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How much do you tip coat check attendants at restaurants?

peter j Jan 20, 2012 12:13 PM

I usually tip $2 per item, but my friend says that's too generous. What do you think?

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  1. caseyjo RE: peter j Jan 20, 2012 12:30 PM

    I do $2 for my coat, but not another $2 if I have a scarf, etc. I don't think I'd go over $3.

    1. mucho gordo RE: peter j Jan 20, 2012 12:52 PM

      Where do you people go that has a coat check room??? I've lived 70+ years and have never seen one except in the movies.

      10 Replies
      1. re: mucho gordo
        caseyjo RE: mucho gordo Jan 20, 2012 01:07 PM

        I didn't know they existed until I moved to Chicago. I tend to use them most often at concert venues, but they're also at some restaurants. They also have them at museums and other places where people may be moving around a lot.

        1. re: caseyjo
          mucho gordo RE: caseyjo Jan 20, 2012 01:23 PM

          I can understand that Chicago and N.Y. would have them. Harsh winters call for heavy coats that take up too much space at the table.

          1. re: mucho gordo
            latindancer RE: mucho gordo May 1, 2012 04:28 PM

            Even though the winters in LA are nothing like the winters in Chicago or NY...

            We still have 'cold' days...imo anything under 65 degrees where an extra layer of clothing is needed. Every decent restaurant in LA, that I know of, has some sort of coat check...even if the host has to find somewhere to put it.. The host/hostess is promptly tipped.

        2. re: mucho gordo
          Bill Hunt RE: mucho gordo Jan 24, 2012 08:40 PM

          Wow, almost everywhere that we dine, or at all events, even in Phoenix, AZ, there are coat-check areas.

          Where do you live?


          1. re: Bill Hunt
            mucho gordo RE: Bill Hunt Jan 25, 2012 11:39 AM

            I'm in the L.A. aea.

            1. re: mucho gordo
              Bill Hunt RE: mucho gordo Jan 25, 2012 06:47 PM

              I am surprised that LA-Area restaurants do not have some sort of "coat-check," but then, like AZ, it would be seasonal, and for many months, one would likely have nothing to check.



              1. re: mucho gordo
                ipsedixit RE: mucho gordo Jan 25, 2012 08:13 PM

                Nick and Stef's, Patina, Cafe Pinot, Cicada, The Royce, Peninsula, Spago, Providence, etc. all have coat checks.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  latindancer RE: ipsedixit May 1, 2012 09:58 PM

                  Of course....

                  All the restaurants you've mentioned and then many, many more.

                  1. re: latindancer
                    josephnl RE: latindancer May 2, 2012 08:04 AM

                    Absolutely! Nevertheless, these are the exceptions. By far, the very great majority of restaurants in southern CA do not have a coat check facility. That said, nost fine restaurants will either have one, or will certainly arrange to hold one's coat while dining.

              2. re: Bill Hunt
                josephnl RE: Bill Hunt May 1, 2012 06:21 PM

                Like Mucho Gordo, I too am from southern CA. Many venues have coat check facilities (Walt Disney Hall, for example), nevertheless most restaurants do not. Certainly, any fine restaurant in L.A. will hold your coat for you. Unlike NYC, Chicago or DC for example, coat checks at the point of restaurant entry are pretty rare in southern CA.

            2. bagelman01 RE: peter j Jan 20, 2012 01:11 PM

              I agree with $2 for a coat, but only $1 for an unbrella or hat, maximum of $5 for whatever my wife and I have (example, 2 coats, hat and unbrella).

              4 Replies
              1. re: bagelman01
                BrettLove RE: bagelman01 Jan 20, 2012 01:44 PM

                2nd Bagelman; $2 not too generous, and $5 for 2 people's "stuff", inclusively, sounds about right. If it was a really nice place, in the city, and I planned on returning, I might just go with a $5 min. tip - singles don't seem to have the same "whip appeal" these days!

                1. re: BrettLove
                  bagelman01 RE: BrettLove Jan 20, 2012 06:14 PM

                  One other determining factor is 'how many claim checks was I given? If the coat check person hangs two garments on one hanger I might not be as generous as if each is on ots own hanger and I get a stub for each.

                  1. re: BrettLove
                    bobbert RE: BrettLove Jan 21, 2012 12:04 PM

                    "singles don't seem to have the same "whip appeal" these days!"

