Holiday Tipping Guide & Party Etiquette for Hosts and Guests

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal)  No matter if you’re hosting a party or going to one, proper etiquette goes a long way to the way you’re remembered and tipping goes a long way to ensuring constant, quality service.  Certified Etiquette Expert Karen Thomas, from gave us a guide.

Tips for Party Hosts

  • Host not obligated to use or put out any gifts brought by guests
  • Host should not attempt to clean up or clear plates while guests still there
  • Set phones to vibrate
  • Seating – do not move place cards if set
  • Gentlemen stand behind chairs until women are seated
  • If late guests – acceptable to wait about 15 minutes – no more then begin
  • If last guests – serve them from where you are – not from beginning

Tips for a Cocktail Party

  • Greet each guest at door
  • Introduce to others if new
  • Offer drink 1st thing
  • Thank host upon leaving
  • Send thank you note or gift (flowers) day after

Tipping Tips:

  • Waiter/waitress: 15% of bill (excl. tax) for adequate service; 20% for very good service; no less than 10% for poor service
  • Headwaiter/captain: often gets a cut of table server’s tip; so tip your server extra to reward captain, or tip captain separately
  • Sommelier, or wine steward: 15% of cost of the bottle
  • Bartender: 15% to 20% of the tab, with a minimum of 50 cents per soft drink, $1 per alcoholic drink
  • Coatroom attendant: $1 per coat
  • Parking valet or garage attendant: $2 to bring your car to you
  • Washroom attendant: 50 cents to $1
  • Food delivery person:* 10% of the bill (excl. tax), at least $1 for bills up to $10. Should tip 15%-20% for a difficult delivery.
  • Grocery loader: Check with store policy if tips are accepted. If so, $1 for bringing bags to car; $1.50 to $3 if you have more than 3 bags.
  • Barber: 15% to 20%, minimum $1, for a haircut. For other services (shampoo, shave or manicure) tip $1 to $2 to service provider.
  • Hairdresser: 15% to 20%. (It is now acceptable to tip owner, unless he or she says otherwise.)
  • Shampoo person: $2
  • Manicurist: 15%
  • Spa service (e.g., massage): 15% to 20%. If service is provided by owner, no tip.
  • Staff at coffee/food retailers with tip jars: No tip required. It’s completely optional.

Traditional displays of gratitude:

  • A simple verbal thank you
  • A written note for a gift, help, sharing time, hospitality, and invitations
  • Flowers
  • Chocolates
  • Telephone call or e- mail
  • Simple gift
  • Gift of time: babysitting, car wash

Thank you notes:

  • They should be hand written within 24 hours.
  • 3-5 sentences are fine.
  • Don’t begin: Thank you for the gift. Start with some news, how much you enjoyed the gift etc.
  • Mention the gift by name, how you will spend the money or how the gift will be used.
  • A telephone invitation can be answered with a telephone thank you.
  • A written invitation requires a written thank you note.

Cultural Gratitude Differences

• Do not open gifts in front of the giver.
• Use light coloured paper to wrap.
• Present gift with both hands.

• Yellow flowers signify death.
• Don’t give knives: it means the severing of friendship.
• Don’t give a clock. It is a reminder that time is passing.
• Refuse a gift 3 times, and then accept reluctantly.
• Avoid white paper.
• In business, a gift is given to the organization not to the individual.

Uber Drivers
UBER Your Uber fare includes a 20% tip when you take UberTAXI, a partnership between Uber and existing taxi services. But if you’re riding in an UberX, UberBlack, or UberSUV vehicle, there’s no way to include a tip for your driver.

Golf Courses and Outings
Golf Courses the standard amounts are $2 to $3 for valet parking,
$2 to $3 for bag drop
$2 to $3 for cart return.
beverage cart while playing, tip $1 to $2 per person
Caddie – 20% of fee charged by course