Tipping in America vs. The Rest of the World

A tip or gratuity is a sum of money given to an individual for doing a good job at a particular service. For example in America people often tip waiters/waitresses, cab drivers, baristas, bar tenders and cosmetologists. While it is considered customary in the U.S to leave a tip, it is not necessarily in the rest of the world.

Some people know this, but many others do not. The majority of the world specifically Europe includes the tip within the price of the food/service. Unlike in the United States where most restaurants have a system of allowing customers to decide the tip, in Europe a tip is not necessary unless you feel exceptionally generous and happy about the service you received. In order to assure everyone takes home a livable wage waiters and waitresses, are paid hourly. Similar to how cooks or baristas in the U.S are paid.

However, the United States of America does have a system of determining an appropriate tip vs. an in-appropriate tip. Generally a 10% tip means your work was shoddy, but not bad enough for me not to leave a tip at all. (I understand you like me have responsibilities to take care of outside of here.) A 15% tip means, you did the job I would expect any waitress or waiter to do. Then you have 20% or more this is given for exceptionally amazing and terrific service. Anything less than 10% basically means the service was so horrible you don’t believe the individual who took care of you should be working in that industry or at the very least they shouldn’t be working in that restaurant. If you receive good service and do not tip at least 10% at the restaurant then you are basically being rude and showing that you could care less about your fellow man.

I wrote this post because I feel the art of tipping is not always well discussed. I feel it is important to understand the customs of any and every country you visit. I feel it is especially important to understand the customs of your own country. While attending college I was surprised by how many of the people I went to school with did not understand what it meant to leave a real tip. As a result I found myself on too many occasions over tipping for my own meal/service because others around me just would not tip.

*Bonus tip to you reader, many people don’t know this, but when you eat at a sushi restaurant the tips are often split with the chefs behind the bar. This means you may want to tip a little extra when eating out a restaurants like this as not all of it will be going to the waiter/waitress. In addition, some restaurants require the waiters/waitresses to split their tips with the bus boys and hostess. To better determine what an ideal tip is you may want to ask your service provider whether or not their tips are split, or if they keep them.




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