiter and the bus boy. The bar tab would be identified without the tax and included into the subtotal. In a not so good restaurant, you might want to leave the bartender a couple of dollars tip before moving to your table for dinner, and perhaps even pay your bar tab at the bar. You do not need to pay tip on the tax.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Restaurant Coupon
Q Hello again. You have answered a few questions for me in the past. Here's one I need your opinion on. My wife and I went out to dinner at a Ruby Tuesday this evening and we had a coupon for a buy one dinner get one free. It was not a gift certificate. We saved about $16 on the meal. The meal came to $31 instead of $47. When leaving a tip, do I base the tip on the $31 or the $47 that it would have been without the coupon? As mentioned before, it was not a gift certificate that was used. Thanks Scott Bowman

A Scott, it is good to hear from you again. Thank you for your interesting question and I hope that my answer helps you decide what to tip in the future.

Because you essentially got $16 off on the cost of your dinner, it is up to you whether or not you pass on your good fortune to your waiter, who in this downturn economy, might possibly be working for tips only. You are getting the same quality food and service whether it costs you $31 or $47. The service you receive is not diminished by the fact that you have a discount through a coupon. The restaurant is not only promoting its food and its service in the hope that you will choose to dine there again, but the owner is banking on the fact that through word-of-mouth you'll recommend the restaurant to friends, family and co-workers.

In this turbulent economy, you are still going out for dinner, perhaps because you have the luxury of a coupon. Why not split the difference? If you normally give the waiter a tip that is 10% of the cost of the food and drinks before tax is added, then give $15% when you use a coupon. Remember that the waiters probably pool their tips and share them with the bus boys and bartender, so be assured that whatever you tip will be appreciated. We all want to keep the restaurants in business and if the restaurants are giving us a price break, we should take advantage of the savings without stiffing the waitstaff.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Retipping for a Bad Haircut
Q If you have to have your haircut redone because it was not done properly, do you have to tip the second hairdresser?

A If you didn't like the way the first person did your hair, then you wouldn't have tipped him or her for a job well done. Yes, you would tip the second hairdresser because he or she had nothing to do with the first hairdresser. Put yourself in the second hairdresser's shoes.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Rules
Q What are the tipping rules?

A If the service was adequate, tip fifteen percent of the subtotal before taxes. If the service was good, you might want to tip twenty percent, before taxes. You would not tip the owner of the establishment.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Self-Service Restaurants
Q When at a self-service restaurant, do you tip the people who clean up your table and refill you glass?

A In a self-service restaurant, you do not have to tip because you are serving yourself; however, if you have received special service, you might put money in the "Tip Jar."

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Server
Q What is the proper way to tip a server? I thought that you should tip about 17% of the total bill, but someone said that you use the subtotal and should not include taxes.

A The standard code for tipping is as follows: Before the tax, you estimate 20% of the subtotal and add that figure to the total. It makes it easy because all you do is move the decimal point to the left one place and double it, and that's the tip.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Spa
Q How much should I tip for spa services?

A You would tip the different people who worked on you separately. At the checkout desk, ask to see your itemized bill and tip envelopes, which they will have on hand for tips, and write the various names on the envelopes. To determine how much you would put in each envelope you would take the cost of the service, before tax, move the decimal point to the left one place and double it: that is the tip. So: if the facial costs $100, you would tip the beautician who worked on you $20. However, if you were disappointed by the service, you might pay only fifteen percent and only tip her $15 for the facial. There should be a container at the desk where you would put the envelopes. If you plan to return, you might write your name on the envelope so they will recognize it next time.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Spa Services
Q What is the customary gratuity to leave for spa services?

A You might tip each person who worked on you fifteen to twenty percent of the cost of that particular treatment before tax. For instance, if the massage cost one hundred dollars before tax, and it was an amazing massage, you might tip the masseuse twenty dollars. However, if he was good but not great, you might tip only fifteen dollars. Just like at the hairdressers, each person receives a tip for the treatments they provided. If the beautician gave you a facial, an eyebrow arch, and an eyelash tint, then you would tip her for the combined amount of the three treatments before tax.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Take-Out
Q When you are picking up a to-go order, do you tip the person who's at the register?

