Guide to Tipping Around the World

Guide to Tipping Around the World

It can be confusing and stressful trying to figure out different tipping cultures and decide whether to tip, and if so, how much. It is important to remember, that while you may want to reward excellent service, it is not always appropriate or acceptable according to the country's cultural customs to tip, and you should not force your own customs on people in other cultures.

North America

Wait staff in restaurants rely on tipping to supplement their wage, so it's customary to tip 15 to 20% in Canada and the U.S. In Mexico, the standard is closer to 10 to 15% but in some restaurants a service charge is already included in the bill. In that case, wait staff still expects an additional 5%.


Wait staff are usually paid well, so tips are an appreciated bonus. Check to see if service has already been added to your bill, otherwise leave a 5% tip, 10% is considered very generous.

Australia and New Zealand

In general, it isn't expected, so there is no real need to tip. Restaurant workers do not rely on tips in either Australia or New Zealand, so do not feel obliged to tip. For exceptional service in cafes and restaurants however, a tip is always appreciated.


In general, tips are not expected or given by locals in Asia. In some touristy areas, workers in hotels, bars and restaurants have become accustomed to tips and will accept them without offense.

In South Korea, tipping is often considered an insult, and if there is a service charge it will simply be added on to the total of your bill.

Middle East

In a region known for being friendly, with very hospitable servic, those working in the service industry do expect tips for their efforts. The amount tipped is often much less than in North America, so while you may find yourself tipping more often than in other places, it will be in smaller amounts - and it will be very well received.


In general, outside of large towns, tipping is neither practiced nor expected. Having said that, as Africa is vast and diverse, some countries have more established tipping traditions than others. In South Africa, Egypt and Morocco, for example, 10% may be added to restaurant bills, and this is also an acceptable guideline to follow if you wish to tip for good service.

South America

While most people don't tip in restaurants, there is often a 10% 'servicio' added to the bill. In more upscale restaurants, you can add a little more as a tip if the service was outstanding, but it is not expected.