lessons in etiquette #1: tipping

Etiquette (noun)the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group (synonyms: protocol, manners, good behavior, rules of conduct, etc.)

If there was one thing our parents were right about, it would be the importance of good manners. Etiquette plays a vital role in the impressions you make, the level of respect and appreciation you show, and the way you’re perceived. We don’t often think about whether or not we’re following proper rules of conduct but we should. This series is going to address various areas of etiquette and provide tips and tricks to ensure that you’re portraying yourself in the best way possible.

Lessons In Etiquette #1: Tipping 

Leaving an appropriate tip is one of the most vital aspects of proper etiquette but, unfortunately, can be really confusing. Who are you supposed to tip? How much? How do you figure out the percentage? To help answer those questions, I’ve listed the minimum tip range for various scenarios and how to calculate them. Of course, you can always tip more for exceptional service.

Food Service


  • Full-Service Restaurant: 15-20%
  • Bar: 15-20% (of total bill) or $1-2 (per drink)
  • Buffet or Pick-Up Restaurant: 10%
  • Take-Out: 10%
  • Delivery: 10-20%
  • Cafe (tip jar): $1-3

Beauty Service:

1-Build Your Bliss8

  • Hair Cut/Color: 20% (or more)
  • Manicure/Pedicure: 15-20%
  • Massage: 15-20%
  • Waxing: 10-15%

Miscellaneous Service:


  • Valet Parking: $2-5
  • Cab Driver: 15%
  • Hotel Maid: $2-3 (per night)
  • Room Service: 15-20%
  • Movers: $15-20 (per mover)

How To Calculate Tip Percentage

Change the appropriate amount to decimal format and multiply by the bill amount (before tax).
For example, if my haircut cost $50 and I wanted to tip 20% the calculation would look like this:

.20 X 50 = 10
The tip amount would be $10 resulting in a total payment of $60

Still confused? Let one of the free tip-calculator apps for iPhone or Android do the math for you.
Be generous. What goes around, comes around.

Here’s to proper gratitude…


  1. adashofmeg said:

    awesome post babe!

    • Emily said:

      Thank you!
      I hope you’re having an amazing time in Barbados! xoxo

  2. Don’t most phones nowadays have a built-in tip calculator?

    • Emily said:

      Do they? I don’t think my iPhone does (unless I’m missing it!) I just downloaded the app. haha.

      • My bare-bones Samsung Intensity came with one.

      • Emily said:

        Interesting! iPhones need to jump on that bandwagon.

  3. This is great advice! They should seriously teach this stuff in high school and college, because so many adults still don’t know!

    • Emily said:

      I agree! There are so many vital adult “things” that they don’t teach in school (tipping, taxes, budgeting, etc.) So weird that they haven’t started doing that yet!

  4. P said:

    Excellent post! I’m always unsure about how much to tip haha.
    At the same time, I feel like wages for restaurant/service workers should be increased so that workers don’t have to worry about making ends meet through tips.

    • Emily said:

      You are so, so right. Being a waitress myself, I find it really frustrating that we have to rely on tips as much as we do. Our paychecks get taxed SO much that they’re virtually nothing and our only income is tips…ridiculous.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post though!

  5. carrie said:

    i love this! i have never worked in an industry where tipping was necessary, but i absolutely hate with a passion people who are shitty tippers!! i find it to be the rudest thing in the world. great post love!

    • Emily said:

      I completely agree! It’s so frustrating.

      Thanks, lady! ❤

  6. Ashley said:

    I’m so bad at math so I’m always whipping out my phone’s calculator to figure out tips haha! I’ve never worked anywhere where I’ve been tipped, but I know people working in the service industry really appreciate tips and they definitely deserve them!

    • Emily said:

      Most definitely! It’s hard for servers (which I never realized before) because literally ALL of their money is made from tips. The way taxes work means that our paychecks are virtually nothing. So strange!

  7. I try to always tip generously at restaurants (if the service is good that is), but other times it can be tricky to know if you need to tip and how much. It never occurred to me to tip when I go inside the restaurant to pick up carry-out. Oops 😉

    • Emily said:

      Take-Out can be really confusing! I was never really sure until I started working at a restaurant that offers take-out and saw just how much work goes into it. They definitely deserve a buck or two!


  8. How do you know this?! haha You should make a little flyer thingy and post it to Pinterest! So many people need this!

    • Emily said:

      I was really interested in it a while back so I did a bunch of research (nerd alert!) haha
      Oooh…that’s a good idea! I just might do that. (:

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