Today, the terms gratuities and tips are used interchangeably, but there is a difference.
Tips is an abbreviation of “to insure promptness and usually provided at the beginning of service.
These days, some people at busy fully booked hotels may also give a “tip” to a desk clerk to ensure accommodation, or for that matter to a maitre d’hotel to sit them at a table with an outstanding view or scenery or to get a table in a fully booked dining room.
Gratuity is now the term that replaces the more colloquial word tip.
In different countries, tipping traditions change and now in some Far Eastern countries, where tipping was rare or never practiced, are changing too.
Here is a list of frequently visited countries that may be useful to tourists and businesspeople.
In Scandinavian countries, bills are rounded up to the nearest monetary unit. Service is generally included in either the price or separately added. If exceptional service was provided, and extra five per cent on the “basic” (only for the food and beverage) may be given.
In these countries, gratuities are automatically added or included in the price of each time.
In Turkey, taxi drivers, servers, and chambermaids expect a tip usually ten per cent of the bill, or whatever the consumer feels appropriate. It is also customary to tip a barber, or the hair stylist in a beauty parlour.
In France, 15 per cent is automatically added at the end of restaurant bills.
Taxi drivers expect ten per cent of the fare as tip.
In hotels, no customary tipping tradition exists.
In Greece, ten per cent for food and beverage service, for taxi drivers rounding up to the next Euro, and for chambermaids a daily amount of one or two Euros is customary.
In Portugal and Spain 15 per cent in restaurants should be provided if the bill does not contain a separate entry.
For taxi drivers, rounding up the nearest Euro is recommended.
In Austria a five per cent of the restaurant bill is expected, if the bill does not contain a service charge.
For chambermaids one to two Euros per day is appropriate
In Italy, service charges are included in the bill, but chambermaids expect five Euros per guest per week, or fractions thereof if the stay is shorter.
In the Untied Kingdom and Ireland, 15 per cent service charge is included, if not, ten per cent of the food and beverage total is standard.
Surprisingly, in pubs tipping is not customary. Regulars may offer, from time to time, a drink to the bartender.
Taxi drivers expect £ 1.00 per piece of luggage.
In North African countries, taxi drivers, servers, bellboys, chambermaids, and guides and generally any person who provides some kind of service expects a tip.
In Thailand and Malaysia, 10 per cent of the restaurant bill is customary.
In Japan, tips are frowned upon, but small thoughtful gifts are appreciated.
In China, servers and hotel employees don’t expect tips, but these traditions are changing rapidly with the influx of tourists and recently found wealth by Chinese entrepreneurs.
Tour guides appreciate gratuities; chambermaids expect two to three dollars per day.
In the U.S.A and Canada, tipping in restaurants is 15 – 20 per cent of the total before taxes, per piece of luggage $ 1.00 – 2.00 in hotels, and the same amount per night for chambermaids. Taxi drivers expect 10 – 15 per cent of the fare as tip.