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Service Tips
updated: Jan 03, 2013, 6:00 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I know in restaurants 20% is an acceptable tip. Is this the same percentage for nail salons? What about when more than one individual performs a service? I have my manicure done by one person, a pedicure by another person, meanwhile my daughter has two other people for her mani/pedi. I don't want to be cheap because they do an amazing job but it can get pretty expensive.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 359881P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-03 06:03 PM

20% is a good tip! I think that the going rate is 15% for restaurant tips.... I usually only give $2 for a mani and $3 for pedi but I can hardly afford the treatment to begin with so the tip is hard for me to pay. I usually just bring $2 each when my daughter and I both go...


 COMMENT 359896 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-03 06:35 PM

The acceptable tip for services in a nail salon is 15-20% of the total bill. How you split that up is up to you. So, if the total bill is $100 and you received excellent service and are pleased with the results, the tip would be $20. I would give $10 to the manicurist and $10 to the person who performed the pedicure.


 COMMENT 359898 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-03 06:52 PM

Nail tech here - I typically get 15-20%. My regulars give 20-25%. There are some very generous folks out there who have given 35% or more. I keep my station ultra clean and am up on the latest techniques - it makes a difference. There are customers who don't tip but I always remind myself that they are paying for the service already - tipping is optional but appreciated.


 COMMENT 359909 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-03 07:25 PM

Tipping is a gratuity, that is you are grateful for a service provided well and want to show your appreciation. Remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others.... and all that.


 COMMENT 359920 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-03 08:03 PM

Here's a dilemma: when I get a manicure or pedicure, sometimes you don't know how good of a job they've done, until you get home. One time, I tipped 20% and got home, only to realize that later, it was not a top quality job. It was somewhat sloppy. What to do? Never go back? I've already tipped nicely, so they probably think they did a great job...


 COMMENT 359938P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-03 08:42 PM

hmmm tipping is a strange bird. Why tip someone to make a coffee? why tip someone to make your sandwich? They are hired to do that. Why tip someone to do something you are already paying them to do? We have become over-tippers. Most of those tipped just do the job, they are not exceptional, they do as little as they can. Im tired of seeing tip jars everywhere. Like at the natural cafe, if I have to stand in line to order it, and get my own silverware, and my own condiments...why is there a tip jar? Or Starbucks, where the jar is put at the cash register, instead of at the drink pick up...I dont want to tip if my drink is made wrong or takes forever. Or at the carwash...really a tip? I do tip generously when an excellent job is done, but will not tip for someone who is just doing what s/he is paid to do. Tips should not be given for mediocre service...and most service in this town is crap.


 COMMENT 359947P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-03 09:17 PM

I mostly agree with 938P. I am used to tipping at sit-down restaurants, so I guess I find that acceptable. But when every place puts out a tip jar it gets a bit ridiculous. And employees should not have to rely on tips to make a living. Why don't service businesses pay employees a reasonable wage, and leave tipping as the optional expression of gratitude that it used to be? Heck, raise your products' prices if need be to pay your employees and keep them happy. Don't make me the bad guy because I don't want to tip the person who just gave me bad service.


 COMMENT 359951P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-03 09:53 PM

How about tipping the owners of the salon? I go a salon that is run by Asian women and they all start to chatter in their native tongue which is considered very rude. I tip accordingly.


 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 02:19 AM

And someone in the stolen /found mail thread had the gall to call THAT a first world or Santa Barbara problem?

Yes, I would tip if I got a manicure, but the only one I ever had was by a neighbor at her salon before a big event. Ooooh, the hand and arm massage was heavenly... I honestly can't remember if she charged me. I would have tipped for that! Pretty sure I did.


 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 02:21 AM

898, you have class. Thank you.


 COMMENT 359962P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 03:38 AM

I tipped the guys who delivered my new small refrigerator the other day. Only $10. They weren't expecting a tip and seemed pleasantly surprised.

