Tips on Tipping

In the USA gratuity has gotten a bit gratuitous. You have to wonder if it wouldn’t be better to just go ahead and raise minimum wage again so these poor people don’t have to depend on our pennies and dimes to get by. However, for as ever-present tipping is in America, many other countries don’t operate on the same rules. To avoid inadvertently offending the wait-staff, here are some tips on tipping.

China

Outside of the more European sensibilities of Hong Kong, tipping is neither expected, nor encouraged in China. The service industry isn’t trained to expect it and may be confused if you attempt to hand them a few singles. Though some tour services may allow you to thank their guides in this way, don’t feel obligated.

Czech Republic

Though a common courtesy involves rounding up the bill to the nearest denomination of 10 korun, no one will fault you if you refrain from doing so. (Note that in more international cities like Prague, more and more services expect a 10% tip for services rendered. Blame the tourists.) An important point to remember: tipping on a credit card charge isn’t done.

England

Tipping is expected and encouraged, but, as would happen in the USA, if the service is horrible you can legally refuse to do so. Keep in mind that, similar to their American counterparts, many service workers are faced with a ‘tip jar’ system, where they must evenly divide their takings at the end of the evening. Go ahead, be nice.

France

In France, the service charge is automatically included in the bill, so don’t worry about it, you’re paying it anyway. However, if you have a few extra euros lying about, feel free to give them to that hairdresser who made you look extra fabulous.

Italy

Everywhere but Rome, restaurants include a service charge in the bill so you don’t have to tip. (But when in Rome…) Anywhere else, tipping isn’t expected. What IS common is to tell the cashier or service person to ‘keep the change’, including when exiting a taxi. Don’t worry about the public restrooms though, those are still free.

Scotland

Remember all that stuff we said about tipping in England? Same applies here, just with more plaid.

Spain

In Spain, it is necessary to have a certain flair for tipping correctly. The classier the restaurant, the classier the tip should be. Basically, you will be judged on your net-worth according to how you tip, and we all want to at least APPEAR wealthy, right? So save your pennies my friends, you might have to throw those in as well.