Tipping Advice

A gratuity left behind at a table.
To tip or not to tip, that is a common question, followed by how much. There are recommendations for the percentages when dining out, sometimes even on the bill. Deciding on an appropriate tip in other situations can be confusing. There is some good advise offered on this page.

4 Solutions

This page contains the following solutions.

April 21, 2020

Usually I would say this to people when dining in a restaurant. But because of the current situation the whole world is facing, delivery or curbside pick up is the IN thing at the moment, right? So, my tipor advice I'd like to share is: A U.S. quarter on a marble countertop.


Always tip your server or driver because they're so worth it! (Especially NOW)

Ok that's it! Thank you! Take care and be safe!

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Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

July 2, 2008

How common is it to tip when getting take out food? We usually get take out because we cannot afford the cost of tipping the server. I was disappointed when a friend that works as a hostess told me that I should be tipping her when I get take out because she is the one who is getting the order together and bagged.

I have never tipped for take out before and I'm wondering if I'm out of the loop or if she's out of line. I have been avoiding the restaurant where she works as a result and I'm sure the establishment would not want that. I don't want to appear cheap but I've never heard this before.

Karen from Easthampton, MA


By Thrifty1 (Guest Post)
July 2, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

When picking up food, I generally do not tip. While they may get the order together, they do a lot less then if they were waiting on me in the restaurant.

I guess a middle ground would be a dollar or two tip, which is similar to what I leave when eating at a buffett. The waiter/waitress isn't bringing food, but does check on drinks.

By Shellee (Guest Post)
July 2, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

As someone who relied on tips when I did to-go orders for a restaurant, it is customary and courteous to leave a bit of a tip for the person who put your order together, but not 15-20% of the bill - a dollar or two is sufficient, unless the order is huge, then a fiver would be nice!

By Kathryn Hamilton (Guest Post)
July 4, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I am not wealthy, but I tip about 10% for takeout, the wait person has to pack this food up, gather condiments, etc., take care of you. Not full service, but they don't get paid typically minimum wages. They are also expected to "prep" restaurant areas for no money, no money added to their salaries or tips for that either, so 10% is reasonable for takeout from say Applebees, etc. I always tip 18-20% at any sit down place just feel that instead of giving to tons of charities, (I have my few that I do this to on a budgeted quarterly basis) why not give generously when service is good at a restaurant or where you are receiving services for hair care, etc., give to working people who are "working hard for the money"


Yes, tip also, if you stay in a hotel it is appropriate to tip (depending on swankiness size of room), Hampton Inn type, 3.00 per day for housekeeper who is the maid who cleans your room. Leave her a note to let her know the tip is hers and say thanks. Often I have received "extras " hair bath goodies, etc but that is not why I do this. It is to thank the person (who again is making a slave wage) for taking good care of me. If the hotel is more of a Marriott or Hyatt etc I leave $5 per day for my room housekeeper. If that means I have to cut back a little somewhere.

I also tip 1.00 per bag and 1.00 for me at the shuttle from the airport parking lot "way back there" to the terminal and on shuttles to hotels I tip $3.00-$5 if I have not had to take a cab. 15% -20% for cabs.


My cat sitter gets an extra days wage at Christmas in addition to a small gift and same with hairdresser,etc.

My family dr who takes good care of me (and their staff) are remembered on DRs day March 30 (my female neuro gets flowers and my male Fam dr gets a something like Barnes and Nobels $25 gift certificate). The and nurses and admin prof during their weeks (I typically give the ladies a small 7-11 card, nothing like a few gallons of gasoline and they can use the card for coffee and fuel, etc., practical gifts).

I think it is important to really take care of the folks who make your life more livable and enjoyable. I do not "throw money around" but also I am aware that good service begats more good service and business friendships are important (you meet people coming up and down the ladder).


My husband stays at same hotel in Wash on business every other week. They know him, give him an upgrade, etc. at Xmas, I make sure the desk manager, the bar tender (they know us by name) gets a $50 tip for the year.