                    Yeah, even strip clubs use $2 bills these days as a minimum. At least that's what I've been told.

                    1. re: bobbert
                      Bill Hunt RE: bobbert Jan 24, 2012 08:43 PM

                      Yes, but does that include the "whip," or do you pay extra?????


                2. viperlush RE: peter j Jan 20, 2012 06:26 PM

                  Since we rarely have cash we'll tip what we have in dollars up to $5. Most places here just have coat racks to hang up coats.

                  1. g
                    Georgia Strait RE: peter j Jan 20, 2012 07:09 PM

                    to answer the question above --- coat checks really do exist --- last time i went, the popular steak place in Toronto called Barbarians (spell?) (near Yonge on Elm) has a staffed coat check - -- and the mountain resorts have coat checks, like at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge during certain functions / and winter -- for obvious reasons.

                    2 dollars is what i am aware of - agree with the posters above.

                    1. l
                      LeoLioness RE: peter j Jan 21, 2012 10:03 AM

                      Usually $2 per coat.

                      1. u
                        UTgal RE: peter j Jan 23, 2012 08:37 AM

                        One or two bucks per coat.

                        1. b
                          beevod RE: peter j Jan 23, 2012 08:39 AM

                          Always $3.00. A fiver if she's great-looking.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: beevod
                            Bill Hunt RE: beevod Jan 24, 2012 08:50 PM

                            Or, she's efficient, and remember my name, even after 4 hours of dining.


                          2. Monica RE: peter j Jan 23, 2012 08:50 AM

                            I live in NYC and almost all decent restaurants have coat check rooms.
                            I usually tip $2...but I've seen some guys(you know those high profile lawyers and wall street types) giving $5-$10.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Monica
                              Bill Hunt RE: Monica Jan 24, 2012 08:51 PM

                              US $ 5, I can see, but US $ 10 is pushing it a bit - however, I am not from Wall St., so what do I know?


                            2. Motosport RE: peter j Jan 23, 2012 09:00 AM

                              Nougatine (NYC) Saturday night. Two coats $5.

                              1. p
                                peter j RE: peter j Jan 23, 2012 09:07 AM

                                Wow I appreciate all the replies. The $2 bill/strip club history lesson was really interesting,

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: peter j
                                  Bill Hunt RE: peter j Jan 24, 2012 08:52 PM

                                  Yeah, I did not know about that one either, and did not realize that the "whip" would be extra. Hey, a "son of the Old South," has a lot to learn about the "big city."


                                2. Bill Hunt RE: peter j Jan 24, 2012 08:39 PM

                                  From Phoenix, I do the same - US$ 2 per item. That is true for restaurants, or for events. In the UK, where we spend a great deal of time, it's £ 1 per item. Now, if the worker is staying late (we are slow diners), I will usually tip anywhere between 1/2 and that amount, upon retrieval of the items.

                                  Just me,


                                  1. h
                                    hsk RE: peter j Jan 24, 2012 08:46 PM

                                    I think $2 per item is fine, it's what I usually tip (but I only ever have coats, never umbrellas, hats, etc. so I don't know if I would tip extra for them).

                                    1. ipsedixit RE: peter j Jan 24, 2012 09:02 PM

                                      It depends ...

                                      ... on the type of coat I'm checking.

                                      ... whether I have to ask for it to be checked, or whether it is offered without my asking.

                                      ... and whether it is the server doing the checking, or whether it is the maître d, if the latter than maybe a $1 or 2; if the former probably nothing.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        hsk RE: ipsedixit Jan 24, 2012 09:57 PM

                                        OP asked what you tip attendants. I never tip server or maître d' for hanging up my coat, additional to what I tipped for the meal.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          jgg13 RE: ipsedixit Jan 26, 2012 03:02 PM

                                          What is the effect if they offer w/o you asking?

                                          I ask because I was at a place recently that did that, the hostess offered the moment we walked in the door. After our meal I tried to hand her some money and not only did she turn it down she actually looked a little offended. I'm going back there in a few weeks and would rather not re-offend but would also rather not offend by not tipping if the person working there that night happens to have a different attitude.

                                          1. re: jgg13
                                            Monica RE: jgg13 Jan 27, 2012 06:32 AM

                                            geez, saying no to money? that's new...never seen or heard of it.

