When You Don't Need to Tip

Farnoosh Torabi

Tipping for good service is important, but make sure you don’t get duped. For some, this could happen while staying at a hotel or eating out at a restaurant — and the mistake is surprisingly common.

Think back to the last time you ordered room service. Did you offer a tip on top of your total?

If so, you probably gave a very generous 30% to 40% tip. That’s because in many hotels an automatic base gratuity of 18% to 20% is often included with room service — even if there's a space to add it on the bill. You need to read your final check very closely, and in the case where gratuity is included, there’s no need to pay an additional amount.

Also see: 3 Financial #Fails

The same goes for when you dine out with a large party. There's no need to tip since the restaurant has probably already included a gratuity. Again, check your bill.

The Good Food Guide ran a survey and found that about one in four diners double-tip, likely by accident. In fact, one reason cited for this common mistake was a credit card slip or the machine “being left open for a tip despite a service charge having already been added.”

Also see: Signs You Suffer From a Financial Disorder

Speaking of large parties, when hosting a wedding or reception, etiquette experts at the Emily Post Institute tell us there’s no need to give a tip to the service staff if they’re already charging a “service” fee in the 20% range. That said, if the serving staff went above and beyond the call of duty, then a tip would be appropriate. But only the host of the event should provide that tip.

Ever pay TWO tips by accident? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #finfit.

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