Calculate gratuity using tip calculator to leave cash for hardworking waitstaff or servers.

(Revised and updated to reflect minimum tip 15%)

1. What type of restaurant was it?
very fancy
business casual
bar and grill
fast food
hole in the wall bbq

2. What meal were you there for?
late night snack

3. How many of these courses did you order: appetizer, soup, salad, main course, dessert

4. How many were in your party
one or two
between 3 and 5
between 6 and 10
more than 10

5. Did you send anything back because it arrived cold, under or over cooked?

6. Did you make any simple requests (e.g. water, additional silverware, table dance, etc) that were not met promptly?

7. What was your total bill? $


Services Typical Tip
Restaurants, Bartenders 15%-20%
Food Delivery 15%-20% depending on the distance, total price, etc.
Hotel Room Service Normally the charge is included in the price already. If not, 15-20%
Hotel Housekeeping Not expected, $1-$2 per person per night.
Automotive Services, Mechanic Not expected, Or a few dollar depending on the amount
Mover, Furniture, or Appliance Delivery Not expected, Or $5, $10, $20 each depending on the amount
Plumber, Handyman, Electrician, Cleaner, or Other Home Services Not expected, Or $5, $10, $20 each depending on the amount
Hairstylists, Barber, Nail Service, etc. 10%-20%
Massage 10%-20%
Taxi or Limo Drivers 15%-20%
Shuttle Drivers, Parking Attendant $1-$3
Tour Guides $1-$5 depending on the length of the tour

Want to give the most generous gratuities for hardworking waitstaff or servers? Bypass the tip line on a credit card receipt -- and leave cash instead.    

Even when you tip well on a credit card, you can't know whether your entire gratuity will end up in your server's pocket. That's mainly because policies can differ among various restaurants, hotels and other establishments where employees earn tip income. Those policies can reduce tip amounts or slow their payout. For example, servers' credit card gratuities may be reduced to offset the cost the restaurant pays to process credit transactions. So what can you do to be fair? When choosing whether to tip via cash or card, professionals in the service industry say that you'll help your waiter or waitress by leaving your tips in paper bills. The benefit to a server who gets paid in cash is they know what they're walking home with.

When in doubt, just tip well

In the end, experts say that rather than worrying about whether gratuities should always be left in cash or on a credit card, simply resolve to tip generously. "The servers aren't paid a living wage without tips

Even cash gratuities may not mean the server is going home with that money in their wallet. A waiter's tip may be divvied up among other restaurant workers -- such as busboys, food runners and sommeliers -- who make the waiter's job easier. At other establishments, all tips may be pooled for the entire staff before being divided among all the employees.           

There are plenty of reasons to tip well, but what about when your experience isn't so good? Diners shouldn't leave a tip that's less than 15 percent of the total bill.

If a poor experience has you considering a tip below that amount, you really should be talking to the manager, rather than penalizing your server, an off night for the restaurant may be to blame.

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