Do I Tip My Driver? Yes!
This is a guide. It is not implying a moral obligation to tip. That said, if you are using a service that is widely-known to be a tipped service, such as restaurants, bars, hair salons, party buses etc., then I believe there is a moral obligation to tip for good service. Here is why - a waiter at a restaurant provides you service with the expectation of being compensated a minimum of 15% for quality service. If you don't intend to tip, then you should tell the waiter up front so that he can decide whether or not to provide you the service.
Not knowing the proper tip or gratuity for a service can be very unsettling. The rest of your party might not know it, but inside you may feel highly stressed as you walk up to the Driver. The challenge is not everyday situations, but when you are taken out of your normal environment. For example, if you use a party bus only occasionally, tipping etiquette can be a real mystery.
Unsure how tipping works? Here are a few helpful hints to keep in mind when booking your next event!
Tipping an individual for any rendered service meant to show appreciation. Before, it was an optional bonus allotted at the judgment of the individual paying for the service. Tipping, in recent years, has been a mandatory obligation, regardless of the service that has been rendered.
Gratuities are often confusing when planning a night out -- It can cause a lot of questions and everyone asks, "How much should I tip my driver?"
We recommend a starting tip of %10-%15. This is a general starting point and by no means an exact number. You should adjust it up and down based on your own personal experience.
We do ask that you keep in mind that drivers rely on tips as driving is their only income and runs may have a day or week between them for which your driver doesn't get paid. Your driver also gives you an insight into the Vancouver night life and off-the-beaten-path sites -- so you're also showing appreciation for their knowledge.
When Do I Tip My Driver?
Tipping is usually done at the end of the tour when your driver drops you at the destination and says his goodbyes. Typically everyone puts their money together and one person gives it to the driver at the very end. If someone wants to give extra, they can always extend that personally to the driver.
When getting a limo or party bus tipping the driver would depend on a number of factors. Some companies would have a mandatory tip of 15-20% included in the price of the rental, even if you have hired the bus for a short period of time, we do not. We feel this is a transaction between the guest and the staff
Usually, short-term party bus rentals are used by teenagers and young adults who are going out to a Grad night, school dance, or concerts. This age group would not even think of tipping the driver for a good service rendered. This is the reason a mandatory tip of 15 to 20% is built into the price of the other companies, again we do not add in tip and we hope are customers are more tip savvy.
How can I calculate my tip?
To determine the tip the general guideline is 20% for excellent service, 15% for solid service, and 10% for bad service. On average, people tip 18%.
Calculating the tip. Now that you know what percentage you want to pay, it's time to actually crunch the numbers.
An easy way to figure a 20% tip is to move the decimal point of the cost to find 10%, and then double it. For example, if the bill is $620.00, 10% would be $62.00, and a 20% tip would be $124.00. For 15%, you would halve the 10% and add it to the original 10%.
For $620.00 again, that would be $62.00 + $31.00 = $93.00 or $90.00
Another way to figure out the tip is to remember:
10% = $1 for every $10,
15% = $1.50 for every $10
20% = $2 for every $10.
With proper tipping etiquette, the percentages of your tips do not change because of the cost of the service. Let's take a hair salon, for example. Of course, you can always tip on the lower end of 10-20%. But if you are going to go to a more expensive salon, then it is assumed that you can afford $120 plus tip. If it is really a big crunch for you, then I would recommend going less often or finding a salon that is more within your budget.
There's no shame in figuring out that $132-144 is a bit much for hair.
If you used any coupons or discounts, calculate the tip based on how much you would've paid without it. Otherwise, you're punishing the driver for management's efforts to bring you in. For example, if you have a $100 off, you may only have had to pay for part of the service, but the driver still did the full amount of work.
And remember Have you had a hard day at school or at work? Do you feel a little grumpy? Were you sharp with someone? Well, guess what! People in service industries don't always have great days either. Show them a little mercy and assume the best about them. Maybe your driver is a little absent-minded because his mother is sick in the hospital.
Give feedback to management or directly to the driver instead of, or in addition to, leaving a low tip. Many customers leave poor tips regardless of service, so simply doing so may not convey the message intended. A low tip is no guarantee that service will improve in the future because staff may not know what made you unhappy or who was responsible.
Cash is always best.
Pay with cash if you can. If you pay with credit card, the driver might have to wait a week or two in order to pocket that money, whereas cash can be taken home sooner. If you want to reward good service, it's more motivating to help the staff take home their hard-earned tips sooner rather than later.
I hope this little tutorial helps you understand tipping and eases any frustration you may of had.