Any New Yorker who lives in a coop or condo knows that their building’s support staff plays several crucial roles. Some become the heart and soul of their building – a doorman providing warm greetings at the beginning or end of the day, a super who jokes around with young children, a desk person sharing news about the block or building. Of course, they may also sign for or protect all those Amazon orders and facilitate food deliveries to hungry residents. In the work-from-home era, they functioned as perhaps the only non-family member residents talk to face-to-face regularly.
What is the proper amount?
Tipping is a personal decision that is a custom rather than a requirement. Some people tip a certain percentage regardless of the quality of their service; others base it on the quality of service. Some carry cash and tip regularly; others do lump sums during the holiday season. However you do it, we recommend that you tip well: Some say it’s good karma, but it’s a fact that getting the stink-eye from staff can weigh on a resident looking for a little extra assistance when they are in a jam. The folks over at Brickunderground.com conduct an annual poll on holiday tipping. The averages in 2023 were:
- Super: $150 to $300, but as high as $500.
- Doorman or concierge: $75 to $200, but as high as $1000.
- Porter/handyman/maintenance: $25 to 50, but as high as $100.
- Garage attendant: $25 to $75, but as high as $100.
Other things to consider
Keep in mind that this is per staff member. Also, consider being more generous if your family regularly needs a little “extra” help. Those who worry about setting a precedent can add a note saying a high amount was due to above-and-beyond help during a difficult stretch (new baby, physical injury, pandemic, etc.) or one particular event. Conversely, residents can tip on the low end if a staff member is never around or doesn’t offer to assist when they are. Longtime or favorite staff may deserve or get more but don’t ignore the others.
Residents usually tip in December, but money generally rolls in until the early weeks of the new year. We also encourage residents to tip people like nannies, dog walkers and others outside the building who regularly perform services for residents.