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Etiquette Question: Tipping the Host/Hostess?

Sammy568 | Feb 23, 201509:45 PM

I recently went with my wife to Spruce, an upscale French-American fine dining restaurant in San Francisco for an anniversary dinner. When we entered, the hostess offered to take my wife's coat and hang it up for her. The question is this: Is it proper to tip the host/hostess when leaving the restaurant and getting the coat back from the host/hostess?

I've never tipped the host/hostess in the past, thinking that a small tip would be awkward, especially when dealing with the host/hostess of a high-class fine dining restaurant, but a co-worker said that I should when we went together to a restaurant in Chicago. When, as a result, I tipped the hostess $5 at the fine dining restaurant for the anniversary dinner, my wife said that the hostess seemed a bit surprised and didn't seem to be expecting a tip.

So what does everybody think? In my reading of tip advice on the internet, the consensus seems to be that the host/hostess should only be tipped for "big" favors (i.e., getting a special table), and not for "small" items such as doing a coat check.

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