Tipping Can Be an Etiquette Minefield
Tipping is a sign of decency, an indication that you appreciate the effort your waiter, taxi driver or porter has made to take care of you.
However, it may be a minefield of etiquette when traveling abroad, not to mention an expensive move.
For those who hates the mental gymnastics that comes with adding 15 percent on a bill at the end of a wine-filled meal or if you’re tired of knowing when and where to tip, you might consider a getaway to one of these countries.
That’s because these are countries where it’s considered bad form to tip – and in some countries, tipping is downright insulting.
You can leave a little something when you collect your flat white without causing offense in Australia. However, no one will be upset if you don’t. Pictured is a barista making coffee in Perth
In Australia, you don’t expect a tip, but you don’t sniff it either. In big cities, a 10% service charge is often included in the bill, and you won’t bat an eyelid when leaving a tip 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 your service, a tip would be appreciated.
It is not customary to tip in Switzerland, where service charges are included in prices in most places under federal law. Pictured is the famous cosmopolitan Swiss city of Geneva.
But don’t worry about ensuring servers are paid properly: 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 around 40% of an average Argentine waiter’s income, so it’s a kindness to leave a little something.
Salaries are good in Belgium, so no tipping is expected. But you won’t be kicked out of the restaurant for offering 10 percent.
No one expects to be tipped in French Polynesia. Indeed, if you are attracted by the excellent service and offer a tip, the recipient may refuse it. Some restaurants attach notes to a bill to indicate whether or not tips are welcome, to avoid tripping up customers.
Tipping is somewhat controversial in Singapore. A small offering won’t be offensive when you’re dining or taking a taxi. But this is officially discouraged: in fact, the government website states that “tipping is not a way of life” on the island.
COUNTRIES WHERE TIVING IS AN INSULT
It’s a slap in the face to tip in Japan, where the cultural norm is to take great pride in your work. Employees hold themselves to very high standards when providing service: no gratification is necessary to feel appreciated.
Indeed, tipping suggests that you believe their employer does not recognize their value and is therefore not paying them enough.
Tipping in China is practically forbidden. In the photo – a waiter in Shanghai
Here, it’s almost forbidden. Tipping was once banned in China – for decades, tipping was considered a bribe. To this day, in much of the country, tipping is considered a personal affront to restaurant or hotel staff.
The exceptions are tour guides or tour bus drivers: you can give them money for their troubles without offending them.
Like in Japan and China, tipping is considered downright rude in South Korea. An attempt to leave a tip may well be refused.