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How to tip like a local

By Cathy Winston 11/04/2016

Planning a trip and unsure of the local custom when it comes to tipping? Travel pro Cathy Winston takes a tipsters' world tour so you'll never fall foul of the waiter again.

United States

Welcome to tip central. Expect serious glares for leaving under 20% – being chased down the road for under-tipping isn't unheard of. Only ordering drinks at the bar? Still leave a tip – especially if you want another.


Included in the total by law, it's considered flashy to tip for no reason. Quelle horreur! But as the owner often gets the service, leaving an extra Euro or two for the waiting staff is fine.

Germany and Austria

Do tip — but don't abandon your money on the table as you leave. Instead, tell the waiter what you're paying or endure them 'hunting' for change.


However romantic the gondola ride or delicioso the pizza, tips are either already included or unnecessary. One major no-no is tipping the owner, as it implies they're struggling to make ends meet.


As in neighboring South Korea and China, there isn't a tipping culture in Japan. Best case scenario, your confused waiter politely returns it.


Tipping isn't required, but handing out 'lucky' two dollar bills ensures you'll make a big impression.


Although not illegal (unlike feeding pigeons), tipping is officially discouraged — and anything other than local currency is a shortcut to scowls for the hassle.

New Zealand

No longer a firing offence, it's still not standard practice to accept tips in restaurants.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.