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To tip, or not? How much to give and when

HOUSTON – From haircuts to pizza delivery, knowing when and what to tip used to be a lot easier. Now there are a bevy of services to make our lives easier, like grocery delivery, Uber Eats and curbside pickup. 

Consumer expert Amy Davis is getting to the bottom of when to tip and when to just say, "Thank you." 

In the last five years, services and apps providing services have exploded. We pay a premium for some of the apps, so are we expected to pay more on top of that to tip employees?

Services like Kroger's Click List and HEB's Curbside Pick-up let you shop from home and pick up your groceries without ever getting out of your car. The added convenience costs you $4.95. Etiquette expert Dianne Gottsman said the extra $5 you pay for the service should have no bearing on whether you leave a tip. 

"Often times we confuse a service charge or a service fee with gratuity, and those are two different things," she said.

Even though the convenient services are relatively new, the basic premise of tipping is not. 

"The nature of why we tip remains the same," Gottsman said. "It's showing respect for the person behind the service." 

What about takeout when you just pick up your food from a restaurant? 

"If they're just bagging up something and handing it to you, if you want to leave them $3, it's really up to you and your discretion," Gottsman said. Ideally, any tip should reflect how much effort the server put into your order. 

Gottsman said when you're picking up takeout, you should also remember that servers sometimes put your takeout order together and carry it out to your car. That is time they are taking away from their tables and the opportunity to get more tips. 

When in doubt about whether you should tip, check the company's website. 

Uber Eats says tipping is optional.  

Shipt grocery delivery says the same, but it lets you know that if you do tip in cash or through the app, 100% of your tip goes to your personal shopper. 

None of the grocery pickup services in our area, Kroger Clicklist, HEB Curbside or Walmart Grocery pickup allow their employees to accept tips. Save your cash for service providers who expect it, like your hairstylist. The standard tip at a salon should be 15 to 20 percent of your final bill.

At a hotel, leave $3 to $5 in your room for housekeeping.