My dad always used to tip the mailman each year, but then our mailman became various mailmen. We used to tip the trash pick up guys, for Xmas, but now there are sometimes six men per pick up day, and sometimes it's not the same men.

You'd have to time it just right to catch up with these guys. If you taped the tip to the trash can lid, the green waste lid, the recycling lid . . . Aw, geez.

I never put anything more than 25 cents in a tip jar, if that. I always tip 20% at a sit down restaurant, and have done that for over a decade now. My one friend used to get all het up about me "tipping on the tax." Oh brother.

Only recently, on three separate occasions, I have had my fellow diners question why I tip 20%. When I eat with several friends, and people are all chipping in their part of the bill, I count the money and make certain the wait person gets enough of a tip. Funny how some people forget they had that salad or that extra glass of wine.

I am certain I would dine out more often if not for two things: the tip and the cost of BYOB corkage fees. $20 per bottle? Yikes! Now there's a rip off.


 COMMENT 359991 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 08:19 AM

Funny how the tip jar at the counter makes some people a little squeamish if not downright angry.

"I'd rather pay higher prices than have to consider that person on the other side of the counter as a human being working a minimum wage job in a high cost of living town". I like the prices as they are at the NatCaf and go out of my way to tip the person and get incredible service in return because they see me pay a little more and remember it. Next time I might get a nice genuine smile of recognition or they remember my name or they'll chat a little while I wait. It's the little things that count and I appreciate them, hence I give/get them.

If you're a poor tipper you shouldn't be surprised if you get mediocre service, basically what you pay for @ min wage, and if you provide lousy service you probably think everyone's a lousy tipper. The Golden Rule at work.


 COMMENT 360004 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 08:40 AM

hahah 951p
If they're _so rude_ why do you go back? Buck up and tip for the services rendered.


 COMMENT 360006P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 08:42 AM

I only tip when the service is good - 20% is for really good service.


 COMMENT 360009 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 08:44 AM

I see it as this: if I know I'll be going back to that restaurant/bar, I'll leave a 15-20% tip. Of course, that assumes the food/drink was great and the service was great. If I know I won't be returning anytime soon, the tip will definitely be appropriate for whatever service I got. Unless I'm going somewhere out of town and the service was excellent, I'll still leave a good 20% tip to show they did so great. Also, I'm not shy to call the manager over to tell them why the service was horrible or excellent. But as for the "well they served me food, I have to tip 20%" uhh no. That doesn't work for me. You get what you work for, nothing more, nothing less.


 COMMENT 360014 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 08:56 AM

Just remember that waitpersons,(I'm not sure about beauty salons) have to tip out the bartenders, the busboys, and maybe sometimes the cooks. They are also taxed on their tips. So they don't get alot of that money if you leave less than 20%.


 COMMENT 360019 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 09:12 AM

If you are getting bad service, go somewhere else! I love Aqua on upper state. For tips, remember the nail technician is cleaning your feet and/or finger nails, and smiling when they do it. I always round my tips up. If your polish peels or something goes wrong, come back to the salon and if you are remembered as generous, you will be treated well and the chip/peel will be fixed.


 COMMENT 360027 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 09:39 AM

I agree. Tipping has gone crazy in town. So has the amount of radio spots and tv commercials asking to "please give..." Food bank, childrens funds, schools, I can't name them all but once I started listening to ads a large percentage of them are asking for a buck or two...


 COMMENT 360037 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 09:58 AM

I still am curious about tipping the "salon owner". I have my hair done every once in a while and sometimes it's upwards of $175.

My aunts used to tell me that you definitely tip the salon workers, but it was not expected to tip the owner.

I always feel awkward and do tip, but man-oh-man, it's expensive.

So I only have my hair done once every 6 or 7 months...


