Tipping Can Be an Etiquette Minefield
Tipping is a sign of decency, an indication that you appreciate the effort your waiter, taxi driver, or doorman has put into taking care of you.
It may, however, be a Minefield etiquette while traveling abroad, not to mention an expensive gesture.
For those who hate the mental gymnastics that come with adding 15 percent to a bill at the end of a wine-soaked meal or tire of figuring out when and where to tip, you might consider a getaway to one of these countries.
This is because these are countries where it is considered rude to tip, and in some, tipping is downright insulting.
You can leave something when you pick up your flat white without causing offense in Australia. However, no one will be mad if you don’t do it. In the photo, a barista preparing coffee in Perth.
In Australia, tips are not expected, although they are not sniffed at either. In larger cities, a 10 percent service charge is often included in the bill, and you won’t surprise anyone by tipping when you order a flat white.
It is not customary to tip in Switzerland, where service charges are included in prices in most places under federal law. That said, if you are satisfied with their service, you will receive a tip.
It is not customary to tip in Switzerland, where service charges are included in prices in most places under federal law. The famous and cosmopolitan Swiss city of Geneva appears in the photo.
But don’t worry about making sure waiters are adequately compensated: the country has one of the highest minimum wages in the world.
A curious one. Under a 2004 labor law, it is illegal to tip people who work in hotels or restaurants. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, or that it isn’t welcome.
However, the law is not regularly enforced: Tips make up about 40 percent of an average Argentine waiter’s income, so it’s a kindness to leave some.
Salaries are good in Belgium, so tips are not expected. However, you won’t be kicked out of the restaurant for offering 10 percent.
Nobody expects a tip in French Polynesia; In fact, if you are impressed by the excellent service and offer a tip, the recipient may decline. Some restaurants attach notes to the bill to indicate whether tips are accepted or not, to avoid tripping up customers.
Tipping is somewhat controversial in Singapore. A small offering will not offend at dinner time or taking a taxi. But officially it’s not recommended: in fact, the government website states that “tipping is not a way of life” on the island.
COUNTRIES WHERE TIPING IS AN INSULT
It’s a slap in the face to offer a tip in Japan, where the cultural norm is to be proud of your work. Employees demand very high standards when providing a service: no tip is needed to feel appreciated.
In fact, offering a tip suggests that you don’t believe your employer recognizes your value, so you don’t pay them enough.
Tipping in China is practically prohibited. In the photo: a waiter in Shanghai.
It is almost prohibited here. In China, tipping was prohibited; For decades, tipping was considered a bribe. Today, in much of the country it is considered a personal affront to tip restaurant staff or hoteliers.
The exception is tour guides or tour bus drivers: you can give them some cash for their trouble without taking offence.
Like Japan and China, tipping is considered downright rude in South Korea. An attempt to leave a tip may very well be rejected.