FORGETFUL GENTLEMAN [fer-get-fuhl jen-tl-muhn] n. a classy, sophisticated, modern man whose busy lifestyle often interferes with his well intentioned plans

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Monday, September 20, 2010

A Gentleman's Guide to Tipping

Tipping. Should you? If so, how much – and when? Knowing the proper etiquette for tipping is one of most common dilemmas a gentleman will regularly face. Here is Forgetful Gentleman’s quick reference guide to tipping:

For Businesses and Professional Services


15% - 20% of the bill or $1.00, whichever is greater.

Massage Therapist/Spa Treatment

15% - 20% of the bill.

Grocery Delivery

Around $2.00 per delivery.

Takeout Cashier

A nominal tip is a nice gesture. They aren’t delivering your food but they are still working hard to get it ready quickly.

Food Delivery

About 10% of the bill but at least $1.00


Head Mover: $25.00 - $50.00

Crew: $15.00 - $30.00 each

Furniture/Appliance Delivery

$5.00 per person.

Garage Attendants

$1.00 per pickup with bigger tips every once in awhile; then offer a larger tip at the holidays.

Trash Collection

$10.00 - $15.00 per crew member around the holidays.

Lawn Care

If you have a regular caretaker, offer $15.00 - $25.00 at the end of the season.

Newspaper Delivery

$5.00 - $20.00 at the holidays in a personalized card

Mail Delivery Person

It’s against the law to tip federal workers monetarily but they can receive small gifts valued at $25.00 or less.

Household Help

A regular cleaning person or babysitter should receive a tip around $25.00 plus a small gift around the holidays.


If you have kids, give their teacher(s) a gift around the holidays and at the end of the year. Avoid body lotions, candles and apple themed knick-knacks. A gift card to Starbucks, Target or iTunes is usually much better received.

Residential Building Employees

Superintendent: $20 - $50 depending on services rendered.

Doorman: $20 - $50 each depending on level of interaction.

Other workers: $20 or less depending on level of interaction.


15% - 20% of the fare, rounding up to the nearest dollar.

Car Service/Limousines

If you are billed regularly you can ask the company to add 15% gratuity to your bill. Otherwise, tip as you would a taxi. If a 3rd party provides the car service, a $5.00 tip is a nice gesture.

Tow Truck

Tip $5.00 for services like jumping your car, changing your tire or towing your car to a mechanic or dealership.

Casino Cocktail Waitress

15% of the bill.

Casino Dealer

At your discretion but if you’re on a good run or take down a big pot, show your appreciation to the dealer and perhaps you’ll reap the rewards of continued good luck.

When Out on the Town

Coat Room Attendants

$1.00 per article checked including coats, umbrellas, packages and hats.

Bathroom Attendants

50 cents to a dollar.

Waiters and Waitresses

15% - 20% of the pre-tax bill according to the level of service.

Maitre d’

Usually unnecessary unless you frequent the same restaurant regularly in which case you may want to offer a $5.00 tip every once in awhile.

Sommelier/Wine Steward

15% of the wine bill, always in cash, usually at the end of the meal.


15% of the bar tab or $1.00 per drink.

Valet Parking

$1.00 or $2.00 when your car is returned.

When Traveling


$1.00 per bag checked.

Hotel Bellman

$1.00 per bag for help with baggage but not less than $2.00 total. $2.00 or $3.00 per fax, message or package delivery.

Hotel Doorman

$1.00 per bag (but not less than $2.00 total) if baggage help is given. $1.00 or $2.00 for hailing a cab, more in inclement weather or if extra work is required.

Room Service

15% of the bill, but not less than $2.00, in addition to the room service fee.


$5.00 for booking a reservation, getting tickets, etc. More if he/she goes above and beyond to secure what you ask.

Hotel Housekeeping

If you receive exceptional service, tip $2.00 to $5.00. Leave the tip in an envelope clearly marked: For Housekeeping.

On a Cruise

Check your cruise ship’s gratuity schedule, most provide one.

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