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July 06, 2021

Just when and how much should you tip?

The world is awash in tip jars, it seems, making it that much more confusing to know when to reach for your wallet. Whether it's the deli or the dry cleaners, more and more people think they're entitled to a gratuity.

We've been conditioned to believe that tipping, at least in Noth America, is expected, and if we don't cough up, we stand the chance a good chance of either a nasty incident or a crappy experience on our next visit to that restaurant or salon.

Some people view tipping as a wage subsidy, while other see it as a reward for good service. Where do you stand?

Not sure what's acceptable? Toronto etiquette coach Lisa Wright offers the following suggestions, as do the folks at Emily Post.

Restaurant servers: 15% (or up to 20% if it’s a business-related meal). Getting takeout? No tip required.

Hair stylist: 10% to 15% (but not if it’s the salon owner unless you really want you make an impression).

Hotel staff: In Canada at least, $2 a day for housekeeping, preferably in an envelope that is clearly marked “housekeeping” or “maid service,” otherwise they have to turn it in.

Taxi driver: 10% to 15% – if they handle your bags, add another $1 a bag.

Concierge: Nothing for answering questions; $5-10 for tickets or restaurant reservations, twice that  for hard-to-get items. 

Bell hop: $2 first bag, $1 per additional bag; $2-3 for each additional service, such as room delivery.

Pizza: 10-15% of the bill or as much as $5, depending on the size of the order and difficulty of delivery.

Are you a decent tipper? Above average? Or do you hold back on philosophical grounds?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...