SELLBYTEL Introduces: Worldwide Tipping Customs

When it comes to tipping – just like with most things – different countries have different customs. In some places you tip more than in others, and in some nations it might even be seen as an insult to give less than the expected tipping amount.

Are you in a country where tipping is customary and required, appreciated but not expected? Tipping rules differ by country, by region and by setting. While a little rounding up of the bill may be adequate in some places, it might be unsatisfactory in others. In order for you to behave at your best on your next business trip, the following provides you with some guidelines describing the most common tipping customs in different countries – from South Africa to Australia. And in all of them SELLBYTEL has locations too.


There is no official tipping culture in Australia or New Zealand, so tipping is not an actual requirement. The wait staff Down Under is often paid over $20 per hour. However, if you encounter extra great service, feel free to round up the change.

Czech Republic

Tipping in the Czech Republic is frequently expected of foreign visitors, who are expected to tip at least 10%. Yet this practice mostly applies to bigger cities like Prague and other popular tourist destinations. In smaller towns foreigners are not expected to give any more than locals.


In Germany we recommend not to leave your tip on the table at restaurants. Instead, you should hand it directly to the waiter or waitress. Service is usually included, although it is common to round up the bill to an even figure. This usually totals between 5-10% extra.

Tipping is also expected in hotels. If you receive good service you should give your porter between 1 and 3 Euros per bag. Your housekeeper should receive between 3 and 5 Euros per night, your concierge up to 20 Euros at the end of your stay.


While it is not mandatory, tipping is fairly usual in every industry and even a little can go a long way. So for tourists, 10% is a good benchmark at restaurants.


The general rule in Malaysia is that you are not expected to tip. However, if you offer one, it will not be refused.

Tipping in Malaysia also largely depends on the luxury level of the hotel or restaurant. Tips are especially unusual in hostels, street food stalls or local diners.

Also remember that the 10% service charge often added to a bill in hotels and restaurants ends up with the owner rather than the staff. So just tip above that if you want to thank your server.


In Portugal, tipping tends to be considered as a supplement to an income at a restaurant. Therefore a tip of 10% is very much appreciated, although a fine dining place might add up to 15% to the bill.

Taxi drivers normally expect a 10% tip on top of the fare, in hotels a few Euros should be given to bellboys and maids. Also make sure to tip your concierge if you use this service.

South Africa

In Africa and particularly South Africa, a tip of 10-15% is the norm at restaurants. However, it might be that the bill already includes a service charge. As a guideline, travelers should budget a tip of $10 per day in a shared vehicle, or double that amount if they travel privately. At hotels it is recommended to give a dollar per bag to the porter and per night to the housekeeper.


A tip between 7-13% is normal in restaurants – obviously depending on the level of service received. Still, travellers are unlikely to get strange looks, if they do not tip. So leaving without a tip is not a major no-go, but if you’re feeling generous, the rule of thumb is to keep it under 13%.


Whilst tipping is not obligatory in the majority of the United States, it is expected in many cases, especially at sit-down restaurants offering table service.

Tipping practices may vary depending on the state.  For example, some Americans don’t tip at a buffet restaurant, but it’s generally a good idea to tip $1-2 per person for wait staff.

At hotels $2-3 per night and up to $5 (more in high-end hotels) are common for housekeeping and maid services. Regarding concierge services tipping is never expected, but definitely appreciated.  Here $5 per request is a decent amount. When it comes to taxi drivers, 10-15% of the fare on top – based on the service quality – is recommendable.

We hope that this article gave you some useful ideas on how to tip and make the best possible impression on your next business trip!

For further information on our business in the described nations, go ahead and visit our SELLBYTEL Group website.

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