                                            1. re: Monica
                                              jgg13 RE: Monica Jan 27, 2012 01:42 PM

                                              Me neither, but it's appreciated. In this day and age of everyone and their brother feeling like they deserve a tip, it was refreshing.

                                            2. re: jgg13
                                              ipsedixit RE: jgg13 Jan 27, 2012 10:54 AM

                                              You don't tip if it is offered.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                jgg13 RE: ipsedixit Jan 27, 2012 01:42 PM

                                                I always have but never really thought about it until the incident I mentioned above. Outside of htat one time I've never had it turned down, but I guess that's not too surprising :)

                                                1. re: jgg13
                                                  ipsedixit RE: jgg13 Jan 27, 2012 08:24 PM

                                                  Think of it as a sartorial "amuse bouche".

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    BrettLove RE: ipsedixit Jan 28, 2012 03:32 AM

                                                    Forgive me if my tone sounds at all off base, but that's like not tipping the bellhop because he offered (or the concierge offered for him) to carry your bags or hail a cab. While I'm inclined to perhaps agree that tipping the maitre'd for fetching your coat might be over the top, it's not the coatcheck person's fault if someone is bringing the fact that the coatcheck exists in the first place to guests' attention. I, for one, generally wouldn't even ask about checking my coat unless it was offered (or if the [attended] coatcheck room was flagrantly obvious on the way in - which it often isn't). I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think one is obliged to check one's coat if asked. I will occasionally decline to check mine if I feel like I'm being hustled into making money for the coatcheck person (which, I think is sorta' your angle, no?).

                                          2. h
                                            Harters RE: peter j Jan 28, 2012 04:58 AM

                                            Never seen a coat check at a restaurant in Europe or north America.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: Harters
                                              Bill Hunt RE: Harters May 6, 2012 07:59 PM


                                              I have encountered many, in both Europe/UK and all around the US.

                                              Maybe the season, or the exact location?


                                              1. re: Harters
                                                josephnl RE: Harters May 6, 2012 10:13 PM

                                                Have you ever dined out at a nice restaurant in New York City, Boston, Chicago, DC, or any other cold location in the US (or Europe) in the winter? If so, you just weren't looking for one...they are all over!!!

                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                  rockandroller1 RE: josephnl May 8, 2012 06:57 AM

                                                  I've never seen anything I would think of as coat check at any restaurants I've been to in Cleveland. Maybe one place I've dined the hostess offered to take my coat when I was seated (which I suppose is the same thing, and I declined), but there's no visible "coat check" room/person.

                                                  1. re: rockandroller1
                                                    Bill Hunt RE: rockandroller1 May 14, 2012 08:12 PM

                                                    Probably has something to do with the venue?


                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                      rockandroller1 RE: Bill Hunt May 15, 2012 06:13 AM

                                                      I dunno, I've been to all types of restaurants here. White tablecloth/crumbing places and everything in between down to dive bar. Have just never seen it. I'm pretty well traveled in our restaurant scene here.

                                                      1. re: rockandroller1
                                                        Bill Hunt RE: rockandroller1 May 15, 2012 07:25 PM


                                                        I see it all over the world, and especially when the weather turns a bit bad. Guess that it is just different venues?


                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                          rockandroller1 RE: Bill Hunt May 16, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                          I think so. Or perhaps the fact that I mostly go to more downscale places.

                                                          1. re: rockandroller1
                                                            Bill Hunt RE: rockandroller1 May 16, 2012 06:52 PM

                                                            Not sure that is the difference. I think that it's just a difference in the venues.

                                                            Also, some restaurants might just not have "hat/coat check," so some might not see it.


                                              2. j
                                                josephnl RE: peter j May 1, 2012 03:12 PM

                                                $2 for one person, $5 for two. Perhaps a buck more if the attendant comes out and helps in putting on the coat(s).

                                                1. z
                                                  ZPrice RE: peter j May 2, 2012 08:25 AM

                                                  Most museums I've been to have a mandatory coat check for bags (backpacks). I must be cheap because I tip $2 for everything we check (could be two coats in winter plus a backpack or just a backpack in summer).

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: ZPrice
                                                    josephnl RE: ZPrice May 2, 2012 10:20 AM

                                                    I don't think you're cheap. When I said what I tip, I was referring to checking coats at a nice restaurant.

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