Tipping Etiquette

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  • When travelling to Cuba it is best to bring alternative things to money.  I once brought children’s DVD’s and the chambermaid was absolutely thrilled, as she had 3 children.  Also when travelling to Cuba, paper, pencils, branded clothing and shoes can prove to be better tips than cash.
  • Waiter: Fifteen percent of the bill (not including tax).
  • Captain: Five percent. Note: If diner writes tip on the check, the waiter gets it all, unless the diner specifies how it is to be split. (Example: Waiter, $5; captain, $2.)
  • Headwaiter who seats diners: Five dollars or $10 or more at intervals for regular patrons. He should be tipped in cash.
  • Sommelier Ten percent of the wine selection or 5% if the wine is expensive. Two dollars or $3 is a good tip.
  • Bartender: One dollar minimum or 15% of the bill.
  • Rest-room attendant fifty cents.
  • Hatcheck- Fifty cents to $1 per couple.
  • Limousine service: Fifteen percent to the driver. If service charge is included in bill, tip an additional $5.
  • Nightclubs – Headwaiter should get $2 to $ 1 0 per person, depending on the impression the party host wishes to make on his guests. (Higher tip usually ensures better service.
  • Hotels – Valet, room service, bartender, should get about 50 cents, depending on the amount and quality of service. Bellman: Fifty cents per bag. Chambermaid: One dollar per day.
  • Doorman (to get taxi: Fifty cents normally. One dollar in bad weather or rush hour.
  • Sports arenas and racetracks – A $5 or $10 tip to an usher will often give you and your guests access to unused reserved seats.

This was adapted from the restaurant tipping guidelines from restaurateurs Vincent Sardi (of Sardi) and Tom Margiffai (co-owner of the Four Seasons).

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