At Online Optimism, we pride ourselves on staying optimistic and helping out our community. We volunteer and spread positivity, but we also love to recognize those who provide excellent service. Our tourism and hospitality industry is not only world renowned in our beloved city, it is also our largest specialized traded cluster, employing over 15,000 individuals. Unfortunately, The Data Center reports that annual wages in the industry only average $34,220 after tipping, which is not sufficient to support a family in our city. Tipping in New Orleans is not just appreciated, it’s necessary to help the industry that people from all over the world come to admire and enjoy. We’ve put together a little guide about tipping in New Orleans that, although it doesn’t cover absolutely all the people you should tip, hopefully answers some of your most pressing questions and helps you tip appropriately.
Who to Tip in New Orleans
Servers & Bartenders
One of the best parts about our city is the food. From local joints to five-star restaurants, New Orleans has some of the best cuisine in the whole world. Part of what makes the food so great is the love put into the service around it. Definitely don’t forget to tip your waiter or waitress when dining out—at least 20 percent. For above-and-beyond service, 25 percent is a nice gesture. It’s also always appreciated to tip the same amount on drinks at the bar, or if there’s only a tip bucket, leave whatever cash you can.
Take-Out Food Chefs & Food Delivery Workers
Postmates, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and so many other food delivery services have come to the Big Easy! All these food delivery services have made it easy to eat from your favorite NOLA restaurants in the convenience of your home, Airbnb, office, and more! These drivers really deserve a tip for getting your order fresh out of the kitchen and into your hands. Even though it’s optional, in New Orleans, it’s generally expected. Tip anywhere from 15 to 20 percent.
Walking Tour Guides
New Orleans is so rich in history, and it has done an amazing job of preserving many of its gems. Walking tours are one of the best ways to learn about it all. First, you get really close to historical sites. Second, you get some of the most knowledgeable tour guides in the city! Some of the walking tours are pay-what-you-like, and others that charge ticket prices are reasonable. At Online Optimism, we like to hand over a $5-per-person tip after cost of ticket.
When down in the French Quarter, taking a pedicab is one of the best ways to take in the scenery. They’re also convenient when you need to get somewhere in the Quarter and just cannot stand the traffic. At the end, tip your driver 20 percent of your ride.
Haunted Ghost, Vampire, & Spirit Tour Guides
New Orleans has so many cool stories about haunted restaurants, hotels, and old homes. Even for locals, there is a lot to learn about New Orleans’ history through this special kind of tour. Check out a haunted tour in New Orleans! Depending on where you book, guides might even get a little into character. About $5 per person in your group is a nice tip at the end of the night.
Swamp Tour Guides
Swamp tours are a Louisiana specialty that are worth booking! You’ll get exposure to the alligators of the Bayou as well as learn a thing or two about our ecosystem. You should tip the crew about 20 percent of the total cost for your party.
We know that these tips are optional, but New Orleans’ rideshare drivers are the best around. They tend to be super knowledgeable of the city and help you get right where you need to go. We opt to tip them 15 percent and sometimes even 20 percent for superior service.
Working with Local Optimists
At Online Optimism, we differentiate our services by staying current with digital trends while also staying grounded in the tradition of spreading hospitality and positivity to others. We love working with our local community and those who embrace our local traditions as well. Check out our list of services, and contact us if you’re interested in working with our team.