Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Tipping is always accepted

Tipping is not mandatory but is accepted worldwide.

I will repeat: Tipping is NOT mandatory but is accepted worldwide.

"Do I have to tip here?" a friend asked a waiter while dining on a holiday in America.

"It is expected," the waiter replied.

"So is good service," my friend returned with a sarcastic tone.

Tipping is not customary in Ireland or in the majority of Northern Europe. It is of course accepted and by some staff even, expected. But it is not customary.
When service is good, better than expected, excellent and personal,  I tip, as do many others. Often we just round things up to the nearest euro, or obvious figure.

But I despise the expectation of tipping.

In America and Canada, it is tradition. Many waiting staff, bartenders etc are earning below the average wage and so tipping brings their wages up to standard. It makes sense really, and a lot of times the price before tipping is very good value.
So tipping is fine there, until you are unsatisfied with your service, had a very unpleasant waitress, had to wait a long time, etc. In America and Canada - you are still expected * to tip. That annoys me.

The act of tipping should be at discretion of the patron being served. But in the States it is not, it is just expected, good or bad - hand over your cash.

I was on a tour in Europe a few years back with some Australians, the tour leader told the group as they arrived in France "you will be expected to tip in restaurants here." She lied, well she withheld the truth what she meant was "As a tourist who does not speak French, you will be expected to tip in restaurants here."
The same can be applied to most EU countries.
Tipping is always expected by tourists - but it is at your discretion.

If a group of Americans sat down to lunch in Ireland and did not leave a nice tip at payment, the staff would be insulted. If the group were Irish, they would not pass any notice.

Also I find quite funny that the higher price bracket you climb in Europe, the more expected* the tip is. If your lunch costs €10 in a cafe no need for a tip. If it costs €35 then a tip is anticipated - like you have not paid enough in the first place.

Tipping is a lovely gesture. I worked as a waitress in Ireland - and I understand the importance of the extra change, the appreciation that is parcelled with it.

But it should never be expected or forced, it is always at your discretion.

*Not mandatory

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