Do you know how much tip to leave in Asia? 10%, right? Think again!

Food service is big business, around the world, but especially in the USA. Food service related businesses are meeting the needs of American consumers who eat one out of four meals away from home. More than three-quarters of a billion people patronize eating and drinking establishments that employ over nine million people.

Of these nine million people, being a waiter or waitress is one of the most popular jobs for young people. The salary, however, is usually the minimum. Receiving tips can increase the amount of money one takes home substantially, therefore. But how does a client or customer know how much tip to leave?

Going to a restaurant and leaving a tip for service received is normal for most people. Before it was customary to include the value on the bill, but some time ago this trend changed and now everything is at the discretion of the consumer.

But the reality is very different around the world as there are countries where it is almost an obligation to leave money, while in other countries it is frowned upon and customers are advised not to leave a tip. Some time ago in Chile on the bill in Chile one could see a message saying “It is advisable to leave a 10% tip“, but gradually this was dropped and now it is the client who makes the determination.

In other Latin American countries such as Mexico and Venezuela, they share the Chilean mode of voluntary tip payment, at the discretion of the client. However, in restaurants in Brazil and Argentina the waiters and waitresses there enjoy tips included in the bill, with values ​​that hover between 15 and 20 percent. While on the premises of U.S. restaurants the amount of money to leave amounts to 20 percent, one of the countries where highest tips are received.

With respect to Europe, charging a tip is not set, and as in other countries like Chile, leaving a tip is all at the discretion of the consumer, who is able to leave about 10%. Contrary to this is the case in much of Asia. In countries like China it can be considered an insult, even in Singapore, where tipping is prohibited.

“Why”?, you might ask. “What explains this prohibition?”

This is explained in that there are many food stalls in the street, so the use of the restaurants is not very usual. This panorama is totally opposite to what happens in the Middle East. In the United Arab Emirates, specifically Abu Dhabi, it is customary to leave amounts rising to 16% tip.

What about your country, your city, your town, dear reader? What is the custom where you live? Is paying a tip prohibited, allowed, voluntary, or a must? Is the tip included in the bill? Is paying a tip only for restaurants or are there other places where paying a tip would be expected?

**Looking forward to your responses! Write me and let me know about your part of the world!

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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