18 Countries That Don’t Want Your Tips

Tip guilt. Tip fatigue. Tipflation. All of these words are relatively new to American vocabulary, and yet far too many of us can relate to them.

That said, tipping restaurant staff isn’t customary in all parts of the world. In some countries, it’s even viewed as rude and disrespectful.

So, if you’re planning an international trip and don’t love the thought of adding tips to your travel food budget, these are some countries where shelling out money above and beyond your bill isn’t the norm.

Mapping Tips

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Visual Capitalist published a map of restaurant staff tipping percentages — or lack thereof — in 162 countries. They published their findings in 2023, using data from TripAdvisor to determine where people do and don’t tip.

The reason Visual Capitalist only worked with 162 countries is that there wasn’t data for tipping practices in every country of the world.

The following countries are those that Visual Capitalist determined don’t require tipping. In some cases, tipping is appreciated. In other cases, a service fee might be included in the bill. And, in the most hard-for-Americans-to-wrap-their-heads-around situations, tipping is an insult to restaurant staff.

Sydney, Australia.

1: Australia

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Tipping isn't expected in Australia. However, if you do so, servers will likely appreciate it versus feel offended by it, unlike certain other countries.

Japanese town.

2: Japan

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Tipping is borderline rude in Japan. So, spend your spare change on more food rather than tipping your server.

3: New Zealand

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Tipping is totally optional in New Zealand. 

4: Laos

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Tipping is a nice gesture in Laos, but it's not a cultural expectation that customers do so.

5: Cambodia

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Tipping isn't standard or expected in Cambodia. However, in touristy areas, locals are a bit more accustomed to it.

6: Samoa

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There won't be any hard feelings if you don't tip in Samoa.

Great Wall of China.

7: China

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Gratuities aren't part of Chinese culture. That said, if you're visiting a super touristy area, leaving behind a small tip is a nice gesture.

8: Fiji

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Unless you're in a very touristy area where staff are relatively more accustomed to tips, tipping isn't common in Fiji.

Busan, South Korea.

9: South Korea

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It's best not to leave a tip in South Korea as it's often seen as offensive. Insisting a restaurant worker takes a tip will only dig you into an even deeper no-no cultural hole.

10: Singapore

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Tipping isn't a thing in Singapore, mainly because restaurants often include a service charge. Even if they don't, tipping still isn't expected.

Isla del Caño, Costa Rica.

11: Costa Rica

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It isn't a part of Costa Rican culture to tip. That said, tips are welcomed among restaurants that operate in touristy areas.

12: Nigeria

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Tipping isn't customary in Nigeria, though it isn't totally unheard of or frowned upon if one chooses to do so out of the goodness of their heart.

13: Djibouti

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"Tipping" in the form of an included service charge is common in Djibouti. Therefore, you don't need to leave extra money on the table once you pay your bill.

14: Tajikistan

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When visiting smaller cities and when staying at moderate to budget accommodation, tipping isn't customary in Tajikistan. The situation changes in larger cities and at upscale hotels.

15: Vanuatu

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Tipping is pretty much a no-no in Vanuatu, with some limited — but not mandatory — exceptions in touristy areas.

16: Taiwan

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You'll fit right in with Taiwan culture by not tipping. That said, if you want to tip, it'll likely be well-received. 

Colorful buildings in Copenhagen.

17: Denmark

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No one will expect you to tip them in Denmark. By law, if a company wants gratuities for service, they must include it in the price of the item.

18: Kosovo

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If a Kosovo local tips another local, they'll be met with strange stares. As a foreigner, you can choose to either tip or not tip, though tipping is appreciated.

The Run-Down

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From a worldwide perspective, more than 33% of restaurant staff in the 162 countries Visual Capitalist analyzed expect a 10% tip. Meanwhile, the United States had the highest expected tip, at 20%.

Canada followed closely behind the U.S. for high restaurant staff tips, with an expected tipping range of 15 to 20%.

Norway and Serbia were notable exceptions among European countries, with up to a 20% tip expected. In contrast, most other European countries expect up to a 10% tip.

History of Tipping

Tipping with a bill.
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In 2023, CNBC published a piece on how American tipping practices have gotten out of control. Going back to the 1950s, it was common for people to tip 10% of their restaurant bill. Once the 1970s and 1980s came around, the cultural expectation was a 15% tip.

Nowadays, Americans are often expected to leave a 20% tip, with many restaurant paper and electronic bills suggesting a 25% tip.

So, why has the cultural pressure to tip higher percentages increased in recent years? Experts point to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did many Americans start tipping restaurant workers more during the pandemic out of gratitude for their service, but they also started tipping for services they formerly never used to tip for.

Tipping for Pick-Ups

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In the past, it was unheard of for Americans to tip a restaurant when they picked up a to-go order. That’s no longer the case.

When restaurants saw that people were willing to tip well for food deliveries during the pandemic, they realized they could ask for tips when customers came to their restaurants to pick up food. It worked, and like so many tipping practices that became commonplace during the pandemic, such tipping practices haven’t reversed to pre-pandemic times.

That leaves many customers frustrated and resentful of not only higher food prices due to inflation but also higher prices due to tipflation.

Desperate for Change

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As frustrating as it is for Americans to feel pressure to pay higher tips, many restaurant workers are also frustrated. According to federal law, the minimum wage for tipped employees is a measly $2.13 per hour, assuming that minimum cash wage, coupled with tips they receive, results in a minimum wage rate of at least $7.25 per hour.

While many states have their own laws about wages for tipped employees, this reality remains: Working as a tipped employee involves uncertainty over hourly income. Between this and frustration over paying high tips, many Americans feel legislation needs to change around tipped employees to make restaurant experiences fairer for both workers and customers.

“I’m Tipped Out”

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The tip jar, or worse, the tip screen, has become a ubiquitous part of American life. These are some of the top reasons Americans don’t want to tip anymore.

“I’m Tipped Out.” 11 Reasons Americans No Longer Want To Tip

9 Times in History When Gas Prices Spiked to Crazy High Levels

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The frustration you feel when pulling up to the pump and seeing a higher price is nothing new. Gas prices have had peaks and valleys since World War II, and they’ve disrupted Americans’ lives many times. 

9 Times in History When Gas Prices Spiked to Crazy High Levels

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