Great "How much to tip overseas?" Hunt

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  • pippppster
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    UK

    None (except if you receive truly out of the ordinary service)

    Although there are many fine restaurants (& food serving pubs) in this country, the overall standard of food/service is at best mediocre, and they are overpriced in this expensive country of ours.

    Standards of waiting and service are not (generally speaking) as good as many countries I have visited. In Italy being a waiter or waitress is a respected occupation. Here it tends to be done by teenagers with little or no knowledge of food or wine.

    People only tip because nobody really questions why.
    Would you tip a shop assistant or checkout operator? The staff at Asda are, in my experience, amongst the best in the retail industry, but I bet they do not get any tips.

    It is about time this outdated nonsense was banished.
    All customers should receive good service.
  • Ordinary_Harris
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    mcn,

    Do you also subtract the "service" from the bill in the UK?
  • Ordinary_Harris
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    USA

    I find it odd that the British should object so strongly to tipping 15% voluntarily in the US, but pay the “service” which is also discretionary in the UK without question. Is it because one is on the bill and the math is done for you and the other you have to figure out yourself?

    There are three industries where workers work for tips and the salary is minimal. In fact in these three industries, originally, there was no salary at all, only tips. These are wait service, hotel workers, and porters. This is understood by all and to deny a tip is to deny them a wage.

    In US restaurants, one can demand things that one cannot in other countries. If one’s food is not cooked to one’s satisfaction, one can call over the server and ask for another done properly. One can ask for special dishes or that a special condiment be added. If all the food is not eaten, it is common place to ask for a “doggie bag.” A glass of water, bread, and sometimes a salad are given free. In the UK, one pays for this. All this is part of the service that one gives a tip for.

    That said, the USA is no more a single culture than the EU is. In large metropolitan areas, the tip standard tends to creep up to 20% or more. In Mid-America 13-15% is more the standard. In a large city, one tips the taxi driver 10-20% in Iowa, you might just round-up the bill. In small towns away from large cities, the same standard of tips does not apply, that might in NYC, LA or NO.

    It is true, there is “tip creep,” more and more people are sticking their hand out. I personally do not feel comfortable tipping someone who receives a liveable salary or should be receiving a liveable salary. The tour guide who wanted $10 / day / person, would be on over 120k or 50% more than an American nurse, if everyone tipped to that standard, and I assume they got a salary as well! They are just trying it on. Unless that person had done some special service for me, I would ignore the request. Same with the driver. When I paid for the tour, it is assumed that the tour company will take care of the driver and guide (although the guide may be the owner!) and I would have no problem telling them that.

    I do tip. One must grease the wheels, if one wants service. BUT!!! I only tip to receive service. If a taxi driver makes me load my own bags, I tell him “I would love to have given you a tip, but the service you provided didn’t warrant one.” Tipping is an art form in the US. Do it when you have received or expect a service, but ignore the tip jars that are everywhere.
  • JWN
    JWN Posts: 4 Newbie
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    In Germany Service charge is nearly always included in the bill so tipping is not the norm. Often customers round up the bill but only very small amounts. If the bill comes to €9.80 a 20 Cent tip is acceptable.
  • superflygal
    superflygal Posts: 1,122 Forumite
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    Hi all,

    I am quite tight with the tips, but my husband is more generous.

    Borneo Tips are not expected at all. But the people live in corrugated iron shacks, so i would feel awful depriving them of a quid, which would feed a family just on principle. So we were of the opinion, tip often but little.

    Kuala Lumpur Again, tips not expected, but our waiter was so anxious to serve us well, we tipped him in any case. (no more than10% mind)

    Singapore As KL above

    Bali Lot of hawkers here, who want to sell you things. We actually tipped on all occasions here but no more than 10%

    Las Vegas Fantastic place, but had a few sneakster bar staff who didn't take the $20 we had left for the drinks (which had come to $12) obviously hoping we would walk away and leave it in embarassment although we were the only people at the bar. We finally had to ask her for the change and left her a few cents in disgust. Find the expectations for tips a cheek, especially as the drinks are not particularly cheap. Paying 25% on top of the bill is excessive in my opinion. Best to tip cocktail waitress a dollar in casinos and get your drinks free that way!

