Tipping in India - A Newcomer's Guide to Who, When, and How

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#1 Jun 25th, 2013, 01:31
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A new article entry has been added:

Tipping in India - A Newcomer's Guide to Who, When, and How

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India has a long, robust tradition of baksheesh, and this guide gives a newcomer some tips on tipping. The clamor starts at touchdown where arms will insist on helping with the tiniest backpack and strident voices will try to herd you towards a specific car/taxi/hotel/shopping emporium - all for a few rupees in gratuity.
#2 Jun 25th, 2013, 21:29
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Just wanted to thank hfot2 for helping put together the main content that eventually led to this article. Thanks for all the help, guys!
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#3 Aug 2nd, 2013, 06:20
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Tipping amount for restaurants

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Originally Posted by The India Mike Community View Post A new article entry has been added:

Tipping in India - A Newcomer's Guide to Who, When, and How
I am planning my first trip to India later this year, and have been researching tipping amounts for various services.

I have to say that in all the research I have done across the internet, I have not seen a suggested restaurant tip of 12-15%. 10% is the highest I have seen, with most sites saying anywhere from 5% to 10% based on the service rendered.

Would be interested in hearing others' comments on this.

Thanks.
#4 Aug 2nd, 2013, 07:02
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Originally Posted by rj2002 View Post I am planning my first trip to India later this year, and have been researching tipping amounts for various services.

I have to say that in all the research I have done across the internet, I have not seen a suggested restaurant tip of 12-15%. 10% is the highest I have seen, with most sites saying anywhere from 5% to 10% based on the service rendered.

Would be interested in hearing others' comments on this.

Thanks.
I'll be taking my first trip to India in December, so I really don't have standing to comment, but my thoughts are this:

In the United States, a basic meal at any even moderately decent restaurant will cost around $20.00 per person. The standard tip in the United States for half-way decent service is 15% which comes to $3.00. A 10% tip would save you $1.00 and a 12% tip would save you 60 cents. In Europe, the prices are generally even higher and the tip would also be proportionately higher.

In India, restaurant meals can be much cheaper than in the US, so the difference in tips between 10%, 12%, and 15% are even less. Say you eat 2 meals a day (breakfast usually being included free with the room) on a trip that's a month long. Even at US prices, the difference between a 10% and a 15% tip would set you back a total of $60 for the entire month.

Unless you need to travel on an extremely tight budget (in which case you wouldn't be eating at more expensive restaurants anyway), tipping 12% or 15% really doesn't hurt your pocketbook very much and might help someone who actually needs the money for day-to-day survival.
#5 Aug 2nd, 2013, 08:23
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Originally Posted by davidx2 View Post In India, restaurant meals can be much cheaper than in the US, so the difference in tips between 10%, 12%, and 15% are even less. Say you eat 2 meals a day (breakfast usually being included free with the room) on a trip that's a month long. Even at US prices, the difference between a 10% and a 15% tip would set you back a total of $60 for the entire month.

Unless you need to travel on an extremely tight budget (in which case you wouldn't be eating at more expensive restaurants anyway), tipping 12% or 15% really doesn't hurt your pocketbook very much and might help someone who actually needs the money for day-to-day survival.
In the culture of cultures, one sees often, behavior which are polar opposites, which stems from a culture of entitlement.

Tourists who come across the oceans, will leave a quarter after quaffing a few pints of beer, or leave a dollar or less for a thirty dollar bill; claiming that poor wages, or lack of benefits for service workers, should not be a criteria for expecting tips for working; yet they do the opposite by defending tips-as-service-charges for essentially poor or indifferent service back in their homeland.

Or, scraggly dreadlocked blonde kid stiffing and haggling a woman selling T-shirt for 10K Dong (40 euro cents), and then dumping 20Euro in a expat pub getting wasted. Or, arguing with a 60 year old rickshaw-walla over 5 rupees (8 euro cents) in Hazratganj only to blow a pile of cash at the ganja shop. The structure of their argument being "they only make 20 Euro a weeK" why should we pay more than the going-rate.

This is the future of "Tea Party" here, the True Finns, Partij voor de Vrijheids ukip over there; the young travelers who will be go home and uphold similar diametrically opposite actions.

Tip, should be what you expect to pay back home (with a base minimum) If your country adds 15% service charge/entertainment charge/ then do the same where ever you go. After all you cannot claim to uphold human values building resume by voluntourism 3 hours a day, and then hard-nose rave on angel-dust all night and stiff a local off their tip
#6 Sep 2nd, 2013, 03:26
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post In the culture of cultures, one sees often, behavior which are polar opposites, which stems from a culture of entitlement.

