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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gratuity Standards Around The World

In most of Europe, Australia, Japan and other countries where leaving a large amount of tip is uncommon, servers are paid a living wage.
But in the US, base pay for waiters averages at $4. per hour, so tipping is vital to their livelihood.
The rule of thumb before traveling to certain places is to research the tipping customs of the place you are going before you leave.

A cheat sheet below can help you the next time you travel out of the country.

US and Canada:
Server: - at least 15% minimum before tax, including cost of drinks; if good service, 18-20%
Bartender: - 15-20% of the tab; $1. for a beer or wine and $2. for mixed drinks.

Caribbean/Bahamas and Mexico:
Server: - 10-15% in Mexico; the same in caribbean and Bahamas but often is already included in the bill.
Bartender: - 10% in Mexico; 10-15% in Caribbean and Bahamas.

South America:
Server: - 10% across the board. In Brazil, service charge is often included.
Bartender: - $1. per drink; 10% in Brazil (often included).

Server: - it is acceptable to leave an additional 5-15% although it is already included in the bill because wages are higher; Not expected in Scandinivian countries.
Bartender: - if service is included, it's acceptable to give an extra 5%, otherwise, 5-10%.

Middle East & Africa:
Server: - 10-15% (often included)
Bartender: $1 per drink.

Server: - not expected in Japan; up to $1.50 in some parts of China; 10% in India (often included).
Bartender: not expected, but some leave small change.

Australia and New Zealand:
Server: - not expected, but 5-10% for outstanding service.
Bartender: - not expected.

Other Services:
For special services, tip extra such as spending time on your wine selection (+ 10% of the wine's cost) or getting a choice table ($10-20). These are seldom expected outside the US.

Parking valet: - $2-$5. (Tip up front for a better service.)
Coat Check: - $1 per item is acceptable, and $2 would be better. In Asia, no tip is necessary.