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The do's and don'ts of tipping

Does seeing a tip jar stress you out? If you're confused about when to tip, who to tip and how much, don't worry, we’ve got you covered.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — From the coffee shop to the corner store, these days you're being asked to tip just about everywhere you go. 

With electronic payments the norm now, there's a good chance you'll be asked for a tip. That’s why it's important to know who to tip and how much. While there aren't any "official" rules for tipping, it’s a topic a lot are talking about. 

We looked to the experts at Real Simple and one of the most famous names in etiquette, Emily Post, for some guidelines.

Sit-down restaurant

If you’re at a sit-down restaurant, the recommendation is to tip your server 15-20% of the pre-tax total bill. So, if you spend $50, Post recommends tipping anywhere from $7.50 to $10, although you can always tip more if you feel compelled.

Restaurant take-out

If you're picking up take-out food curbside, a 10% tip is customary these days. However, if you go inside, Post says there's no obligation to tip the workers. But if you have a complicated or large order, she recommends a 10% tip for the staff.

Food delivery

When it comes to food delivery, the guideline is to tip between 10 and 15%.


The customary tip for the person mixing and pouring your drinks is $1 to $2 per drink according to Post, or 15-20% of the total bar tab.

Tip jars

As far as standard tipping practices at places like coffee bars and sandwich shops - using either a traditional gratuity jar or requesting the tip electronically - Post says there is no obligation to tip. However, if you're a regular customer or if you receive extra service, it's good to occasionally tip the workers.

Hair & nail salons

Standard practice is tipping your stylist or nail tech 15% of the total amount of your service, according to Real Simple.


You’ve likely worked out an hourly rate with your sitter ahead of time. Even so, Real Simple says rounding up the total is the kind thing to do especially in times when there are added duties like cooking for your kiddos.

Rideshare drivers

When using services like Uber or Lyft, it’s customary to tip at least $2 per ride.

Contact Carolyn Bruck at cbruck@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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