For those not accustomed with the practice of tipping, this decision while abroad can be a daunting task. The awkward moment with a lingering bellboy in London or the impatient waiter at the local diner in New York, hovering around waiting for his money. Around the world base wages vary per country, meaning many rely on the money from tips to make up for the lower income. Avoid the embarrassment of tipping with this handy guide to tipping.
While some countries build in a service charge others do not. In Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland tipping is not customary but if you receive outstanding service do not hesitate to offer a tip. It is important to consider before offering a tip, if a service charge has been added on to your bill. This is often indicated on your bill with 'service included'. In French speaking nations service compris indicates that a service charge has been added on your bill. Italian speakers will recognise servizio as meaning that they are paying a service charge and in Spain servizio incluso indicates that the service cover charge is built in. In Portuguese speaking countries serviço indicates that a 10% charge is included and a tip is not necessary.If you are traveling in The Americas (including USA, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru) tipping is customary. Due to the low salaries paid, tipping is an important part of service industry professional's wages. It is becoming more popular in Europe and in countries such as France, Spain and Germany, due to the large numbers of American and Canadian tourists leaving tip. In Asia it is uncommon to leave tips unless you are in a Western Establishment (excluding Hong Kong and The Philippines where leaving a tip is becoming more frequent). In Japan tipping is seen as extremely rude and should be avoided.
Restaurants: 15-20% of the bill.
Hotel Staff: Porters $1-$2 per bag, housekeepers $5 per day, concierge $5-$15 if they offer superior service or organise tickets/products.
Taxi Drivers: 10-15% of the total bill.
Restaurants: 8-10% of the bill.
Hotel Staff: Porters $1 per bag, housekeeping $1-$2 per day.
Taxis Drivers: Round up the fare by a few dollars.
Restaurants: Depending on the country between 5%-15%.
Hotels Staff: Porters €1-€2 per bag, for housekeepers €3-€5 per day, concierge €5.
Taxis: Round up the fare by a few euros.
Restuarants: Add 5%-10% to the total charge on the bill.
Hotel Staff: Small change for porters and house keepers.
Taxis Drivers: It is not common practice to tip taxi drivers in Asia, however in some countries drivers appreciate 10%.
NB:This is primarily only in Western Establishments
Restaurants: At fine dining establishments round up the bill by a few dollars.
Hotels Staff: Not common to tip hotel staff.
Taxis: If the service has been sufficient round up the fare by a few dollars.
We have personally experienced the embarrassing stigma around tipping. Tipping does not have to be an embarrassing and daunting task. Follow the locals as they know best and if in doubt ask your hotel concierge. You don't need to tip your driver if you hire a car, so give Auto Europe Australia a call on 1300 656 601 or visit us online.