Yes, India likes tips. The liftman, the waiter, the taxi driver, the hotel bellboy, the fortune teller, the maid at the friend’s house you’re crashing at … all expect a sizeable baksheesh. Here is a general guideline to help you navigate the mores of Indian tipping.
And before you start, here’s a handy tip from IM-er hfot2, who says when you first get here, ask the bank for enough bills in change. Having 10s and 50s handy will go a long way to ease the tipping point.
Tipping while Travelling
Unless you really can’t carry your own luggage, you can say no to the touts at the station and airport who will try to hustle you. Often they’re simply hangers on, not the drivers, hopeful for a tip.
For taxi and rickshaw drivers, know that locals do not tip. If there’s a situation with change, locals will round up to the nearest ten and leave the few rupees as a tip. You can leave as much as 10 percent if your currency conversion affords it. IM-ers generally advocate up to 12 percent on the meter.
If the transport is a fixed flat rate for a long-haul journey, simply pay the fare and then give the driver a meal allowance (Rs. 50 is generally enough). If the driver has been exceptional, slip them a 100 at the end.
Beware of the side excursions to shopping outlets of any kind recommended by a driver or concierge. The drivers get a commission from the shop owners for every person who steps in – whether the visit culminates in a purchase or not.
Tipping at Hotels
Bell boys and liftmen, especially if they carry your luggage, get Rs. 20 per bag. Or you can give them a 50 or 100 rupee note at the end of your stay. Just be aware they might not be on duty when you check out.
Tipping at Restaurants
The accepted tip in a restaurant is 12 to 15 percent. In the metros, there is the new vexation of sorting out “service charge” from “service tax”. Service tax is government imposed; service charge is a forced, in-built tip. Do check your bill: If there is a service charge or gratuity included (anywhere from 5 to 20 percent), it is up to you to leave a cash tip. For instance, if the restaurant has charged 7 percent service charge, you should probably leave another 7 percent in cash.
Tipping Domestic Help
If you’re staying at someone’s home, there is probably someone employed to do the cooking and another the washing up. Most Indian families also have drivers. At the end of a short stay, a tip of Rs. 100 to each of the house help is customary. If they have really gone above and beyond and you’ve stayed more than a day, up to 500 is generous. Your host will have a good idea of what is acceptable.
Whatever your exchange rate at home, grappling with the Indian rupee will make you either feel like you’re being too extravagant or too miserly. The balance is really up to you.
There are more suggestions on this Dressed-Up Tipping thread. We’d love to know what you think.
Latest comments for Tipping in India - A Newcomer's Guide to Who, When, and How
Sorry for diverting off the topic.. .
- Join Date:
- Oct 2004
- Chennai, India
There are some things that you already probably know but I would risk repeating it
1. The porters try and take advantage you whenever they feel you are most vulnerable. (old people, loads of luggage, not many men in the group, foreigners, people looking for porters themselves(the need for help is made apparent) ).
2. The porters work like a union. If there is some porter who is haggling with you for a price and he doesn't agree others around him usually do not come in. You are supposed to be that porter's mark and you need to deal it out with him. Now a way around that is usually to wait it out for some time and let new/ different porter come in and dont tell him that you had any discussion with any other porter before.
3. If you can, you could start walking a bit and wait for the porters around to come in offering their services and then you can quote your price.
4. A good option that is often made use of nowadays are trolley bags so the dependency does go down. (well over a long journey, the amount of luggage does go up invariably)
5. If you think you are able to come midway between the porter's demand and your expectation, a little leeway should be ok.
6. If you think you have had a good bargain and you feel the porter has been good, a small tip may be ok. (a very rare phenomenon, but has happened with me. (at times even the porters are in need of fares and if they feel that they do not have many options they may be willing to get something rather than sit without a fare and then drop their prices. ))
Like I said before, many out here may have had much more experience, just putting my views on the same.
tips in India
I hope to have an Emirates car from the airport to the Intercontinental hotel in Mumbai.
so suggested tip for Driver and porter for carrying my bag to my room ?