Tipping etiquette - AmericaNowNews.com

Tipping Etiquette 101

How much do you normally tip a waiter or waitress? How about doormen and cabbies? Have you ever wondered what is considered an appropriate amount?

"We really live off our tips. There are people out there who think we make minimum wage, and we really don't," says Leah Ellsworth.

She recently graduated from college and supplements her income working as a server. And those tips are vital for her because she only makes $2.13 an hour.

When she eats out, she tips twenty percent. But is that the proper going rate?

Tipping is the norm for certain services at a hotel and when you catch a cab.  It's also true for special events -- like a wedding.

Did you know it's good etiquette to tip the altar boys 10 to 15 dollars? For the presiding official - not required - but usually not more than $100 dollars.

Dustin Gautier is a hair stylist and says 15 to 20 percent sounds about right to him. Unlike a restaurant server, salon employees are not dependent on tips.

Etiquette coach Constance Hoffman of Los Angeles says, "Any tip given with a genuine smile and thank you is better than nothing at all." And she suggests 10 to 20 percent for a haircut and service, 15 percent for a manicure or facial.

Which brings us back to Leah Ellsworth. Hoffman's tipping guidelines suggest 13 to 20 percent for restaurant wait staff. And even for abysmal service, Hoffman says leave at least a "minimal" tip.

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