Tipping is a favorite pastime in America, where nothing says "thank you" like a few dollar bills. But there is often a moment, after you get your car washed, or your furniture delivered, or your flat tire changed, when suddenly a wave of anxiety strikes. Are you supposed to tip? And if so, how much?
Here's a guide to what's customary for tipping in the U.S., compiled using information from the Emily Post Institute (emilypost.com), The Original Tipping Page (tipping.org) and "The New Rules of Etiquette," by Curtrise Garner.
Waiter: 15 percent to 20 percent (pre-tax)
Buffet: 10 percent
Bartender: $1 per drink or 15 percent to 20 percent of the bar tab
Takeout: No need, but 10 percent for special favors
Host or maitre d': No need, but $10-$20 on occasion if you're a regular patron
Sommelier: 15 percent of the cost of the wine
Restroom attendant: 50 cents-$3, depending on the service
Cloakroom attendant: $1 per coat
Food delivery person: 10 percent of bill (pre-tax); $2 minimum
Doorman: $1-$2 for carrying luggage; $1-$2 for hailing a cab; $1-$4 for going beyond the call of duty
Bellhop: $2 first bag, $1 per additional bag
Housekeeper: $2-$5 per day, left daily in an envelope or with a note clearly marked for the maid
Concierge: $5 for tickets or reservations, $10 if they're hard to get