PC Financial®
Sign in

A Quick Guide to Tipping Etiquette

Jan 14, 2019

A Quick Guide to Tipping Etiquette

Should you tip your manicurist, your tour guide or the bartender who served you one drink and disappeared? In many cases where a service is provided, it's good etiquette to offer a gratuity as thanks, but you are never strictly obligated. This tipping guide will help you understand how much to tip and when you can skip it all together.

Restaurant Servers

Thank your server for attention to detail with anywhere from 15 to 20 percent before tax. Though you may feel tempted to forego a tip in the case of bad service, it's usually best to speak to the manager instead. Dining in a foreign country or with a large group of people? Find out if the bill includes an automatic service charge.


If you're paying as you go, it's customary to leave a small gratuity per drink. Table service generally warrants 10 to 20 percent.

Maître d'

You are not obligated to tip the maître d', though you may wish to offer a small amount, if he or she goes out of their way to seat you on a busy night, or if you have a longstanding relationship. Do not offer cash bribes in advance to encourage him or her to find you a better table.

Cab Drivers

Standard tipping etiquette in Canada is 10 to 20 percent of your fare, depending on service quality. If you have an awful ride, do not tip. For excellent service, tip 20 percent.

Tour Guides

Tour guides in foreign countries often rely on tips to make up the bulk of their wages, so try to leave 10 to 15 percent of the tour's cost. If you're taking a multi-day tour, budget a small amount per day or check the website of the tour company for recommendations. It's always best to tip in the currency of the country you're visiting but give foreign currency if the only other option is to leave nothing at all.

Beauty Service Providers

Whether you're getting your legs waxed or your nails painted, it's good etiquette to leave a 15 percent tip for your esthetician. You can dip down to 10 percent for basic service or up to 20 percent for someone who goes above and beyond.

Musicians and Entertainers

If you catch a free festival performance or listen to a musician playExternal link at a restaurant over the dinner hour, it's a nice gesture to tip—but only if a gratuity jar is visible or a hat gets passed around. You may wish to give a larger amount than typical if you requested songs or sat for a long show.

Airport Shuttle Drivers and Porters

It's customary to give a small tip per bag to anyone who helps carry your luggage. Schlep your bags yourself if you prefer to save a bit.


Though many people forget to tip the cleaning staff, it's a nice gesture to leave even a small tip each day on the bedside table. If you would rather save the money and skip daily service, you can notify the front desk.

General information not about PC Financial products is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for, and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. PC Financial does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.