I’ve heard some very creative ways to go about tipping lately, and it’s made me rethink my own tipping habits. What is appropriate? What is absurd? I guess it really depends on the type and the quality of service provided.

According to Nolo.com, “The minimum wage in Massachusetts is $12 an hour as of January 1, 2019. Because the state rate is higher, employees in Massachusetts are entitled to earn the state minimum wage.”

Sit-Down Restaurant, 15-20% tip before tax

It is important to tip a server appropriately, but I admit that I always thought it was 20% AFTER tax. However, that doesn’t really make sense to tip on something that you’ve already been taxed on, does it? So, in order to save a couple of bucks the next time I go out, I will tip 15-20% BEFORE tax. The only exception would be around the holidays when I usually tip more than 20% as a nice gesture.

If you don’t have a calculator handy, just remember to take the subtotal and move the decimal point one place to the left. THAT is the number you double to get the tip amount.

Delivery, 10%

A delivery charge is NOT always considered to be a tip for the driver. So, consider giving them at least 10%, or more if you have a particularly large order or if they had to drive in bad weather.

To-GO, 5% if at all

It isn’t absolutely necessary to tip with to-go orders, but you might want to consider leaving up to 5% on orders that are somewhat large or complicated. This is the person in charge of making sure you get exactly what you order and he or she will put effort into making sure it is 100% correct.

Baristas & Bartenders, 10-15%

If you’re a regular at a coffee shop or bar, you probably have your favorite barista or bartender. He or she already knows your order and might even have it ready for you before you even make it to the counter. If this is the case, show your appreciation with 10-15%. At least tip an extra dollar or two even if it’s the first time this person has made a drink for you, especially if it’s a drink that takes longer to make.

Hairstylist/Barber, 20% tip

You’ve probably had the same hairstylist for over a decade. No one else knows your hair the way he or she does and you cannot imagine anyone else touching your head. The person who makes you feel like walking out of the salon is actually your own runway show deserves 20%. Trust me.

Taxi/Valet Drivers, $5-10

Feel free to tip more for exceptional service or odd hours. Weather is ALWAYS a factor for this as well.

Housekeeping/Hotel Maids, $5 per night is recommended.

Bellhop, $2 for your first bag and extra $1 for each additional bag.

With additional reporting by James Walker Jr.

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