Consumer Reports: Guidelines for tipping

We've traditionally tipped at places like restaurants and nail salons and now at least one airline is suggesting you tip flight attendants! So when should you tip and how much?

Even before Frontier Airlines suggested passengers consider tipping their flight attendants for serving refreshments, tipping has been confusing and controversial.

From the teenager who made your sandwich at the deli, to your local coffee shop barista, more and more service providers seem to expect something a little extra.

"Consumers are becoming increasingly resentful about the idea that they have to tip people just for doing their jobs. Like really? I have to tip a smoothie maker? Or what about the barista at the coffee shop who swivels a little point of sale iPad in your direction with a precalculated tip," said Margot Gilman, Consumer Reports Money Editor.

As for how much to tip, Consumer Reports has some guidelines.

"A simple rule of thumb is to tip 15 to 20 percent of the pretax restaurant tab. Don't tip less than 15 percent. If the server was rude or offensive, speak to the manager but don't stiff the server," said Gilman.

Here are some of CR's other tipping recommendations:

- Bartender: $1 to $2 per drink or 15% of the total tab
- Barber or Hairdresser: 10% to 20% of the cost of the service, even if he or she is the owner!
- Shampooer at salon: $2 to $5
- Food delivery person: 20% of the entire bill, or $3 to $5, whichever is higher
- Taxi, Limo, or Ride-hailing service: 10% to 20% of the fare

If you're looking for some tools to help you tip - or when you have a group, apps such as Tab, Settle Up, and Plates let you split tabs or keep track of who owes what.

To see CR's complete list of recommended service providers to tip and the amount, visit:

https://www.consumerreports.org/tipping/how-much-to-tip/
https://www.consumerreports.org/tipping/is-it-time-to-rethink-the-rules-of-tipping-etiquette/

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