Do You Tip Coat Check Staff at Restaurants and How Much

Written by Jim Belt in Restaurant

When dining out or attending an event, you may encounter a coat check service. Understanding how much to tip the staff in charge of keeping your belongings safe is a key part of etiquette. This guide explains if and how much to tip coat check staff at restaurants.

For coat check services at a restaurant, it is customary to tip $1 to $2 per coat, with the higher end or a bit more for upscale venues or during particularly busy times.

Tipping Customs

Tippping is customary $ 2 $ 1 - $ 2


  • Tipping the coat check person is a customary practice to show appreciation.
  • The standard tip can vary, but considering the service's value is important.
  • A small tip reflects your recognition of the coat check staff's effort and care.

Coat Check Considerations

When you're dining out and use the service of a coat check, it's considerate to thank your coat check attendant with a gratuity for their service. The norm involves a small cash tip handed to them when retrieving your coat.

Determining How Much to Tip

Average Service: For typical coat check service, a tip equivalent to $1 to $3 is customary and reflects appreciation for the attendant's care of your belongings. If you experience exceptional service, consider tipping toward the higher end of this range.

Factors: Several factors can influence the tip amount. These include whether the coat check service was complimentary or had a fee, the level of attention given to your coat, and the personal interaction you had with the attendant.

Reading the Situation

Busy Nights: On crowded nights, your coat check attendant might be managing a large volume of coats and accessories. Acknowledging their hard work with a slightly higher tip could be a kind gesture.

Unique Services: If your attendant provided additional assistance, such as helping with a lost ticket or quickly retrieving your coat, recognizing their extra effort reflects positively on the service you received.

Remember, tipping reflects your satisfaction with the coat check service and is a direct way to thank your attendant. Your acknowledgment of their effort can make their job more rewarding.

Calculating Your Tip

When tipping the coat check at a restaurant, it's generally expected that a small cash gratuity is appropriate. Proper etiquette suggests a standard tip for a coat check service, usually around $2 per item.

Quick Tip Calculation Methods

For a straightforward method, a $2 per coat is a good starting point. If you're carrying more items like bags or an umbrella, consider adding an extra dollar for each. Don't worry if you only have a $20 bill; rounding up is common, and the attendant can provide change.

Tipping Basics

When attending establishments where service is provided, tipping is a financial way to express your appreciation for the service given. Now, let’s get into the essentials of tipping the coat check person at a restaurant.

Understanding Tipping Etiquette

In the U.S., tipping is a customary way to acknowledge service workers who earn a minimum wage. For coat check attendants at restaurants, your tip is not just a gesture of thanks but also a supplement to their income. It's appreciated when you recognize their service by offering a gratuity.

Factors Influencing Tip Size

The tip you decide to give can be influenced by several factors: the quality of service received, the number of items you've checked, and even the venue itself. For a standard coat check, a tip of $2 is a nice, friendly gesture. In scenarios with multiple items or exceptional service, consider a larger tip.

Tip Amounts for Various Services

Different service positions often come with different tipping expectations. Here's a quick guide to help you navigate:

Service Position Suggested Tip Amount
Servers 15-20% of the pre-tax bill
Bartenders $1-2 per drink or 15-20% of the tab
Salon Services 15-20% of the bill
Valet $2-5 upon car return
Hotel Housekeeping $2-5 per night

Remember, if you experience poor service, tipping is still customary, but the amount may reflect your dissatisfaction.

Tipping at Restaurants

When dining out, it's important to understand the specific tipping standards for various roles within the restaurant. This section will guide you on the appropriate amounts and methods to tip effectively.

Servers and Bartenders

Your servers and bartenders are the cornerstone of your dining experience. For servers, it's customary to tip between 15% and 20% of the pre-tax bill for good service. Exceptional service might warrant a tip above 20%. At the bar, if you're ordering drinks, a good rule of thumb is to tip $1 to $2 per drink or 15% to 20% of the total bar tab.

Situations with Mandatory Gratuities

In some dining scenarios, gratuities are automatically added to your bill. This is common in large group dining or at high-end restaurants. Mandatory gratuities are typically around 18% to 20%. Always check your bill to see if this is included to avoid double-tipping.

Tipping on Tax and Group Dining

When calculating your tip, you should base it on the pre-tax amount of your bill. In group dining situations, while the gratuity may be included, if it's not, it's considerate to compile a single tip from all diners to give to the server. This simplifies the process and ensures the server is fairly compensated.

Cash Versus Card Tips

There's a debate on whether cash or credit card tips are better for servers. Some prefer cash tips for immediate access to funds without having to wait for card transactions to process. However, tipping on your card is perfectly acceptable and may be more convenient for you. If you can, ask your server or the person at the coat check what they prefer.

Modern Tipping Practices

When visiting a restaurant, you may encounter a coat check service. Understanding the modern ways to tip for this service ensures you show appreciation appropriately.

Digital Tipping Methods

Nowadays, you're not limited to cash when tipping the coat check staff at a restaurant. If you find yourself without cash, digital payment platforms like Venmo offer a convenient alternative. Some establishments may even have their own credit card system set up for tips, or an ATM on-site, allowing you to quickly withdraw cash for tipping.

Service Apps and Tipping

For food delivery or when using rideshare services like Uber or Lyft, tipping has become streamlined through their respective apps. After your meal arrives or your ride ends, the app prompts you to add a tip—no cash necessary. This app-based tipping method is extending to other services, including coat check. Check if the restaurant's coat check service is integrated with any delivery apps that might facilitate a digital tip.

The Cultural Context of Tipping

When you hand your coat to an attendant at a restaurant, you're participating in a ritual that is deeply rooted in the service culture of the United States. Let's explore how this practice compares at home and abroad.

Tipping in the United States

In the U.S., tipping is more than just a reward for service; it's an expected social norm. Service industry workers, including coat check attendants, often rely on tips as a significant part of their income. Many U.S. adults consider tipping as a reflection of the quality of service. For a coat check, it's common to tip anywhere between $1 to $5 per item, depending on factors like the venue and the level of service you received. It's seen as a way to show appreciation and to ensure that those who assist you are compensated for their efforts.

International Tipping Norms

Outside the United States, tipping customs can vary greatly. In some cultures, offering a tip is customary, while in others, it can be seen as rude or unnecessary. For instance, service staff in countries such as Japan or South Korea might not expect a tip. Conversely, in European countries, while not always expected, small tips are appreciated for coat check services. When you're traveling, it pays to know the local customs to avoid any tipping faux pas.

Published: 23-01-2024

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