Tipping around the World

It wasn’t long ago that I was in Los Angeles on a business trip, and we went out for dinner with 15 people. The company I work for was hosting this dinner, so my French colleague took up the bill. As we hadn’t yet worked together for long, I checked with him if he knew about the tipping standards in the US. He said he did, so while he paid, I organised taxis for everyone.

When I did my final check in the restaurant to see if we had left no one behind, the waiter, who had been patiently serving as all night, came to me, asking if he did something wrong. He showed me the receipt, and my colleague had tipped him 30USD on a 850USD bill. You can imagine I felt a bit embarrassed.

In Europe, or the Netherlands at least, that would have been perfectly fine and acceptable, but obviously, in the States, the waiting staff work really hard for their tips as it’s part of their income. Obviously, I sorted our waiter out with a proper tip and apologized for the misunderstanding, as I felt really bad.

I happen to know how tipping works in Europe and the US, but sometimes I go to places where I struggle as well. I found this handy article on Conde Nast Traveler, which gives advice on how to tip throughout the world, so I wanted to share this:



  • Reply
    31 March 2015 at 14:36

    Oh yes! Tipping etiquette never ceases to give us headaches when we travel so I always welcome posts like this. I bet the waiter in LA was really appreciative that you added a bit more to the tip that your colleague left. 🙂

    • Reply
      Tall Wife
      31 March 2015 at 14:59

      I felt so bad for him, he worked so hard all night!

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