 COMMENT 360055 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 10:48 AM

Totally agree with Ying Yang. 898, whoever you are you should post your name/business, as you're they type of person I'd want to go to! 014, I don't think anyone should be expected to tip at least 20% because they have to split their tips. That's along the lines of saying tips should be mandatory because waitstaff don't make normal wages.
I tip at restaurants, and for spa/salon services. I know a lot of salons make the people pay for the chair, so it's not exactly like they are an employee getting a normal wage - they frequently have to PAY to work somewhere. I'm cheap, but when it comes to people who don't get a normal paycheck they way I do, I'll gladly tip, and tip well.


 COMMENT 360056 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 10:49 AM

Oh I love this thread! I work in a restaurant and would love to share a couple things. First off, you should tip according to your service. If you're happy with the service 20% is what servers hope for. What's nice to understand here is that most server employees are taxed on a certain percent of the bill no matter what you tip. (Ex: 12% where I work). So if you only tip 10% that doesn't even cover what the server pays in taxes on your bill. Plus they're also taxed on their very small pay check. Also, please tip on your alcohol! We have to tip the bartender and pay taxes. Finally, if you're going to buy an expensive bottle of wine, please tip on that too! Those taxes are not free for us :) If you didn't like the food, but the service was excellent, it's not the servers fault. Don't go back but don't not tip! Thank you for listening!


 RHS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 11:09 AM

056 repeats so many false ideas that have become like urban legends. Here's some perspective. 1, "Servers hope for" is not a criteria for my donating. Over the years the normal tip has increased from 10% using the argument that inflation or low salary required the increase. This argument ignores that the cost of the meal has also increased by much higher inflation and so 10% today would be a lot more than the equivalent 10% back when. The IRS estimate of 12% is reasonable. 2. The fact that the IRS assumes 12% is not a penalty. If an employee doesn't get that much they can get a refund on excess taxes withheld. 3. Tipping on alcohol so the waiter can tip the bartender is absurd. Next time I'll order directly from the bartender and the server can watch. 4. The price of wine on wine lists is already ridiculously overpriced and there should be no additional tip on it. This is between the owner and the server. 5. Questionable whether tips should be included on 'corkage' at all. 6. What have taxes to do with tipping. Servers often include taxes in the total given to the customer. No one should tip on taxes! 7. Servers in the expensive restaurants make good money...yet we are expected to tip them at a higher percentage than servers in modestly priced restaurants that generally have lower income and work just as hard. This is the absurdity of tipping. I leave bigger percentages in low priced places just to compensate for this. 7. I am tired of the whining designed to guilt customers into paying more--get your act together and fight the bosses for a decent salary, medical benefits, sick leave and other benefits. This is where the battle should be fought.


 COMMENT 360072 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 11:20 AM

I always wonder if people who don't tip have ever worked at a job where you rely on tips. I have worked in restaurants and coffee shops. I have a "grown up job" now, but I always tip at least 20%. When I get a cup of coffee (not very often), I try to tip a dollar. Not only do the workers make minimum wage, but they have to work hard. Not only are they pouring your coffee or making your latte, they are making sure that the coffee is ready, and that the machine is stocked with beans. If you can't afford to tip, can you really afford the coffee (or the mani/pedi)?


 COMMENT 360073 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 11:27 AM

Totally agree that service in all sectors is mostly horrible in Santa Barbara, that being said, since it seems to be city-wide, I still generally tip %20. If I get exceptional service, which is rare, I will ask to speak to the manager and point out a job well done by their employee. I have lived/worked all over the country and overseas as well, and have never seen such bad service as here. I've been here over 10 years.


 COMMENT 360102 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 12:23 PM

People who resent tipping or resent people speaking their own language should stay home.


 COMMENT 360106 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 12:39 PM

All tips are acceptable. Your tip amount should be based on 1. the quality of service, 2. your own financial situation, and 3. overall satisfaction of your purchase.


 COMMENT 360109 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 12:46 PM

RHS: I've wondered this as well. 20+ years ago when I was a server, 10% was the norm, while 15% was for good service. I'd have been thrilled to make 15% min; I would have made a lot more money. Hourly wage was, if I recall, $3.35 per hour. It was hard work, definitely the hardest physical work I have ever done. Then, I finished college and with my degree, I now have a good paying job where I don't have to put up with the mess and hassle of waiting on diners. That's the choice that I made so that I didn't have to keep struggling and "hoping" for good pay.

