Tipping etiquette around the world

I normally tip anywhere from 15% – 20%, but if I’ve received seriously bad service then it’s 0% – 10% depending on how horrific it was.

Seriously? Let’s be honest… I’ve never went down to a 0% tip. At times, it would have been deserved. But I’m just unable to not leave something.

The categories for tipping seem to be:

  1. No tipping at all — mostly in Asia
  2. Tip 10% – 15%
  3. Tip 10% – 20% — mostly in North America

Via Mint.com Personal Finances


True Tipping Story!

I remember that one time in New York city. It was a sisters-in-law trip. We went to an Italian style restaurant for lunch. Nothing fancy, more like a bistro kind of menu and ambiance. Waiter was simply okay and it took for ever for us to get our plates. We didn’t have alcohol. We wanted to make things fast… fail! 😉 In Montreal and suburban cities, waiter always asks if the bill is split between the guests and then brings the number of bills required. Looks like it’s never the case in New York! Everything is put on one bill. So anyways, my sisters-in-law and I took our cellphones out to calculate how much each of us owned. I made sure to calculate three times and added a 15% tip, which was generous enough for the service we got. We gave it all to the waiter and left.

HE STARTED RUNNING AFTER US at the front door claiming for more! He said we didn’t give a tip! I recalculated it with him to realize we indeed gave 15%. He started saying it wasn’t enough and was really mad at us! My sisters-in-law were about to give him some more when I said: “Well, that’s what you’ll get from us, nothing more”. I grabbed my in-laws’ arms and we left. He kept yelling at us in the street…

That almost felt like intimidation! And this is what I can’t stand about tipping. I know it is a great part of their income. I’ve worked in a store or in contact with the public for 10 years. I know it’s not always an easy job. Still, tipping should remain discretional. It should be deserved.

In no case you should be run after if the waiter is not satisfied with his own results!!


Any Tipping Story to Share? How Do You Tip?


About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.