Holiday Tipping Guide: How Much To Give....


‘Tis the season for New Yorkers to unfurl their wallets in the spirit of giving—be it to donate or buy gifts for their loved ones—and while they may be sure-footed in that spending, many stumble when it comes to how much to tip their building’s staff.

While the holidays are still a ways off, most building attendants prefer to receive any niceties from residents in early December—so, basically now—so let’s get down to it.

A handy annual guide based on a memo sent out by Two Trees Management back in 2005 offers advice on how to dole out the dollars—original here, and years worth of Curbed tipping advice over here—but a memo that’s now over a decade old may be a less realistic guide for giving in New York City today.

Good thing Brick Underground has rolled out its comprehensive annual tipping guide that addresses the nuances of holiday tipping in this day and age.

The long and short of it: no, tipping isn’t a necessity, but after this doozy of a year it’s a meaningful way to show one’s appreciation for those that make day-to-day living a little bit easier. How much appreciation should be shown to staff depends on the size of the building, the quality of service, how long a staff member has been with the building, and whether the tipper owns or rents, among other personal factors like financial ability.

Here’s a basic guideline per Brick Underground:

  • Super, resident manager: $75-$175 on average (broad range: $50-$500)
  • Doorman and/or concierge: $25-$150 on average (broad range: $10-$1,000)
  • Porters, handyman, and maintenance staff: $20-$30 on average (broad range: $10-$75)
  • Garage attendant: $25-$75 on average (broad range $15-$100)

In 2016, Brick Underground polled more than 2,800 New Yorkers and found that majority of owners in doorman buildings set aside between about $250 and $500 for building staff, with majority of owners in non-doorman buildings allotting less than $250 for staffers. At that, two percent of owners in doorman building and nine percent of owners in non-doorman building tipped nothing. (Don’t be that guy.)