Tipping Etiquette: To tip or not to tip?

Dubai - During financially uncertain times, a small gesture like tipping can bring unexpected joy to those in service industry

By Konkana Bakshi

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Published: Wed 9 Jun 2021, 7:33 PM

It’s been a while since we have been out and about with our friends and loved ones. But as the world slowly opens up, we will hopefully extend more compassion and kindness towards other human beings. Tipping is a gesture of offering appreciation for a job well done. In the post-pandemic world, we shouldn’t let go of an opportunity to offer such an act of kindness. Remember not many people are blessed to be in a position to offer kindness, so if you are, don’t hesitate to go the extra mile. The world has taken a major financial hit, especially since the service industry. It’s time for each one of us to step up and try to put a smile on someone else’s face.

So, what should be the standard tipping etiquette in this new normal?

For a sit-down dinner service: It’s an acceptable 15 to 20 per cent in the US, 10 to 15 per cent in Asia and the UAE, so it’s an average of 15 per cent. I would recommend a 15 per cent tipping even in part of the world with no obligation for tipping, such as Southeast Asia. For the waiting staff service in a buffet system, however, one should offer a 10 per cent pre-tax of the total bill out of kindness but no formal obligation.

For the Maître d’: There is again no obligation for greeting you and showing you to your table. You could offer $10-20 to a maître d’ going out of his or her way and making an effort to find you a table on a busy night or occasion.

For the food takeaway orders: There is no obligation for tipping but for food delivery, one should offer 10 per cent of the bill, or at least $3-5, depending on how large the order is.

For the bartender: For a bartender who’s making your drinks on the spot, you should offer at least $2 per drinks or 10-15 per cent of the total bill. Tip occasionally if your server or barista goes out of his or her way or if you happen to be a regular customer.

For the valet and a restroom attendant: A restroom attendant should be offered $1-3, depending on the level of service and the hygiene of the restroom, and a valet should be offered a tip of at least a $3-5 when the car is returned to you.

At the salon: You can offer at least a minimum of 10 per cent and a maximum of 15 per cent, if the service is exceptional but that depends on how big the invoice is. Request for the bill to be split among those who served you if you opt for many services, like a hairstyle, manicure, pedicure, facial etc. If you are opting only for a hairstyle, offering 10 per cent of the total amount is standard while for an only-manicure or facial, you should offer a tip of 12-15 per cent or at least a $7-10.

On a parting note, when you offer a tip for a few dollars, don’t forget to look at the face of the person who’s offering you the service and make sure you offer the tip with sincerity of intentions and a smile.


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