Tipping in New York

By Jessica Ozar; Updated June 08, 2017

NYC tipping etiquette: When, how and how much

Tipping in New York

One of the most confusing things to figure out before traveling is how much to budget for tips. Most places have their own standards, and some even reject tipping as a practice. When visiting New York City, travelers encounter many people they will need to tip. Here's a guide to help visitors know how much to tip!

Tipping used to be a perk for good service, but New York now allows employers to pay a lower minimum wage that combines with tips to meet the minimum wage requirement. This means that servers at restaurants and hospitality staff frequently rely on tips as a steady source of income.

Helpful tips

Before arrival, be sure to bring small bills in cash along. While visitors paying by credit card can easily add gratuity, some services may be cash only or expect tips in cash, such as doormen and housekeeping. The smaller bills will be useful without needing to find a place to break a $20.

Don't forget to read over your bills at restaurants and hotels before adding tips. Businesses often add gratuity automatically to make up for the variation in tipping.


Add 15-20 percent of the pre-tax amount for servers.


Add either 15-20 percent for the total bill or $1-$2 per round. It's appropriate to add $0.50 per non-alcoholic drink and $1 per alcoholic drink.


Room service usually includes 15 percent, but if it is not already on the bill, be sure to add it. It is generally accepted that visitors will tip $1 to the doorman when hailing a cab and $1 per bag when assisting with luggage. Bellhops receive the same tip at $1 per bag. Leave $1-5 per night for housekeeping on the bedside table with a note before checking out. When the concierge provides helpful assistance, it is customary to leave $5 if they make reservations or $10 if they make reservations for popular restaurants or tickets for popular shows. No tip is needed when they provide directions or suggestions.

Taxi drivers

Provide 15-20 percent of the total fare. Add $1-$2 per bag if they assist with luggage. If the ride share app does not include a request for tips, be sure to add 15-20 percent of the fare in cash.

Beauty services

Include 15-20% of the total cost for hairdressers, manicurists, barbers, and other spa services.

Food delivery

Add at least 10 percent or a minimum of $2. Some may expect 15-20 percent if the location is particularly difficult to access.

Tipping does not have to be difficult, and the hotel concierge can assist with any questions regarding gratuity while in the city.

About the Author

Jessica Ozar