It happened, you had a great dinner! The service was excellent, the waiter was very attentive and the food was extremely delicious. This evening has all the chances to become one of the most remarkable. The only problem is, you are in a foreign country and you don’t know how you can show appreciation to your waiter for this perfect dinner. If you should leave the tips?
Travelling in a foreign country you need to be fully aware of its traditions. Paying tips is always confusing. Sometimes tipping can be taken as abuse or, on the contrary, can be obligatory. You are going to see, this habit is various in different countries.
1. The US: masters of tipping
If you are close with American culture, you probably know that unspoken rule: the better you tip, the better service you will get coming back there next time. You also may know that probably you should tip almost everywhere starting from great restaurant service to assistance with your luggage. The tips percentage in the US is almost 2 times higher than in most other countries. It can reach up to 20%.
2. The U.K.
The restaurant in the U.K. may add from 12 to 15% of a service charge into your bill. If you see it added, there is no need to pay additional tips. Otherwise, be ready to pay it yourself – 10% is a standard. Tips at pubs are generally not obligated, but be careful, if you are ordering food there, be ready to leave some tips.
3. France: tips “for drinks”
Tips in France are not obligated, but if you are willing to leave some, it is considered a gesture of gratitude. Most restaurants include a “service comprise” service fee in the displayed prices. It will cost you an additional 10 or 15%. If that day you feel generous enough, the waiter will also appreciate additional tips. By the way, in French, the word for tip is pourboire meaning ‘for drinks’. Here you will decide how much money you are ready to give. Generally, 10% is enough.
Travelling in Greece you may probably notice a “cover charge” on the bill. This charge covers the cost of bread and water, but it doesn’t include tips. Tips are still expected. Sometimes restaurants may even round up your bill to include the tips. Don’t forget to check your bill before paying for it. From 5% to 10% for the great service are enough.
Tipping in Russia isn’t regularly practised. But if you wish to leave some tips or to round up the bill, the waiters will be only happy! A “cover charge” in Russian restaurants doesn’t exist, if you would like to have some bread, feel free to order it from the menu. The same situation with the water, you will probably need to order it from the menu, because you can rarely find it for free.
6. Japan doesn’t support tips
If you travel to Japan anytime soon, you may probably be surprised by the tipping situation. In Japan tipping is not expected. The waiter may even refuse your tips. They strictly believe that good service is a part of life. It is a pleasure for the Japanese to provide a good service.
According to traveller’s articles, leaving tips in China is not a common practice. Usually, in restaurants, waiters are not expecting a tip from you. But there are still some exceptions in the big cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, where you will probably need to leave tips for a good service. Giving a tip in China will usually not grant you to get better service.
It is possible that the tipping situation in any country may change. If you hesitate, whether you need to leave tips or not, ask the waiter if tipping is customary. You may also simply round up the bill. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. If your culture accepts tipping, it is not a shame that you want to show your gratitude to a person who provides a good service.