Tipping etiquette in NYC can be so confusing. You know you’re supposed to tip servers at restaurants. But who else do you tip and how much do you tip them? There’s nothing worse than not knowing what to do, so we’ve compiled a handy guide so you can feel comfortable in most situations.
Doormen and Building Staff
What would we do without our doormen and other building staff in New York? Every New Yorker dreams of living in a doorman building, so once you get there be sure to show the staff some love. They do all sorts of wonderful things for us, from hailing cabs to helping with groceries. While you may be tempted to palm them some cash from time to time, it’s more appropriate to tip once a year during the holiday season. The amount to tip can vary greatly from one building to the next depending on the size of the staff and the duties they perform, so check out our handy guide for all the details.
Cabs and Rideshares
Look at you, hotshot, avoiding the subway and zipping through the city in cabs, Ubers, and Lyfts. Is there anything better than being driven around? We don’t think so, and that’s why you shouldn’t skimp on the tip. Add a 15-20 percent gratuity to cab rides, more if the driver goes out of the way to get you somewhere in a jiffy or if they helped load your four suitcases into the trunk. Ridesharing apps let you tip through the app, and $2 for a short ride is common, more if your ride is longer (like if they drive you to Jersey).
Food and Grocery Delivery
Food and grocery delivery make living in New York City so much easier. Not only do you save time by not doing the shopping yourself, you also don’t have to schlep all those bags home. This is another area where you should be generous. When making a simple food order from your favorite Thai place down the street, ten percent of the bill is a good rule of thumb, though Eater says you should never tip less than $5 no matter the size of your order. If you’re ordering for a crowd or you live in a seventh-floor walk-up, then tip up to 20 percent for the extra effort. For grocery deliveries, tip $1-2 per bag, more if the weather is awful.
If you don’t want to be served watered-down drinks or wait at the bar until every other person has been served, don’t neglect to tip your bartender. Bartenders in NYC don’t like that. It’s customary to tip $1 per drink for simple drinks, $2-$3 per drink for something more complex (if it requires muddling, it’s complex). Go for 20 percent of the bill at top-of-the-line establishments. Tip $1 even if you just get a glass of club soda – you’re taking up space at the bar, after all. Tip well if you want good service, especially if it’s a bar where you could be considered a regular.
You rely on your hair stylist to keep you looking good, and they rely on you to make a living. Twenty percent of your final bill is a standard amount to tip your stylist, but don’t forget about the person who shampooed your hair ($3-$5) or assisted with the color($5-$20). And don’t believe the myth that you shouldn’t tip the owner. If you got great service, a tip is definitely appreciated. If you tip only at the desk at the end of your treatment, you can expect your tip to be divvied up amongst those who provided services to you. If you aren’t sure how that will work, it’s best to tip each individual in cash.
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