Tipping in NYC: How Much to Tip and When

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What you need to know about tipping in New York City: who, how much to tip and when.

Something you should know first: you don’t need to tip on tax. Most people tip on the total amount of the bill (tax included), so be aware of that.

Tipping in the USA can be very confusing, because we tip a lot more than in many other counties. Why? Because servers and bartenders are paid way below the minimum wage (it varies by state), so their tips are an essential part of their earnings.

When you are budgeting, keep the tips in mind.

Restaurant & Bar Tips
Waiters and Waitresses
  • Regular restaurant: 15-20% of total bill for good service, more for exceptional service. Usually, people tip 18%.
  • High-end restaurant: 20% is more the norm.
  • Parties of 6 or more: a gratuity of 15-20% will automatically be added to the bill in some restaurants, so check your bill.
  • Coatroom attendant: $1-2 per coat (cash only).
  • Bathroom attendant: $1 (cash only).
  • Don’t double-tip: many times people tip extra when they didn’t realize that the tip was already included in the bill.
  • $1 per drink ordered at the bar, or a 15-20% tip with a minimum of 50 cents per soft drink and $1 per alcoholic drink.
  • At an upscale bar, a $15 drink might be worth a tip of $2.
  • $2-3 if you are buying rounds of 4-5 drinks at a time.
Airport & Transportation Tips
  • Taxi Drivers: 10-15% of total fare. An extra $1-2 for help with bags.
  • Skycap at airport: $1 per bag and $2 per bag if they bring your bags to the check-in counter.
  • Valet Parking: $2-5.
  • Shuttle drivers: $2 per person.
Tipping in NYC Hotels
  • Hotel Doorman: $1-5 for help with luggage, hailing a cab, bringing car from valet or other. You don’t have to tip them every time they get a cab for you.
  • Hotel Bellhop: $2 per bag in luxury hotels and $1 per bag elsewhere. $2 for the first bag.
  • Housekeepers: $1-5 per day. You can leave a note saying “To housekeeping, thank you!”
  • Room Service: 15-20% if the tip wasn’t included in the bill (you should always check!).
  • Hotel Concierge: no tip necessary when you ask for directions, recommendations or attractions. You don’t need to tip them every time. Typically: $3-5 for ordinary dinner reservations or tour arrangements; $5 for getting you tickets reservations, $10 or more if the concierge gets you tickets or reservations that are hard to get or performs extraordinary services, like getting your computer repaired, finding you a good doctor, etc.
Tipping – Others
  • Tour guides: $5-20 or 10-15% of ticket charge. You should first check if the tips were included in the cost of the tour.
  • Tour bus driver: $1-5 per person.
  • Food delivery person: 10% of the bill or $2. Should tip 15-20% for a difficult delivery.
  • Barber / Hairdresser: 15-20% of bill.
  • Nails (Manis and Pedis): 15% of bill.
  • Spa service: 15-20%. If service is provided by the owner, no tip.
  • Movers: $10-15 per person minimum. You can provide them water and snacks.
  • If you use a coupon or gift certificate, tip should be based on your total before the discount.

Hope this general NYC tipping guide was helpful 🙂


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Jesica Levi

I'm an actress and pop singer born in Argentina. I came to NYC to pursue my dream and I feel I'm living it every day. New York is magic and you have to be open to everything, because you never know who is seating right next to you on the subway or behind you in the line of the super market. I decided to create this blog about NYC because I realized how many powerful tips would have helped me if I knew them before from someone who was living in the city! So I thought that it would be awesome to share with you some tips about New York from a New Yorker. You can read more about me at http://www.jesicalevi.com I'm going to keep updating this blog so stay tuned :)

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