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The unofficial rules of tipping

If seeing a tip jar stresses you out, or you're confused about when and how much to tip, don't worry. Here are some guidelines to follow.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Does seeing a tip jar stress you out? If you're confused about when to tip, who to tip and how much, don't worry, you aren't alone. 

With payments mostly being done electronically now, there's a good chance you'll be asked to tip no matter where you are. Whether you're at Starbucks, ordering something on DoorDash or picking up some take-out, it's important to know when you should give and when it's OK to skip on tipping. 

While there aren't any "official" rules for tipping, one of the most famous names in etiquette, Emily Post, has some guidelines for everyone. 

If you’re at a sit-down restaurant, the recommendation is to tip your server 15-20% of the pre-tax total bill. So if you spend $50, Post recommends tipping anywhere from $7.50 to $10, although you can always tip more if you feel compelled. 

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to WCNC Charlotte by emailing money@wcnc.com.

If you're picking up take-out food curbside, a 10% tip is customary these days. However, if you go inside, Post says there's no obligation to tip the workers. But if you have a complicated or large order, she recommends a 10% tip for the staff. 

When it comes to food delivery, the guideline is to tip between 10 and 15%.

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As far as standard tipping practices at places like coffee bars and sandwich shops with a traditional tip jar, Post says there is no obligation to tip, but if you're a regular customer or if you receive extra service, it's good to occasionally tip the workers. 

Post's most important guideline won' cost you anything. Just remember to always be respectful to those who serve you. Kindness can go a very long way. 

Contact Carolyn Bruck at cbruck@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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