Tipping is a complicated affair. If you don’t leave a tip while in the US, you will be greeted with a look of disdain; equally, you’d get a similar response when giving the waiter a few extra Yen in Japan. So, where should you not tip? Here we’ve outlined eight countries where not tipping is the norm.
This addition might be a little shocking to some. However, if you don’t leave a tip in this country of sun, sand, and sangria, it is considered completely normal. Yes, of course, upon receiving excellent service a few extra euros left on the table will not go a miss. Yet, keep in mind that sometimes a 10 per cent service charge is included (servicio incluido). This is usually for more fine-dining establishments and, unfortunately, is very rarely given to staff.
For other circumstances like taxi rides, hotel services etc. don’t ever feel obliged to part with your cash unless they’ve done something remarkable. Even then, it may seem a little patronising.
Unlike Spain, Japan is a country where you should not tip at all; it’s actually offensive. In the majority of Japanese restaurants, a bill is not brought to the table. Instead, payment is accepted at the bar, so even trying to leave a tip for the waiter can be tricky. In other situations outside of a restaurant setting – i.e taxi rides, haircuts etc. – good service never warrants a tip. In spite of this, Japanese service is one of the best in the world. This is stellar news for those planning on attending the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Barring Hong Kong, tipping is a strange concept in most of mainland China. Saying this, due to the ever-growing influence of western tourism, China may not make this list in the near future. In hotels and restaurants, tips are becoming increasingly more common. The difference here, however, is that it doesn’t need to be money. Alternatively, a small gift from your own country is a more heartfelt gesture to show your appreciation.
Important warning: in some regions of China tipping the taxi driver is illegal. Therefore, remember that insisting on tipping could land the recipient in hot water.
Somewhat surprisingly, Danish law decrees that service charges in restaurants have to be included in the price. This may seem a little harsh to outsiders; however, the majority of hospitality workers here pocket a good salary. Alongside this, benefits include maternity and paternity leave, childcare, disability coverage, and paid vacation from the government or their employer. Just like Japan, even without monetary incentives Denmark’s hospitality industry figures amongst the world’s best in terms of quality.
In Brazil, tipping is relatively unheard of. As with the majority of places on this list, giving extra isn’t an offence; equally, it’s not considered necessary. Many bars and restaurants impose a 10 per cent service, although the service staff rarely get this. If that wasn’t bad enough, the minimum monthly wage in Brazil is just over £250. For this reason, we feel that giving a tip while visiting Brazil is a good way to express your gratitude. Additionally, it adheres to our tips on responsible tourism.
The tipping etiquette in Belgium is reserved for exceptional cases. Most bars and restaurants include a 10-15 per cent tip and – especially in comparison to the US – receive a good salary. As a whole, leaving a tip is uncommon in Belgium. Although, it does vary in different parts of the country. In Wallonia (south) tips are more common; in Flanders (north) it is less common. Still, locals in either region rarely leave a tip.
The general consensus in Australia is that workers in the hospitality industry earn well. Consequently, Australians refrain from tipping. When staying at a fancy hotel the porter will not charge a service fee – and neither will anyone for that matter. So, unless you’re particularly wowed by someone, do as the Aussies do while on a trip Down Under.
Maybe due to its traditional British roots, New Zealand has resisted the trend of tipping. Similar to the other more developed countries on this list, fair wages are common across the board. After drinking in the delights of its dramatic landscapes, you may feel like you owe extra, but tour guides won’t be opening their hand at the end of trips.