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Tipping Guide

How Much To Tip

Restaurant tipping guidelines from restaurateur Tom Margiffai (co-owner of the Four Seasons).

  • 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 check
  • Hatcheck- Fifty cents to $1 per couple.
  • Rest-room attendant Fifty cents.
  • Doorman (to get taxi: Fifty cents normally. One dollar in bad weather or rush hour.
  • Other staff at a restaurant that is used regularly should be tipped once or twice a year.- Hosts, switchboard operators (where the restaurant provides telephone service).

Other tipping:

  • Nightclubs - Headwaiter should get $2 to $ 10 per person, depending on the impression the party host wishes to make on his guests. (Higher tip usually ensures better service)
  • Limousine service: Fifteen percent to the driver. If service charge is included in bill, tip an additional $5.
  • 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.
  • Sports arenas and racetracks - A $5 tip to an usher will often give you and your guests access to unused reserved seats.


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