Leaving a tip in restaurants, bars and clubs in Taiwan?

Do you tip in Taiwan?

I tip sometimes, but I’m not sure if it’s expected. A pizza delivery guy once told me that he wasn’t allowed to take tips. He would not take it. I still tip the pizza guy. Actually, I tip the pizza guy more than anyone else (about 25%). I mean… He risks his life bringing me my pizza. Literally.

I also tip taxi drivers sometimes. As for restaurants and pubs, I only tip in restaurants that offer western style service and I rarely tip when buying a beer. It’s enough paying three times what the beer is worth as it is.

Am I being a cheapo? Am I tipping too much? Or does that sound adequate for Taiwan?


How long have u lived in Taiwan.

I have been here a few years, but figured out pretty quick that tipping just isn’t part of the culture.

As a visitor, I try not to inflict my culture on Taiwan culture, including when it comes to tipping. Just because we think it is great, doesn’t mean it is great. Was very hard to change my mindset and still hard to explain to my visitors.

Places already calculate a surcharge in of 10%.

Tipping doesn’t always reach the intended recipient anyways. So could end up misdirected into someone elses pocket.

Bell men at hotels is just about it.

I have three tipping policies

US - Tip 10% in restaurants, leave $1 on the desk in your room every day in hotels. Very Bad Things will happen to you otherwise :laughing:
UK, Sweden. Tip 10% in restaurants, Pizza delivery guys. Though it’s much more important in the UK.
Japan, Taiwan. Never tip, it leads to crazy situations like waitresses chasing you down the street to give you back the money you’ve ‘forgotten’.

Though in Taiwan I wonder if I should tip the Pizza dude.

[quote=“KingZog”]I have three tipping policies

US - Tip 10% in restaurants, leave $1 on the desk in your room every day in hotels. Very Bad Things will happen to you otherwise :laughing:[/quote]

In the US, standard restaurant tip is 15%. Servers will think you’re a cheapskate if you tip 10%.

As the cheapskate I am, I enjoy living in a culture where tipping is not part of the custom. I like seeing a listed price and knowing that’s what I will pay (no taxes or tips added on extra). All the guide books for Taiwan tell us that tipping is not part of the culture.

That said, occasionally I will round up the payment for a particularly difficult (for the driver) cab ride.

[quote=“tango42”]How long have u lived in Taiwan.[/quote] Too long! A bit longer than you have.

[quote]I have been here a few years, but figured out pretty quick that tipping just isn’t part of the culture.[/quote]So I’m not being cheap, then? You see, my wife thinks I’m a cheapo when it comes to tipping in Taiwan regardless how often I tell her that people don’t often tip here.

[quote]Bell men at hotels is just about it.[/quote]And you don’t tip the pizza guy? You see, now I think that’s just rude. :wink:

[quote]Though in Taiwan I wonder if I should tip the Pizza dude.[/quote]I’m glad I started this thread, if only for educational purposes. :laughing:


I think you have it about right. In western establishments I tip, depending on the situation. Like Chris said, for taxis I will give a small tip under certain circumstances such as Saturday when the guy drove us up into the hills to the trailhead for a hike. Local restaurants or cafes or teahouses: never. Of course you do see little tip jars occassionally in cafes so the concept of tipping is not as alien as tango42 says.

Bellmen, yes.

Tipping workmen is not that uncommon, nor is giving doctors red envelopes, though I suppose the latter is more a bribe.

Ok, ok, ok, I also tip the pizza guy. Bellboy, and pizza guy.

Taxi’s seem to keep pushing any extra change back into my hand and yelling at me as I get out if I try to leave something.

Tell the wife or whoever, when in Taiwan, do as Taiwanese do. When at someone’s house, respect their house rules.

Not only in tipping, but in everything.

I have frequent visitors to Taiwan, and I try to explain all the cultural difference including the tipping. I consider them pretty clueless if they don’t understand this simple concept. It goes vice versa, if a Taiwanese visits the US for example, then he/she should tip, because that is the culture in the US. Not doing so would really cause them a lot of headache and possibly worse.

Hang out with Taiwanese, as some do like me every day, and see what they do. Rich or poor, they do the same because it is part of their culture.

I never know what to do as far as tipping bellmen. I only tip them if I have many bags. If it is just my one rolling bag, why should I tip? I would much rather just take the bag to my room by myself. I hate when they insist that they need to take my bag to my room, especially in a hotel that I have stayed in multiple times.

I never tip anywhere. It’s not really a part of my culture to do so. I might round up $5-10 occasionally for a taxi, but that’s rare and would only be for self-employed people (taxi, market stands etc). I don’t see a point in tipping someone who earns a wage/salary from a boss - it’s their employers job to pay them, not mine.

I always tip cab drivers if they drive even half decent. All other tipping from the gingerly in other countries is dependent upon service/attitude. Which means Taiwan scores fairly low on the tipping scale.

Nobody expects tips around here – which makes my life just peachy.

Visiting N. America just confused me – when to tip, and when not to. Its a culture thing, you either are used to it, or its something completely alien.

In Taiwan I only tip the taxi drivers because I can’t be bothered with piles of small change and its usually about NT$ 100 anyway.