I tip 15-25%, providing that the service was adequate to excellent, but there is often an entitlement attitude among many of these service workers that I find unpalatable. It seems that being in the service industry has become a lifestyle choice, and I hear workers proud to be "in the industry," but that sense of inclusion has more to do with being in the group rather than being an industry professional.


 COMMENT 360202 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 03:02 PM

Any tip is appreciated. It's not a self of entitlement it's about surviving and paying bills. The majority of people I hire are college graduates with degrees and careers are not available in their field because of the state of our economy. It's wonderful that 20 years ago this was not the case but this generation isn't so lucky.


 COMMENT 360209 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 03:09 PM

"Your own financial situation" really has nothing to do with it.

Look... like it or not the way many industries are set up is that tips are a large portion of employees' pay.

If you use those services _you are expected to tip_. If you can't afford a 15% - 20% tip on the services you've purchased than you _can't afford the services_.


 COMMENT 360243 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 04:16 PM

I'm just back from a trip to Grand Cayman and it was an eye opener for several reasons, one of which was that gratuities are automatically added onto the bill at most places -- hotels, restaurants and bars. It took some getting used to, as we were so much on autopilot, we initially were adding tip onto the charge slips after the gratuity already had been added in. I'm sure we weren't the only tourists to fall into that little trap!

Also, US dollars were only worth 80 cents to the Cayman dollar, so the exchange rate was cruel and costly.

The gratuity added in typically was 15% but sometimes was 18% or 20%.

When we left our hotel, we left $20 for the housekeeping service, even though our hotel bill had added a service gratuity onto our room charge. (I just didn't trust that it was going to entirely reach the gal who was keeping up our room.)

When a taxi driver dropped us off, we always gave more than what was asked for; we typically added a few bucks to whatever gratuity had been added on.

But, if service was mediocre or snooty, then we added nothing extra. We could have even reduced the automatically added gratuity, had we elected to do that.

When a business owner provides a service, typically he or she charges a premium and shouldn't expect a tip too. But an employee usually splits what is earned with the business owner and so a gratuity for good service, which would be kept by the employee only, is a thoughtful addition. But, it is a matter of personal taste. If you're not going to return then it is just your own karma to deal with!


 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 06:39 PM

Let me add to Yin Yang and 055. 898 has a great and generous attitude and I'd definitely go to her - (if I ever got a manicure)


 COMMENT 360332 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 06:51 PM

I worked as a waitress for years, and I was really good at it. I knew repeat customers by name, remembered their previous orders, and preferences, and took any sized order without pen or paper correctly, then checked for errors from the kitchen to be sure my customers never had to send something back for being wrong. At that time, I averaged about 20% in tips, and had to claim 8% with the government, tip out the bartender, busboys, and I even tipped the cooks (my food came out faster that way). I ended up with about 1/2 of the tips I had earned...and it was glorious to have cash money every night. My salary was 3.35 an hour....I made way more than that in the tips. However, I knew that I would not be able to live off that with a family, so I got other skills. Even being an amazing waitress..there is no way to live off it, and to complain about tips misses the problem. Pick a higher paying profession.


 COMMENT 360343 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 07:40 PM

Please, unless you are broke leave at least a 20% tip ALWAYS for all services


 COMMENT 360356 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-04 08:28 PM

Service usually sucks in SB, so I just tip big if the waitress is cute.


 COMMENT 360823 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-06 03:28 PM

If you pay with a credit card, do not add the tip onto that, many owners will not pass on the tip to their employee.


 COMMENT 360825 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-06 03:33 PM

Pretty much every reputable restaurant will pass along tips to their staff. It's the chain places and crooked managers that won't pass it on. But they are in the minority.

Adding a tip onto a credit card in 95% of places you dine is perfectly safe.


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