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General Tipping

BOSTON (CBS) - Tipping intimidates me. At times I am not sure if I should tip or if it's expected. Do I insult someone if I do or don't? And worse how much should I tip?

The food and travel industry is where most of us tip. The norm for restaurants is 15% to 20%.

Come in with a large party and a restaurant will add 18-20% to your bill automatically. That is not unreasonable. The waitress may share her tips with the bartender, busboy and sometimes the wine steward.

This is a tough way to earn a living and I do wish there was a better system for them to get compensated for taking care of us.

If you are eating at a buffet, you should leave a tip, 5-10% for someone is still cleaning up after you. Only 10% if you eat in the bar! Leave the bartender at least a $1 per drink or 15-20%. Don't forget the coat room attendant. $1 per coat.

These folks work long hours and are on their feet all day. And those trays are heavy!

Here is a list of other tipping suggestion for travel:

  • Limo driver for airport service 15-20% of bill, some bills include the tip
  • Cab or Uber Driver – 15% or $1 minimum
  • Shuttle drivers if they help with your luggage, $1 per bag
  • Sky Cap at the airport – At least a $1 a bag, $2 if they are heavy or awkward
  • Bellman- $1-$2 per bag and more if they set up your room and get you ice
  • Hotel maid - $2 to $5 a night depending on how messy you are – leave tip every night for the maids change shifts. Oftentimes there are envelopes in your room
  • Doorman - $1 for each taxi hailed
  • Valet parking - $2-4, if you want them to take good care of your car, tip when you drop it off as well as picking it up. Some of these guys only earn $4 an hour and rely on the tips heavily.


You can hear Dee Lee's expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee's Money Matters newsletter here.

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