This is one of the topics that is quite controversial and to some extent toxic. Some believe that everyone should be handing out bills for practically all hospitality sector employees while others don’t subscribe to the tipping argument at all.
When I visit a country where I have not been previously (which is becoming more difficult) or for a while, I sometimes use Google to see what tipping expectations there could be. Often these search results (wrongly) imply that tipping is more prevalent than in reality it is.
It also seems that tipping is slowly spreading to markets where it has not existed previously.
Of course hotels and these hospitality companies would love if all their customers are tipping left and right so that they would not need to pay a living wage or a minimum one.
I often travel with American friends who feel extremely uncomfortable when they don’t leave a tip or I tell them that tipping here (whatever country we might be in) is neither common nor expected. Some also have the belief that they need to tip everyone from a flight attendant to a hotel front desk employee.
Some wrongly believe that tipping in general results in better service than in countries where no tipping is required. I have not seen or experienced any correlation between service received and when tipping is or isn’t “required”.
Tipping to a certain extend is tax dodging as well. Who believes that these tips are or fully reported?
We were discussing tipping this past weekend and one friend mentioned that a waiter had been visibly upset when he had been left 18% tip when, according to the waiter, the correct amount would have been 25%.
Earlier in the year, I went to some sushi train restaurant in London (the quality was apalling) and the manager automatically added a 10% charge to the bill without asking me first. Considering that I was serving myself and the only thing that the waitress did was bring me a miso soup, I felt that it was not warranted and requested it to be removed. This resulted in 5 minute conversation….
My personal belief is that tipping should never be forced and you should only tip when someone has truly gone an extra mile rather than just doing their job. Companies should pay their employees a living wage and charge customers accordingly.