Tipping Tips for the Holidays and Beyond
If your household budget is extra lean this year, you may be tempted to scrimp on tipping the service providers in your life.
But, if you do, remember that skipping a worker's gratuity, in many cases, would be like your boss saying to you, "Hey, guess what? We're going to cut your pay by 20 percent this month."
"For a lot of jobs where workers receive tips, YOU are their boss, not the employer they work for," says Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at online salary database PayScale.com. Lee directs an annual study of how tips are growing and shrinking for 94 jobs, and what percentage tips make up of wages for each position.
The following list highlights 10 hardworking people who are likely depending on your tips this holiday season and throughout the year.
Enjoying a night out? The person pouring your peppermint schnapps will appreciate some extra cheer from your wallet.
Base Pay per Hour: $7.50
Tips per Hour: $9.50
Percent of Total Hourlyin Tips: 56%
Typical tip: 10-15 percent of the bar bill.
If you want to take the family out for a special meal, be prepared. According to PayScale's data, the person waiting on you is making about five dollars less per hour in base pay this year so they need your tips more than ever.
Base Pay per Hour: $3.80
Tips per Hour: $8.30
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 69%
Typical tip: 15-20 percent of the pre-tax bill, 20 percent at fine restaurants or if you have a large group.
3. Massage Therapist
A massage can soothe that shopping headache and back pain from hanging lights. Help that masseuse enjoy a relaxing holiday, in return.
Base Pay per Hour: $21.20
Tips per Hour: $4.80
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 18%
Typical tip: 10-20 percent of the total, 20 percent if it is a really great massage.
Hairstylist's wages and tipping percentages have stayed almost exactly the same since last year. Tip a little extra if you're happy with the 2011 new 'do they give you.
Base Pay per Hour: $11.30
Tips per Hour: $3.00
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 21%
Typical tip: 15 percent of the total.
If you have the opportunity to stay in a hotel over the holidays and need help from the concierge to get reservations for dinner and tickets to a show, be sure to show that person your appreciation.
Base Pay per Hour: $12.30
Tips per Hour: $1.30
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 10%
Typical tip: $5-$10 is average, more for special services or favors.
Doormen reported much lower tips this year than last. Be sure to express your appreciation to them for standing in the cold so that you have a quick trip from the lobby to a warm taxi.
Base Pay per Hour: $12.30
Tips per Hour: $2.00
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 14%
Typical tip: $1 dollar or more for help with luggage or finding a taxi on the street.
7. Parking Attendant
This is the person who runs down the street, through freezing winds, to get your car when you're done at a restaurant, private party or other event. Make their night extra festive with a fair, or even generous, tip.
Base Pay per Hour: $8.30
Tips per Hour: $2.50
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tip: 23%
Typical tip: $1-$2, depending on how far they travel to get your car.
8. Newspaper Delivery Driver
Newspaper delivery drivers are another group that is relying on tips for more and more of their income. If you only have to walk as far as your front doorstep to get your paper, remember to say "thank you" for the convenience. Typical tip: $25-$50 per year for daily delivery, $10 for weekend.
Base Pay per Hour: $17.70
Tips per Hour: $2.40
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 12%
9. Pizza Delivery Driver
Frugal people may love this, often, inexpensive food. But, when it arrives at your door, you need to tip the person who brought it. Pizza delivery drivers' tips are down by over a dollar an hour this year. Help them out.
Base Pay per Hour: $6.90
Tips per Hour: $3.80
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 36%
Typical tip: 15% for normal service.
10. Taxi Driver
The taxi driver who safely takes you, your luggage and other parcels from the airport to Grandma's house has earned a tip. Pay attention to how much luggage they lift for you so that you can reward their extra effort.
Base Pay per Hour: $15.40
Tips per Hour: $3.80
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 20%
Typical tip: 15 percent of fare, $1 per bag up to 5 bags, $2 per bag for 5 or more bags or if bags are very heavy (50 lbs. each).
Source: Median base pay per hour, median tip per hour and percent of total hourly income in tips data are provided by Payscale.com.
Bridget Quigg is the web content editor for online salary database PayScale.com.
Located in Seattle, Wash., Bridget specializes in writing and editing content for blogs, websites and feature articles.
Bridget graduated from Stanford University with a degree in English. She teaches creative writing and is also a songwriter who regularly performs music and comedic story-telling in the Seattle area and beyond. Her most recent one-woman show was titled, "Almost Female: A Jockette's Awesome Journey."