Tourists who come across the oceans, will leave a quarter after quaffing a few pints of beer, or leave a dollar or less for a thirty dollar bill; claiming that poor wages, or lack of benefits for service workers, should not be a criteria for expecting tips for working; yet they do the opposite by defending tips-as-service-charges for essentially poor or indifferent service back in their homeland.

Or, scraggly dreadlocked blonde kid stiffing and haggling a woman selling T-shirt for 10K Dong (40 euro cents), and then dumping 20Euro in a expat pub getting wasted. Or, arguing with a 60 year old rickshaw-walla over 5 rupees (8 euro cents) in Hazratganj only to blow a pile of cash at the ganja shop. The structure of their argument being "they only make 20 Euro a weeK" why should we pay more than the going-rate.

This is the future of "Tea Party" here, the True Finns, Partij voor de Vrijheids ukip over there; the young travelers who will be go home and uphold similar diametrically opposite actions.

Tip, should be what you expect to pay back home (with a base minimum) If your country adds 15% service charge/entertainment charge/ then do the same where ever you go. After all you cannot claim to uphold human values building resume by voluntourism 3 hours a day, and then hard-nose rave on angel-dust all night and stiff a local off their tip
I live in the US, and generally tip 20%. Are you saying that I should tip 20% in India? That doesn't seem appropriate at all. In my travels I usually try to comply with the local practice, not what I do at home.

Would you suggest that a traveler from Japan tip nothing, since tipping is generally not part of the culture there?
#7 Sep 2nd, 2013, 04:07
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Originally Posted by davidx2 View Post I'll be taking my first trip to India in December, so I really don't have standing to comment, but my thoughts are this:

In the United States, a basic meal at any even moderately decent restaurant will cost around $20.00 per person. The standard tip in the United States for half-way decent service is 15% which comes to $3.00. A 10% tip would save you $1.00 and a 12% tip would save you 60 cents. In Europe, the prices are generally even higher and the tip would also be proportionately higher.
Stop thinking about it too much. Give credit where credit's due and not as some guilt obligation, plus a bit of bunging about of largesse when well served... and Bob's your goat mate
#8 Sep 2nd, 2013, 04:11
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Originally Posted by rj2002 View Post In my travels I usually try to comply with the local practice, not what I do at home.
I bet - But you surely must have miserably failed so often because what practice of locals tipping are you thinking of
#9 Sep 2nd, 2013, 04:26
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Originally Posted by Paleface View Post I bet - But you surely must have miserably failed so often because what practice of locals tipping are you thinking of
Actually, doing a bit of research about tipping customs prior to visiting different countries and regions has served me well. That is why I posted my original comment here.
#10 Sep 5th, 2013, 01:49
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I have rarely had my first few meals anywhere outside the US alone. I always ask from my hosts/colleagues what the custom or norms are.
#11 Sep 5th, 2013, 03:56
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Do not tip for nothing. Consider what service you actually received and adjust tip accordingly.

Personally, I don't think percentages work well in India at all.
#12 Sep 5th, 2013, 06:19
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You will find that Indians very rarely tip and in fact some of them are rude and insult people of a lower caste and expect top service and show off especially if they have money and come from Mumbai, so if you want to do what locals do, then don`t tip, if you want to be generous to all that wait on you then then 50 or 60 rupees especially if you use the same restaurant frequently, the staff are usually nice to Brits because we are usually polite and they are very grateful, not like in America where they expect tips for doing almost nothing and will insult tourists if they feel you have not left a big enough tip, give small and often that way they all get something especially if you are in India for a month or more.
#13 Sep 5th, 2013, 14:42
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bill, welcome, but can we have some punctuation, please? It makes words readable.

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You will find that Indians very rarely tip
That's actually not true. They tip quite often, but small, and, of course, they know when it is and isn't required. That might be something to do with living here
#14 Sep 5th, 2013, 16:17
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My Indian friend who lived in UK for10 years, said Do Not Tip, however in hotels we always keep 10r/- notes for room service/cleaning, whatever, and dish them out according to service.

I have never ever , or do intend to ,stay in the higher end hotels.
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#15 Oct 15th, 2013, 19:16
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If (when working in Europe in such environments as gratuities could be offered) I received a tip that was equivalent to an hour's wage, I considered it to be a generous offer.

But now we'd need a list of average hourly wages for the people we might be tipping.
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