In America, giving a monetary tip to someone who is providing a service is a common courtesy. Many jobs, such as waiting tables or driving taxi cabs, pay far below the minimum wage, and the workers in these professions rely on tips to make up for the difference.
In other countries, however, tipping is viewed very differently. Many workers in the hospitality industry make higher wages than in the United States, and therefore tips are either much smaller or simply nonexistent.
Here is a list of 18 countries from all around the world and the appropriate tipping etiquette, especially when dining and traveling. Some of these might shock you!
1. Australia and New Zealand: These countries have pretty standard tipping practices when it comes to both restaurants and car rides. A tip of 10 to 15 percent is expected at restaurants, and for a cab fare, simply round up your total to the nearest dollar amount.
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2. Brazil: They say the most beautiful people in the world hail from Brazil (hello, Adriana Lima!). Another beautiful thing? Their servers are paid an actual salary. If you happen to eat at a restaurant, your server won’t expect anything extra from you at the end of your meal. When it comes to cab fare, you can round up to the nearest whole dollar.
3. Canada: Canada’s tipping etiquette is most similar to America’s. The only difference is that restaurant employees expect slightly less for an impeccable meal than here in the States. A 20 percent tip for each meal is suggested, and 10 to 15 percent is acceptable for cab rides.
4. China: China is one of the strictest countries when it comes to leaving a tip. What do we mean by “strict,” you say? That means that no tips are accepted anywhere. In fact, China actually frowns upon leaving anything extra for its workers. At least that means more money in your pocket if you ever visit.
5. Egypt: Egypt is full of awe-inspiring landmarks, but if you go, expect to leave a small tip for both your dining experiences and cab rides. Tipping five to 10 percent after a meal is the norm, and 10 to 15 percent is expected for a ride in a cab.
6. France: Most of the time at the end of a delicious meal, the server will actually add on gratuity so you don’t have to worry about leaving anything extra since it’s already included in the bill. If you’re going to jump into a cab to your hotel afterwards, though, be prepared to tip around 10 percent of the total fare.
7. Germany: The Germans are a proud people who will welcome you with open arms (and probably a beer). If you’re going to enjoy some wursts at a restaurant, expect to shell out around a 10 percent tip. If you drank too much at a bier garden and need a sober ride home, a cab driver will be happy to accommodate you—as long as you’re willing to round up the fare for a tip.
8. Greece: Mediterranean food is known to be the most nutritious around the world. It’s no wonder why Greeks are beautiful people! But if you find yourself craving some gyros, try not to head into a restaurant without a 10 to 15 percent tip on top of the meal’s total. The good news is that, once you leave, you can take a cab back to your hotel without having to tip them at all.
9. India: Not only does India boast amazing sights like the Taj Majal, but it also has a very reasonable tipping policy, as well. Ten percent for each meal is appreciated; while traveling, simply round your cabbie’s fare up to nearest dollar amount.
10. Italy: Italy is known for its savory, hearty dishes, and luckily, the servers there don’t expect a heaping tip on top of an amazing culinary experience. A mere 10 percent for a delicious meal is more than fair, and a cab ride tip is totally optional.
11. Japan: Japan has the exact same tipping etiquette as China, meaning it simply isn’t done. There, workers make high enough wages that they don’t rely on the extra cash to make a living. So go enjoy a nice meal, and then take a cab ride home without shelling out any extra bucks.
12. Mexico: Mexico, like many Central and South American countries, is relatively inexpensive to visit. All you need to do is add an extra 10 percent tip on top of your delicious Mexican comida. A cab ride anywhere in the country is no extra charge.
13. South Africa: South Africa has a pretty standard tipping practice. If you dine at a restaurant, your server will expect you to leave 10 to 12.5 percent on top of your meal’s bill, and a cab driver will expect you to round up to the nearest dollar amount.
14. Southeast Asia: The countries located in Southeast Asia are similar to China and Japan in that a tip isn’t expected… though here, it isn’t necessarily frowned upon, either. If your restaurant service is impeccable, then a small tip is appreciated, and a cab driver would also accept a small amount of money, if offered, once you arrive at your destination.
15. Spain and Portugal: Just like South Africa, servers in Spain and Portugal will gladly accept 10 to 12.5 percent on top of an amazing meal of tapas. Simply rounding up the cab fare to the nearest dollar is enough to keep the cabdriver satisfied.
16. The Netherlands: Culturally, the Netherlands isn’t that much different than the United States, but when it comes to leaving a tip at a restaurant, it’s another story. No tips are expected by waiters at the end of a meal, no matter how delicious it was. A cab ride, on the other hand, should be rounded up to nearest dollar.
17. Turkey: Turkey has a pretty standard tipping practice. If you enjoy a great meal at a restaurant, a server would expect you to add 10 percent of the total bill for gratuity. A cab driver would expect you to round up to the nearest dollar. Nice and easy!
18 United States: America is one country where its people tip generously when it comes to restaurants. If a meal was delicious and the service was outstanding, it’s not unheard of for people to leave up to 25 percent on top of their total bill, though the standard is between 15 and 20 percent. Cab drivers will also expect a tip, but more in the range of 15 percent. Americans in the service industries typically aren’t paid salaries or anywhere close to minimum wage, so always remember to tip! Of course, if you aren’t satisfied with your service, speak up—they’d be happy to accommodate you.
It’s fascinating to learn about the different tipping practices around the world. Before you travel internationally, make sure you brush up on the country’s policy before you go to avoid looking like an ignorant tourist! And remember: when in doubt, you can’t go wrong with throwing in a little extra!
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