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Tipping in the United States goes hand in hand with many services Americans utilize, from restaurants to food delivery and hair salons. However, a survey found that 1 in 5 Americans do not always know when to leave a tip.

With so many different services in which tipping is customary, each with different expected tip amounts, tipping can be a mystery. Luckily, you can use this tip calculator to work out the math in a snap.

Read this handy guide to help uncover the enigmatic nature of tipping.


Why use a tip calculator?

A tip calculator takes all the guesswork out of tipping. Many people rely on methods that don't necessarily reflect the level of service they received.

For example, a common tipping method is to double the tax on your restaurant bill. But what if you had excellent service? Does the same apply to your dog's groomer?

A tip calculator will help you make sure that your provider receives a good tip for his or her hard work.

A tip calculator also makes adding up your bill quick and easy. In addition to providing you with the amount to leave as a gratuity, it adds it to your total.


Say you and a friend go to dinner, and your total bill comes out to an odd number like $42.54. You feel your waiter provided excellent service and would like to tip him 25%.

Pull up the calculator and add $42.54 in the cost of service box. The tip calculator will show you that a 25% tip amounts to $10.64, which you add to your check for a total of $53.18.

To be prepared for every situation, and to access this tool in a snap, add it to the home screen of your smartphone. Our cloud-based application can be used any time you have internet or access to wi-fi.

What is a tip?

A tip is an amount paid to a worker who provides a service to you that is above the cost of the service you purchased.

For instance, when you are dining in a full-service restaurant, the tip would be a percentage of the total amount of money you spent on your food and drinks that you pay to the waiter.


Tips often make up the majority of a waiter or bartender's pay at full-service restaurants. Their hourly wages are minimal, and they rely on tips from their customers for the rest of their income.

Wait staff at fast food restaurants, where you place your order with a cashier and pay before eating, are less likely to rely on tips to support themselves.

When should you tip?

The most common time when you should tip is when you visit a full-service restaurant.

Everyone knows about tipping wait staff in the United States, even people from outside the country. However, there are many more instances in which it is proper to provide a tip.


On top of tipping your server, you should also tip the bartender if you visit the bar before or after your meal.

If you're picking up takeout from a restaurant, it is also proper to tip the employee who brings you your takeout order.

You should also tip any time that you have food or pizza delivery to your home.

Personal Care

You should always tip your hair stylist when you are at the salon.

Manicurists, estheticians, and massage therapists should all be tipped out as well.

Don't forget about your pets. If you have your pets groomed, dogs or cats, be sure to tip the groomer.


Tip your Uber or taxi drivers any time you take a trip.

If you're taking care of your own car, be sure to tip the person who washes or details your car.

You'll also want to tip the valet when they return your car to you.


For vacations and business travel, you'll want to tip the airport skycap or porter if they assist you with your bags at the airport.

There are several people whom it is customary to tip once you reach the hotel. First, tip the bellhop when they deliver your bags to your room and when they assist you with removing your bags from your room.

If the concierge assists you with reservations or tickets, you should tip them as well.

Room Service

Tips should be provided for room service, but if the bill says "gratuity charge" then the tip has already been added to the bill.

Lastly, you should tip room service for each day that a housekeeper cleans your room. Leave the tip in a place where it is clear that it is for them, or just leave a note.

How much should you tip?

The amount in which you should tip is largely discretionary.

Some people are more generous, and others prefer to be a little bit more conservative about tipping. That said, there are ranges of tips that are acceptable for each type of service in which it is customary to tip.


At a restaurant, it is customary to tip waitstaff 15%-20% of the bill, bartenders $1-$2 per drink, take out employees $1-$3, and delivery drivers 5%-10%.

Personal Care

Tip your hairstylist 15%-20%, and the hair shampooer $3-$5. Don't double up if your hair stylist also shampoos your hair.

Tip your manicurist or esthetician 10%-20%, and waxers 20%.

Pet groomers should be tipped 15%-20%.


Taxi or Uber/Lyft drivers should be tipped 10%-15%, and a dollar or two extra if they assist with luggage or other items.

Tip valets and car wash attendants $2-$5.


Give the airport skycap or porter and the hotel bellhop $1-$3 per bag they assist you with.

Room service should be tipped out at 15%-20%.

Tip housekeeping $2-$5 per day of cleaning, with higher-end hotel housekeepers receiving more per day.

Lastly, the hotel concierge should be tipped based upon the difficulty of the services they provided for you.

For example, if they made your reservations at a standard restaurant, tip around $5. But if they procured tickets to a sold-out show or made reservations at an exclusive restaurant, tip them up to $50.

When did we start tipping?

Tipping, though commonly associated with the United States, likely originated outside the United States.

Early 1600s

It is believed to have started in England during the 1600s. There, tavern patrons would give the waiter a little extra money in order to get faster service, to "to ensure promptitude."

Late 1900s

Tipping began in the United States during the late 19th century, following the Civil War.

Wealthy Americans traveling abroad in Europe witnessed Europeans tipping and brought the custom back home to appear more sophisticated.


Americans initially rejected the idea of tipping, arguing that it created a culture of people who would become dependent upon the tips.

Americans were so against the idea that the Anti-Tipping Society of America was formed in Georgia and grew to have over 100,000 members.

Anti-tipping sentiment resulted in the passage of laws in six states that banned the practice. The laws were short-lived, however, and all were repealed by 1926.

Despite its rocky start, the custom was eventually widely adopted throughout the country, though it took several decades.

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