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Tipping Etiquette

Travel Forums General Talk Tipping Etiquette


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1. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Not all of us are from countries where tipping is customary. What guidelines can you give for tipping ? (References to specific countries, cultures, and occupational groups would be appreciated rather than broad-sweeping generalizations)

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

It's 15% here in... hmm, all of Canada, I guess. Certainly Quebec. Undertip and you may have the waiter/waitress running to catch you before you get to the door. It's usually quite clearly written in the menu, though.

3. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Tipping is becoming increasingly more common here in Ireland, although it not expected, as in the U.S. for example. It's very much still at the cutomer's discretion.

I couldnt get over the first time I was in the U.S.!! I didnt realise that even if you go to the bar-counter for your drinks you are still expected to tip a substantial amount. Of course, the next time I went to the bar I was left standing there indefinitely! very annoying.

The minimum wage in ireland is quite high so waiters/waitresses do not depend heavily on their tips, but I understand that for the most part, good service usually begets good tips here.

Many restaurants here take a service charge anyway, so you may not feel like tipping on top of this.

It's something I feel strongly about - I tip when the service is good, not because it is expected.

4. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

I worked in a hotel once where all the waters/waitresses made less than minimum wage. And it was a pretty high-end hotel! But it's legal here because they make most of their wages on tips. Some would make $600 a night!!

5. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

WOW! yeah i noticed in America that they're uber-friendly Ireland you're doing well to get a hello sometimes!

ah, im only joking......

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

In the US, tipping has become expected and the standard is 20%. Most of those working in the service industry (wait staff, hotel personnel, hairdressers, etc.) are paid at or below minimum wage so tips are important income and emploers take advantage of that. Tipping used to be a reward for good service, but no longer. A tip is expected just for the server placing your order on the table or gettting around to serving you that drink (you ordered 20 minutes ago). Some establishments will automatically add a 15-25% gratuity to the bill, others will add it for parties of 6 or more/table.

For travelers, the following professions are ones that are customarily tipped here in the US:
wait staff/bartenders, hotel bellmen/concierge, taxi drivers, barbers/hairdressers, and the airport guy who takes your luggage from curb to counter (can't think of the correct title).

There is a growing number of patrons who are rebelling against the "expected" tip thing and returning to the "reward for good service" only school of thought - especially with tipping hitting the 25% mark. I have to admit, I'm of the old school - no service, no tip. I don't feel obligated to reward bad behavior because it's expected.

Hope that helps.

7. Posted by angela_ (Respected Member 1732 posts) 11y

Tipping isn't customary in Iceland, but it is increasing with more tourists coming here. And anyway, everything here is so expensive, I don't think you guys will be in a tipping mood.

8. Posted by remarcable (Respected Member 335 posts) 11y

Tipping is pretty much a common thing in the U.S. Some do the 15 percent, some establishments tack it on the bill. Rule is.. @least 15, but of course we get our share who don't. Each states has there own thing. I worked with this guy from Ohio, the wage for servers was like 3.00 hr+ tips. While here in CA.. it's min+tips.

Because I used to serve..I over tip regardless, of country customs. Unless it insults them. Especially if the exchange rate favors my dollar. Gotta give some love to my people! They put up with a lot of crap.


9. Posted by newguy (Full Member 197 posts) 11y

In Singapore, we do not have a tipping culture but that's only because all restaurants and pubs here already include a 10% service charge. YES, even if the service rendered means Do-It-Yourself. There is an on-going debate whether we should abolish the service tax because too many people are fed up with having to pay for poor service. However, if the service is excellent, i never fail to give a small tip to the servers because i know the earnings from the enforced service charge usually go towards fattening the company's profits and not to these guys - people who work in tourism-related jobs,especially those in hotels, who often have to put up with entry-level wages and a 12-hr workday.
That said, do not tip indiscriminately to everyone who offers u their assistance. Some people subscribe to the saying, 'if u didn't earn it, u don't deserve it', so they might be slightly miffed if u prefer to express your gratitude this way.
When i travel, i find that there are instances where tipping is pretty universal. Like rounding up the taxi fare if it's charged by the meter, request for concierge or (this requires more tact) when u have to rely on locals' private transport to get around.
As shameful as this sounds, sometimes i just don't bother thinking that much. In certain countries ( don't ask me which), tipping is synonmyous with the word bribe or extortion. Maybe i am too disillusioned or just a cheapskate..

10. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting Jared

"... I know the earnings from the enforced service charge usually go towards fattening the company's profits and not to these guys ... In certain countries (don't ask me which), tipping is synonmyous with the word bribe or extortion..."

In the western world, we like to think that bribery, extortion, and other forms of corruption don't exist in our own societies. There is a gasp of shock when a journalist "exposes" some sensational and supposedly shameful transgression. But hey! Doesn't rank have its privileges?

Instead of an open "honest" exchange of money (or "service fee"), we prefer to condone cronyism. What's your view on the practice of "Jobs For The Boys"?