Tipping Etiquette From Around the World to Know Before Traveling

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Are you planning to visit a country you’ve never been to before? 

You probably have a lot of questions about their culture. One of those might be the proper tipping etiquette. In order to respect the way of life of the country you plant to travel to, let’s take a look at if you need to tip when eating in public. You may be surprised to find how the rules differ country to country.

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A Bit About Tipping Etiquette

Tipping first began in England in the 17th century. Patrons would slip waiters money to insure they received a quick and professional service. This quickly became known as a tip at the end of a service.

Today, tipping hasn’t changed that much and is expected in many places around the world – particularly major cities. However, not everyone believes in tipping, which can be particularly awkward if you’re out in a group with people who think this.

But, there are countries in the world where staff are paid minimum wage for working long hours and hard. Many places even hire staff for less than minimum wage. This issue isn’t just present amongst waiters, but taxi drivers too. Therefore, we suggest researching the tipping etiquette of your chosen destination before visiting it. You might be able to start a trend which can change workers’ lives.

Tipping Etiquette Around The World

Do you know how much to tip when you visit a country? Have you ever noticed it’s awkward and unwelcoming when you don’t leave cash? Or perhaps you think you’re being generous and don’t receive a thank you. Let’s take a look at some major cities and countries in the world, and a few things to consider before handing over your money.

London

The tipping etiquette in London is to leave between 10-15 percent of the bill when eating in a restaurant. Most restaurants in the city add a service change on if there’s a large group of customers. As such, we recommend checking the bill before tipping again, because you might accidentally do this twice. Most high-end restaurants enable waiters to keep their own tip. However, personally pass the tip to your waiter to ensure they receive the money, rather than being split between the company. Tipping in cash rather than credit card is a good method to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Germany

Tipping in hotels in Germany isn’t mandatory or as common as in the United States. However, if a member of staff carries your bag to your home, consider giving one euro per bag they carry. Regarding housekeepers, it’s common to leave two-three euros per night as a thank you. As for concierge, consider tipping five-10 euros if their service was particularly helpful.

It’s typical for German restaurants to add a tip to the bill. This is marked as ‘Bedienung’. However, customers also tend to leave an additional tip if the service was exceptionally great. It’s also worth knowing that a bill is usually split between individuals rather than as one bill. Consequently, a guest will tip individually.

Italy

The tipping etiquette in Italy can be one of the most confusing regions in the world. Unlike the United States, tips in Italy aren’t always necessary. More often than not, a tip is already included in the bill, but you can tip extra if the service was impressive.

Tipping in Italy is considered a bonus to wages, so the amount you leave should represent the service you received. Contrary to other countries, there isn’t an expected amount to tip, so customers leave as little or as much as they personally think.

However, in a restaurant, the tipping etiquette is usually to round the bill up to the nearest €10. Always check the bill before tipping as only certain restaurants include a service tip on the bill. If you’re at a bar, simply round up the amount to the nearest euro with each drink. The same process applies to taxis. However, a tip isn’t expected, but is greatly appreciated. If your ride is long, consider rounding it to the nearest €10.

Greece

Many tourists tip whilst in Greece, but not all residents do. Tipping is not an obligation, and you won’t receive any unwanted glares if you don’t leave some change. There isn’t any set standard to tip. However, some restaurants might round up the bill to cover a gratuity, so always check the bill before tipping. Try to leave cash whenever possible, as servers don’t always receive tips from credit cards.

If the service at a restaurant was exceptional, consider leaving a five to ten percent tip and a few additional coins. You might be surprised that some restaurants refuse gratuity, so ask before leaving money. If you notice a ‘cover charge’ on your bill, this covers the cost of water and finger food and isn’t a tip.

If you’re in a bar, most bartenders don’t expect a tip. But, they greatly considerate it, so we suggest rounding to the nearest €1 if you received a great service. If you’ve used a taxi, consider tipping 10-15 percent of the journey if the drive was smooth and timely.

Dubai

Dubai is renowned for its exceptional service, so tipping is expected in a variety of public places. Although it’s not mandatory to leave a tip, it’s expected. Many restaurants will leave a note at the bottom of the menu for a suggested tip. A figure between 10 and 15 percent is customary, but do base this off of the level of service you received. Often, customers round up the bill as everything is quick in Dubai.

Generally, taxi passengers will tip their driver to the nearest note and leave the change with the driver. Tipping taxi drivers is common. If you consider grocery shopping in Dubai, you might experience staff helping to carry your bags to the car. Staff might also help to pack your shopping into bags. They expect a tip, though only some small change. This is because they’ll quickly move onto the next customer. Although tipping is common in Dubai, staff mainly expect that you treat them with respect, so always remember this firstly.

India

There are a variety of outlets to enjoy food in India, including street food, restaurants and cafes. The tipping etiquette for each of these places is different. If you purchase street food, staff don’t expect a tip. If you enjoy a small meal or snack costing INR 300 or less, a 10 percent tip is appreciated. For amounts ranging from INR 300 to INR 1000, we recommend tipping around seven to ten percent of the bill amount. For amounts above INR 1000, a five to seven percent tip will suffice. This is unlike the United States, where you tip a fixed rate per payment.

When visiting a restaurant, it might say ‘service charge’ at the bottom of the bill. However, this shouldn’t be confused with a gratuity service. As such, when it says this, a tip isn’t expected. If you use public transport, you can tip INR 50-100. If you rent a car for the day, we recommend tipping between INR 200-400 depending on how satisfied you were with the service. However, if you use a taxi, a tip isn’t usually expected if the rate has been negotiated.


What Tipping Etiquette Facts Do You Know?

Tipping etiquette is fascinating, because it’s so different in countries and cities around the world. Many countries expect a tip, whilst others appreciate one. Always consider the tipping etiquette when visiting a country to properly show your respect to their service.

What tipping etiquette facts do you know? Perhaps you love travelling and know some figures for countries we haven’t mentioned above. If so, share your knowledge in the comments to keep this conversation going.

Related Article: Driving in a Foreign Country: Helpful Tips Before Your Next Big Trip Abroad

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