Who Should You Tip During the Holidays?

Or any other time for that matter.


These are dangerous shark infested waters! Can’t believe I’m sticking my toe in the surf.


Let’s start with dining out. The scenario goes something like this:  Your family has asked you to make all the arrangements for a holiday dinner for the family. There will be approximately a dozen people in attendance. You go to your favorite restaurant and ask to speak to the Maitre d’ or restaurant manager. This person is very accommodating and listens to your requests and concerns. A select place in the dining room is chosen. The view is lovely, it is away from the hustle and bustle, and special arrangements for your Grandmother have been finalized. You thank him or her and offer a $10 or $20 tip before leaving the restaurant.


Your dinner was a huge success! The food was great and the service was outstanding. (Remember that $10 or $20 bill?) Oh yeah. Humm…I bet that had something to do with the outcome. Some restaurants include a 15% gratuity for large groups. If you feel you have received service above and beyond what you had expected, you may add an additional 5%. If the Wine Steward or Sommelier provided his or her services at your table, an additional 15% of the wine bill should be added. If you didn’t receive help in selecting wine for the meal, no additional tip is required.


Please understand that the tip for your dining experience will be divided among the Maitre d’, Head Waiter/Captain, Server, Hostess, and Busser. Did your Grandmother require a special menu? If so, the chef will be included in the tip. If you have ordered drinks from the bar, the bartender and server will be included.


Okay, are you still with me? Let’s talk about the airport. When traveling by plane, only tip a skycap, or terminal porter, $1. per bag.


If you are traveling by train, a first class ticket covers the costs of meals and services. If you have received great service, such as wake up calls, coffee and the morning newspaper, by all means give your porter $10. per day. Redcaps and baggage porters $1. to $2. per bag.


Cruise lines have their own guidelines for tipping. You will be provided with that information before departure. Personally, I find by stay much more pleasant if I give my porter a $20. tip at the beginning of the cruise.


If spa services are required on board, the usual tip or 15%-20% is appropriate.


If your stay will be at a Bed and Breakfast, no tip is required.


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