Depending on where you live in the country, it’s common practice for Americans to tip a waiter or waitress 15-20%. It is well understood that waitstaff earn most of their salary through their tips. But does the 20% tip rule extend to ALL services or just the services where you know there isn’t much of a base salary?
Heather gets her hair cut and colored at a pricey hair salon in town. Her short ‘do’ and highlights require a maintenance cut & color that costs her about $300 every six weeks or so (without tip)! She loves her stylist and tips her 20% ($60) after every visit. She had never really questioned the amount of the tip she gave before until her friend said that you should tip less when a service costs so much. Really? Her friend’s opinion was that the more a service costs, the higher the base cut is for the service provider. Heather then found out that her stylist makes well over six figures a year, and she began to really question whether the 20% tip rule should apply to everyone in service industries across the board, or just the ones who you know work for tips only?
Whether it’s a massage therapist, hair dresser, taxi driver, valet, manicurist, landscaper, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty and confusion around the protocol of tipping different service providers. Are you cheap if you tip 20% for some services and 10% for others? Should it depend on how much their base salary is, or should you always tip as a thank you for good service? If someone gives spa treatments out of their home, owns the taxi they drive, salon you go to, or even the neighbor kid who cuts your lawn, do you tip them at all since they are keeping the full cut?
Is Heather’s friend cheap or frugal for having a different set of rules depending on the situation? Is Heather cheap for questioning the amount she tips her stylist? Tell us what you think and help us determine the proper protocol and etiquette of tipping!| Print