    Egypt All inclusive-Used "palm greasers" to get good rooms, speedy service etc

    Sri Lanka Yep these guys all want a tip! No more than 50-100 rupees was our general rule (would have been skint otherwise)

    Maldives Best ever service with no tip expected, but the staff work their !!!%s off for $100 a month so we tipped $10-$20 a week for our waiter and regular bar staff. Plus you do get a few freebies if you tip a bit early on and then the rest at the end of the holiday.

    Hope this helps someone!

    Superflygal x
  • zolablue25
    zolablue25 Posts: 1,652 Forumite
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    Does anyone know how much you should tip a Skycap porter in the States?
    We have just returned from Orlando where we used one of these guys and I don't know how much I should have paid him?

    Cheers
  • dalore
    dalore Posts: 54 Forumite
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    Back in the UK, am I meant to tip the guy that delivers the pizza? How much? I usually tip around 1 pound up to 13 quid meal, 2 pound for more.

    Are you meant to tip a mini cab driver? I tend to tip 1 or 2 quid depending how far.
  • alan99_2
    alan99_2 Posts: 225 Forumite
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    Remember. Dont add a tip on to the tax. Just add the percentage tip onto the cost of the meal,before VAT is added. Nobody should put a tip onto tax, VAT or whatever. We are all moneysavers.

    So if VAT is 17.5% inclusive your tip should be based on 85% of total cost inc VAT.

    If we tip say ,as an example 15% on a £40 meal inc Vat we are paying about 35% extra on top of the meal price.
  • IconBoy_2
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    Just my personal thoughts/observations....

    Wikipedia says:
    An urban legend states that the word "tip" is an acronym for terms such as "to insure prompt service", "to insure proper service", "to improve performance", and "to insure promptness".

    It seems a lot of people posting here tip because it is "the done thing" to do. Even though we can't prove TIP = To Insure Promptness, perhaps we are missing something, but to me that is why you give a tip in the first place.
    So many waiters (and other service staff) expect a tip as a right and not a privilege.
    Years ago I worked at Pizza Hut in South Africa and got paid R2.50 (about 18p) an hour and looked forward to tips. A friend worked as a waiter for Spur restaurant in South Africa and she had to buy her own uniform, buy the badges to put on her uniform (which she had to have) and even buy the docket-book with which to take her orders. She found that difficult, but chose to work there. This was quite a few years ago and may now have changed. She went in every day and did her job because she needed the work (o...and these two cases were before the free elections in 1994 - we were desperate for a job!)
    Now that I am older and wiser, I realise that:
    • I had a choice to work there - even if I was paid very little - no one forced me to take that job.
    • just because you bring someone food to their table does not automatically earn you a tip. That is part of your job. Give exceptional service/help/assistance and fair enough, you deserve a little extra if the patron decides.

    Perhaps if service workers changed their attitudes of it being a must, people would part more willingly with their cash...?
    A family member got me on a cruise because they worked on the ship. I was amazed at what I was "expected" to pay for this-and-that-person per day. I worked as a charity worker for a non-profit organisation and was non-salaried. The only way I got onto that ship was because of the small admin fee my brother paid to get me on. I was not the "normal" holiday-maker with cash "flowing" in their wallet. Not everyone can afford to pay for tipping barman, cleaner, waiter etc. Some people save for years to go on a holiday and in the end of it all, it is really up to the punter to decide what they will/will not do with their money - whether they have money or not.

    My dad worked at a factory but he never got a tip because he did his job. Granted, he was paid a livable wage, but then he worked hard and did what was expected of him. His hours were long and he put up with all kinds of nonsense at work. He chose to work there, through the good and bad times.
    I am fed-up of being told what I should give. In the end, you cannot force people to give tips. Generosity comes from the heart not grudgingly, but freely.
  • skintmostofthetime
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    At the end of the day - sorry - meal - if the service was good, prompt unobtrusive but there when you wanted it, friendly, not subservient etc - I say go for it, leave something relevent to what you would expect to get or what you have paid.... ! BUT if it was truly awful DON'T LEAVE A PENNY/EURO whatever & don't feel guilty about it. Like most people on here I've been around (!) but it's the same in most places and if you reward bad business practice it remains so. If you have made a point then hopefully someone somewhere will do something about it. - This applies if it's a top class 5 star place or Joe's Caff in my mind.
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