Tipping Around the Globe

October 23, 2014

What should you expect?

In the US tipping for services is the norm whether waiters, bellman, concierge, valets, etc… This is not always the case in other parts of the world.

 

Tipping Norms Change

While it is well known that typical tipping for wait staff in restaurants and bartenders in the USA for good service is 15 to 20%, when faced with tipping in other situations and when traveling overseas people are often confused as to what the local expectations or norms are.3734_image1

For some services the 'norm' is perhaps changing. In the US tipping for taxi service was often considered to be 10% of the fare. But now with point-of-sale card machines in the car, the payment applications are suggesting higher tipping rates and in many cases I have found some not even offering a 10% or even a 15% option. They sometimes have 20% as the minimum suggested tip percentage. It may be hard to find, but in most cases the application does provides a feature to enter "other" or a specific amount.

I have pulled together some data from personal acquaintances and personal experience to suggest the following tipping rules for the global traveler to consider as the norm for services in a selection of countries/markets. This is by no means an official guide to tipping, but what I follow and feel is an acceptable tipping standard for each market.

 

Tipping Around the World

 

 

 

Wait staff Bartender Taxi Hotel Maid Baggage handler (airport or hotel)
Market NA Canada

15%-20%

$1 a drink

10%

$2 a day

$1 per bag

Mexico

10% - 20%

$1 a drink

N/A

$1 per day

$1 per bag

USA

15%-20%

10%

10% over $30 fare; $2-$3 under

$2 a day

$1 per bag

SA Argentina

10%

N/A

N/A

$0.50 a day

$0.50 a bag

Brazil

N/A

N/A

Round up

$2 a day

$2-$3 total

Euro France

10%

10%

10%

$2 a day

$2 a bag

Germany

5%

N/A

Round up/N/A

$3 a day

$2 a bag

Russia

10% - 15%

n/a

10% max

$2 a day

$1 to $2 per bag

UK

10%

N/A

Round up/N/A

N/A

$2 a bag

Asia China

N/A to 10%

N/A to 10%

N/A

N/A

N/A to $5 a bag

India

10%

N/A

Round up/N/A

$0.50 a day

$1 a bag

Japan

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Korea

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

MENA Egypt

10%

10%

N/A

$1.00

$0.50

Dubai, UAE

10-15%

10%

Round up/N/A

$1 - $2 a day

$2 - $3

Generally if you receive good service a tip is often appreciated. In some countries for certain services only rounding the total cost to the nearest Euro, Dollar, or such is what is expected.

This can be seen in the table above. In markets such as Japan and Korea good service is expected and not something a tip should be warranted and may either confuse the person or be offensive. This is all the more reason to understand what the local custom or expectation is for when and what to tip.

Always be aware if a service charge has already been included within a bill you may receive, as this is done in a number of countries. If so, then any additional tip may be excessive.

 

Online resources regarding global tipping:

Here are some sites you may wish to visit for additional or more in-depth reading on global tipping expectations:

http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2008-11-11/etiquette-101-tipping-guide

http://www.tippingaroundtheworld.com/

A Guide to Tipping Around the World - GoNOMAD Travel

A Guide to Tipping Around the World: Etiquette 101 : Condé Nast ...

Tipping Around The World: How Gratuities Differ Across The Globe ...

Tipping Etiquette and Guidelines for Restaurants Around the World

A Tourist's Global Guide to Tipping [infographic] - Daily Infographic

Restaurant Tipping Around The World: 25 Countries' Gratuity Protocol

Ten of the best ... rules on tipping around the world | Money ...

Enjoy your travels and remember to tip for good service (when appropriate)!

Good Travel! Bon Voyage! GuteReise! 良好的旅行 Buen Viaje!

Category:
Language Translation Facts
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Tipping

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Peter has over 18 years’ experience in business development within the localization industry supporting clients for documentation, software and website globalization services. He started his career in the translation industry in 1995 and over the years has worked for several leading localization service providers including LMI, Berlitz, Welocalize, GPI and Beyondsoft. Throughout his career Peter has led by example and always put his clients’ needs first to ensure client expectations are understood and successfully met. Over the years Peter has trained extensively in Solution Selling, Action Selling and Localization Sales, Testing and Project Management. Peter handles many of GPI’s global accounts helping educate clients on GPI’s comprehensive suite of globalization services and industry best practices.