…Whether you hate tipping and want to plan your vacations around countries where it’s an unheard of concept or are just interested in how other cultures handle tipping…it’s good to be aware of the places where it’s unexpected to tip, where it’s uncommon but appreciated, and where it’s considered an outright insult…
Japan is a country built on traditions that stretch back centuries and which can still be seen clearly in everyday life. Respect, courtesy, and politeness are basic principles in society, and good service comes as standard without the expectation of extra compensation.
Japan quite simply doesn’t have a tipping culture, so trying to leave a gratuity could result in a fair amount of confusion. That confusion will inevitably lead to attempts to give you back your change, and could even open up the potential for causing offense. Avoid an awkward situation with a heartfelt thank you instead.
China is such a vast country with such a diverse history that many aspects of life differ drastically from region-to-region. The food, the landscapes, and even the language vary depending on where you are but one thing that remains largely the same is that tipping is unexpected and unnecessary.
China has no tipping culture traditionally, though in some of the big, international destinations it is becoming more common, largely thanks to overseas visitors. In Hong Kong and Macau, restaurants will often include a 10 percent service charge. If you feel you got exceptional service you may want to leave a little something extra.
3. French Polynesia
This collection of magical tropical islands in the South Pacific Ocean might be an overseas collectivity of France, but the tipping rules are completely different from the country that oversees it… In French Polynesia no tip is required ordinarily, though if one is expected it will usually be clearly indicated with a note on the receipt to say that it would be appreciated.
…[In] Switzerland…there is no expectation to leave a gratuity for any services received.
Unlike in many countries where tipping is ingrained in the culture, staff in the service industry in Switzerland are generally paid a decent basic salary. This means they aren’t reliant on tips to bolster their wages. Any service charge must be clearly stated on your bill by law, and any tips here tend to be confined to the change left over from payment…
Tipping in Brazil is not common practice, partly because culturally it’s not been done, but also because a 10 percent service charge is usually automatically added to your bill.
Having said that, tips here are genuinely appreciated, even if they’re not relied upon. Many customers tend to round up to the nearest real rather than waiting for small change, and don’t be surprised if service staff do this as well when giving you your change back. Use your discretion as to when to give a tip, but remember that waiting service is a well regarded profession here and anything you do leave will be well received.
6. South Korea
…Regardless of where you are in South Korea, tipping is generally not expected, though it may still be appreciated in certain settings such as more westernized restaurants. In some instances it can even be considered as an act of pity rather than generosity, and may be refused. The easiest option is to simply not tip.
…Its relatively high minimum wage means that service staff are well compensated for their work. Add to this the fact that a service charge of 10 percent is more often than not included in your final bill and it goes some way in explaining why tipping is so uncommon here.
Don’t feel obliged to leave a tip, but if you do receive great service, a tip is taken as a token of your appreciation. It’s also more common to tip in higher end establishments than it is in cafes or bars, but still not considered a requirement. Five to 10 percent is sufficient if you do decide that you want to leave something.
…Whether you feel comfortable resisting leaving a tip or not, it’s important to follow the customs and traditions of the places that you visit. What you consider a harmless and even generous act could be seen as completely the opposite and cause offense to the intended recipient. Be respectful, and if in doubt, feel free to discreetly ask what the expectation is.
The comments above are edited ([ ]) and abridged (…) excerpts from the original article by Nick Wharton
Thanks for reading! If you want more articles like the one above visit our Facebook page (here) and “Like” any article so you can get future articles automatically delivered to your feed. You can also “Follow the munKNEE” on Twitter or register to receive our FREE tri-weekly newsletter (see sample here , sign up in top right hand corner).
Remember: munKNEE should be in everybody’s inbox and MONEY in everybody’s wallet!