Just some of the important people in our lives that help me and my family, yes, give your child's day care worker a little gift (people over give to their kids but give little often to the people who take care of them all day long) a small gift card (when a worker least expects it). It will buy you more than you know in friendship and so forth. It is one thing to remember friends at holidays, but the folks that are really helpful to you in daily life are those who care of you, your family, your grandmother at the nursing home, etc day in and day out. Thanks. Kathryn in VA

By Kelly (Guest Post)
July 6, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Okay I have been on both side so I can speak from experience. You absolutely should tip and here is why.
The only difference is she isn't serving you for an hour, instead she is serving you, for your convenience, as a to go order. Her service to you is just for YOU!


Also, many waitresses are stiffed regularly and it is good to help make up for that. Waitress are not paid minimum wage, not a true waitress, anyway. NEVER SEEN IT! Period. I made 2.16 and hour while showing up 2 hours early to prep your condiments for the meals. To go orders as well. Whether you sit and eat or choose to do take out, YOU ARE DRIVING! I find it ridiculous to use that as an excuse. It's your choice to get take out so suck it up.

Most restaurants do split tips, but not in half or anything. I've only seen the Japanese steak houses do this. It is common to tip out other parts of the staff. Such as the bus boy who buses my table, or bartender who makes your drink or hostess who seats you. They normally get 1% of your tips..tiny amount, but its a way of saying thank you. Maybe we should try this too.

July 8, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm a fairly generous tipper when dining in, usually 20% of the total after tax is added. I simply won't tip for carry-out, though. It usually looks to me like the order is packaged up in the kitchen, and often run to the register by someone who's not a server. I presume those people are either getting paid more than server wage, or perhaps are getting a split portion of the server's tips, like some bussers do.

In a restaurant where I eat in, order at the counter and fix my own drink, I'll leave a couple dollars. Same for the Chinese buffets where the server brings drinks and clears used dishes.


Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 59 Requests
July 8, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

The only time we tip (other than when we dine inside the restaurant) is when we use the "curbside service" for take-out, which is when they bring your order out to your car.

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March 12, 2006

My Grandparents are going to be needing to use a wheelchair within the airport and they were wondering if anyone knows how much to tip the people transporting them?

Mandi from Erie


By (Guest Post)
March 14, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

Because of a back injury years ago I now will request a wheel chair at the time I make the Plane reservations.The airline sees to it there is a wheel chair at the end of the trip also. I give the "pusher" a five doller bill at both airports, going and coming home. The airline says you don't need to give their employees a tip. And most don't expect one,but hope they will get one. If you think they did a good job $4-$5 is enough. If they do a great job,give them more. Most will be helping you with your luggage also . If you need help to the shuttle with the bags, let them know ahead and they will arrange for it. Some of those young people push 2 wheel chairs at the same time. I have seen one person give them $3.00 and the other one nothing. It is hard work and I feel if you can afford to give them $5-$10 that helps make up for those that don't have it. Happy travelling.

July 19, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

That is a very sound idea! I don't have to use a wheelchair yet, but I will tip when one is necessary. I also tip my auto mechanic, anyone who works inside my house, as well as especially helpful folks who give me great advice on electronics. "Best Buy" personnel are especially knowledgeable, but they are not allowed to accept tips.

I have moved over 12 times in my life, so I try to be especially generous with movers. My philosophy is to tip them up front and say, "please take care of me." This way, they know already that they are getting a tip. If the tip isn't to their liking, I guess it might backfire, but so far it hasn't.

July 19, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

$10. Money well spent for head of line and sidewalk to plane door.

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July 10, 2013

This is a page about how much should you tip at a sports bar. Enjoying a game at your local sports bar means that you will be spending a lot of time there, unlike a dinner out at a sit down restaurant. This does sometimes make it difficult to decide on a reasonable tip for your server.

Sports fans drinking at a sports bar.

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