Los Angeles Limousine Tipping Etiquette.
Did you just over tip your chauffeur, or ingratiate him? Many executive travelers that use limousine services often ask me about proper tipping etiquette. There are subtle nuances in the service sector and it’s easy to miss them altogether. While some services add on gratuitiy to a bill for an all -inclusive pricing, others leave it to the client’s discretion. Executive travel gives us all a chance to say thanks to those who have made our journey easier (chauffeurs, baristas, concierges). Here’s a worry free guide on how and when to tip, guaranteed to help you look like the savvy executive traveler that you are.
You’re tipping for the moment, and for future service service-if you’re a returning customer, you want to be remembered. You’re tipping because someone was helpful- there’s really not much else to it. Service gratuity has been around for ages, and the custom is an implicit and understood tradition between tipper and tipee. Many of our limousine clients often say that their chauffeur, often misspelled as chaufer, went above and beyond the standard level of service -there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of exceptional service. However, If someone providing a service was not helpful, don’t tip.
Where When and How Much
According to Diane Gottsman, an authority on etiquette and the founder of the Protocol School of Texas, the general rule in the USA is that “ if someone touches it, expect to tip them”. This is, of course, contextual and follows common sense rules. In Australia, however restaurant patrons seldom tip at all. Many of us at one time or another have committed the occasional tipping faux pas– absentmindedly forgetting about the honest and hardworking chauffeur, or assuming a porter will have change for a 100 dollar bill. The truth is that tipping is part of a travel budget. A seasoned executive traveler understands that tipping is an integral part of their journey and doing business when they travel—and they make tipping a part of their travel routine. Quick Tip: If ever in doubt overseas, don’t be afraid to ask the hotel concierge about local tipping etiquette and protocol .
Standards for Tipping:
Bellhops, Skycaps and Doormen: $1-5 for helping with baggage or opening doors
Housekeeper: $2-5 per night for housekeeper, more for high end hotels
Concierge: $5-10 *Note: tips are encouraged but not mandatory (particularly if reservations or tickets were arranged)
Waiters at Sit-Down Restaurants: The tip can be calculated as a percentage of your total bill as follows: 10% usually means you were very unhappy with the level of service , 15% means it was ok, 20% for excellent, 25% for outstanding. *Note: Ignore sales tax when calculating tips.
Bartenders: They usually earn a $1-2 tip for each individual drink served or 15-20% of total bill
Limousine Chauffeurs: 10-20$ for Airport transfer or Point to Point Transfer or 50-100$ for several hours of service or multiple day service.
Taxi Driver: 10-15% of base fare, depending on the level of service.
Valet Parking Attendants: $2 – $5 (when returning your car).
Spa: For a massage or other treatment, 10% – 20%. Ask the attendant if the tip is included, some spas automatically add gratuity on the final bill. Some higher end spas will provide an envelope to drop off at the front desk after you’ve been cared for
Dealers at Tables in the Casinos: 5% of a bet amount at end of your Betting session. Some players place the occasional bet for the dealer in an amount of their normal wager- if in doubt just ask the dealer-they know and they can show you how and where to place the bet.
Hairdresser/Manicurist: 10% – 20%.
Tour Guides: 15% – 20% + depending on quality of service.
Tipping Tools and Tricks
- Always leave tips in cash, giving them directly to the tipee whenever possible. This way, you make sure the right person is being thanked, and that the house can’t skim a portion of it
- At high end restaurants, there is often a sommelier or wine steward. Expect to tip the sommelier separately, at your discretion. However, in a few restaurants, the server tips the sommelier based on individual wine sales, so check with your server first.
- When calculating tip for restaurant service ignore sales tax, and base the gratuity off of the pre-tax total
- Watch out for key words and phrases like “for your convenience,” which usually connotes that they’ve done some ‘funny’ math.
- Whenever in doubt, run the numbers yourself with a decent tip calculator like WorldMate, on your iphone.
- In several dining establishments a prominently displayed “Service Charge” or “Gratuity fee” might be added to a bill by default, particularly for party sizes of 8 or more. Always double check your bill prior to tipping.
- When tipping your maid, leave the tip face up on your pillow or in an obvious place, with a note that says thank you-it gives your gratitude that extra touch. Leave your tip each day before you leave as opposed to at the end of your stay- different rooms are cleaned by different people each day,
Tipping has become part of many American’s way of life and an integral part of many hospitality worker’s pay. Tipping is something you can dial in really well after doing for some time. After a couple of times, you’ll be able to know when you receive really stellar service, or whether someone is ‘phoning it in.’ If you are given horrible service anywhere, don’t be shy and inform the manager. Do not tip poor service – let them know you were unsatisfied, even if it means leaving a note explaining why there is no additional tip added to the bill.