A It depends. If you know the person at the register is the owner, you don't tip the owner. If there is a "Tips for College" jar, it is nice to put some of the change from your purchase into the jar. Even pennies are appreciated. If there isn't a tip jar, you don't have to tip. On the other hand, if you are a frequent customer with fussy demands, like dressing on the side, no such-and-such, more of this or that, you would want to tip for the extra service.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Take-Out Staff
Q Is tipping required when placing a "To Go" food order at a restaurant?

A No, it is not required, but remember that the people who are giving you your food are being paid minimum wage.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Tattoo Artist
Q Is it proper and expected to tip a tattoo artist?

A Tipping the tattoo artist is optional. Customarily, you would not tip a tattoo artist, especially if he owns his own business. However, if the tattoo artist custom designs a tattoo just for you or used one that you designed yourself, then you would want to tip him for his extra service. The best tip you can give a tattoo artist is to tell him that you will recommend him to your friends.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Tip is the Top
Q I have heard that the word "tips" (gratuity) is an acronym for something. Do you know of this? What does it stand for?

A Tip is not an acronym. It is a reference to topping off the price with a little something extra for good service. The tip of the iceberg is the top. Putting money down with the change for a tip on top would have been the tip on the top of the money.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Truck Driver
Q I just had my truck shipped from New Jersey to Montana, and the driver of the truck is taking it to get it washed before delivering; do I tip this man, and if yes, how much?

A What is such a service worth to you? I am sure whatever you can afford to tip will be greatly appreciated. One hundred dollars would seem fair to me.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: UPS + USPS
Q Do you need to tip your UPS delivery person and if so how much?

A Tipping a UPS (United Parcel Service) employee for a delivery is optional. The amount to tip is optional as well because one doesn't always know the worth of the package being delivered. However, if the UPS delivery person has gone out of his/her way to deliver your goods, a monetary tip would certainly be appreciated. On the other hand, it is generally understood that, one does not tip the US Government employees of the USPS (United States Postal Service). The exception is at Christmas, when non-monetary gifts are often given to mailman, in the form of baked goods, a bottle of booze, or a gift card.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: UPS + USPS
Q Please correct your entry on UPS delivery people. United Parcel Service (UPS) is a private enterprise and not connected in any way to the US Government. USPS workers, however, are government employees.

So please correct ASAP

A Tipping a UPS (United Parcel Service) employee for a delivery is optional. The amount to tip is optional as well because one doesn't always know the worth of the package being delivered. However, if the UPS delivery person has gone out of his/her way to deliver your goods, a monetary tip would certainly be appreciated. On the other hand, it is generally understood that one does not tip the US Government employees of the USPS (United States Postal Service). The exception is at Christmas, when non-monetary gifts are often given to mailmen, in the form of baked goods, a bottle of booze, or a gift card.

Thank you for pointing out the difference between UPS and USPS. I am happy to make that clarification and correction. If this answer isn't correct, please advise. Thank you!

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Vacation: B&B
Q Hello, I was wondering: Once a year a group of friends all go to a B&B with 12 of us total. Well this year the Innkeeper who is also the owner told me that her husband does catering also for an evening meal, if we wanted to hire him, and she would get me in touch. I am wondering do we tip him for the catered meal?

A You wouldn't tip the owner of the B&B; however, you would tip any staff who serves your group. As the innkeepers/chef, they are the owners; therefore they are not under salary. They reap the rewards. You would only tip someone who is paid a salary or, say, by the hour for part-time work.

Think of it as it you were dining in a restaurant where the chef is the owner; you wouldn't tip him, but you would tip your waiter who is making a minimum wage and depends on his tips. Also, if there are maids taking care your rooms in the B&B, you would leave a tip for them. But you wouldn't tip the innkeeper, even if she were doing the cleaning.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Valet
Q How much should you tip a valet?

A It would depend upon the quality of the hotel, the distance he carts your belongings, the amount of bags he has to cart, and whether he brings you special things you might need for special needs. For two people spending the weekend in a New York City hotel, you might tip at least ten dollars.

Codes + Conduct: Tipping: Valet Parker
Q Upon arriving at a hotel, the valet attendant takes your car, do you tip the person that takes your car and also tip the attendant that returns your car? If so, how much each?

A It is customary to tip the valet when he brings your car back to you. I am a big fan of tipping so if you think the valet will take better care of your car if you tip when he takes it away, too, why not tip him.