I do enjoy the “paying for the bill” fights you get in Taiwan. My inlaws can be downright extreme here – one of the aunts once berated a waiter for accepting money from my wife and asked for the money back. And yes, I do join in and feel good when I manage to sneak off with the bill. :discodance:

One reason why I always keep my backpack on my back when checking into a hotel.

If you feel you must tip someone in Taiwan, it’s useful to know the phrase 不用找 “bu2yong4 zhao3” (“Keep the change”). This will stop people from chasing after you telling you you forgot your change.

Some of my best friends are ginger. Mind you, they do fit the ‘ginger’ stereotype of being careful with money and never tipping.

Keeping in line with the thread title for Taiwan, this excerpt from tripadvisor.com seems pretty accurate:

"Except for bellhops and service personnel in International Hotels, tipping in Taiwan is generally not expected.

For restaurants (especially in large hotels), if there is a tip to be taken, they will just add 10-15% to your check. But in general don’t worry about tipping when your eating out! If you are from the USA, this may take some getting used to…

It is not necessary to tip Cabbies – in fact it will confuse them. But if the balance is not too much (say, 5 yuan) and you leave it (i.e. tell them to keep the change - “bu yong dzao” ) It is appreciated."

From personal experience: restarurants - as a rule, no tips; they certainly don’t expect, might not appreciate, will will likely misinterpret any added tip. An exception: Western style restaurants such as Carnegie’s, where they explicitly state “no added service charge” on the bill (meaning a tip is warranted).

Bars and clubs- Not necessary or expected. Sometimes they will have a fishbowl tip jar on the bar, which is often empty. If the bar is particularly busy, I will throw in something after the first round so I can hope to get served quicker the next time, although that’s just me.

Delivery, including pizza: no tips. Taking tips will likely get them fired; it will confuse them and you can expect a polite “no” or an awkward stalemete

Don’t feel guilty about not tipping; it’s just a different [non] tipping culture in Taiwan, much like Australia and Japan. To go counter to this culture, no matter how well intentioned, can be considered inappropriate, confusing, and even rude.

Spoken like a true tightfisted ginge.
Just kidding dude.
Seriously, there are a couple of points to consider here.
One is that, at home, like it or not, the conventional system is set up with the assumption that most front-of-house hospitality workers will get tipped, and, consequently, their base salary tends by and large to be well below what someone of commensurate skill and experience would make in a parallel industry. You may not think it’s fair, fine, but the fact is that if you don’t tip at home (in venues where it’s normally done), it’s like paying for 1 1/2 shoes and taking a pair home and telling the clerk to make up the difference out of their pocket. Don’t forget, especially at home, there’s a good chance that we’re talking about a career professional who has devoted several years to the development of their expertise. Finally, unlike here, you can use tipping as a way of expressing displeasure with the level of service or quality of goods.
Which brings us to the second point, simply that, while yes, we all love being here in a tip-free zone, have you ever considered that one of the main reasons why we have such overall crap service here in Taipei is the lack of that very system? As one with a wee bit of management experience in the field both here and at home, I can tell you, as can any of our fellow posters who are engaged in service-oriented enterprise, that motivating staff to really deliver Western /Philippine standard service is one of the toughest struggles one faces in day-to-day operations. Ever wonder why, when a new joint opens up, you get the laoban coming around to the table and chatting and making sure everything’s OK, and treating you like a king? Simple, dude. It’s his dough. He’d better make sure everyone’s happy, because when the joint goes TU, HE’S out his (and his investors’) buck. And likely, in Taipei, because so many people, especially foreigners, tend to be so stupid about this, his life’s savings. Now contrast his situation with that of the 28-year-old waitress with the nice bum. Unless she’s uncommonly motivated, or has another agenda, it don’t mean squat to her whether the place is hopping or not, she gets her lousy 24K a month either way. Not like at home, where she has actual fiscal motivation to keep them cocktails coming.
Not that I’m guaranteeing service in Taipei would automatically improve if one were to start slinging down a hun every couple of rounds (although it might), but it’s worth considering the global nature of the issue.
Ya cheap cunts ya.

I always tip in places like Carnegies and MOP because that way you get much better service. Its not about a one round deal its the fact that I tip every single trip and I keep coming back. The girls want to serve me well because they know I’ll tip and occasionally buy them a round of drinks. I pretty much don’t tip anywhere else though. Call me cheap but I don’t see the benefit, I don’t appreciate bell hops carrying my luggage and what is the point in tipping for average service somewhere that you are not going to give repeat business to? Very occasionally I’ll tip a cabbie or a hairdresser with small change.

My wife tells me that you can make US$100K and up doing a waitering or bar job in New York - - now how is that right?

Spoken like a true tightfisted ginge.
Just kidding dude.

Well I do have Scottish blood on both sides of the family - and I have the hair and freckles to prove it. :smiley:

You’re cheap.

How is it not right?
First of all, are you aware of the general cost of living in New York? I’m assuming Manhattan, since that’s the only place in NYC where I think a wage like that might be possible.
Second, why shouldn’t a seasoned, experienced professional who has, as I said, devoted years to refining their skills and abilities, make a decent wage? And for a place like Manhattan, 100K is a decent wage. Have you ever worked bar or restaurant? It’s physically demanding, intellectually challenging, and psychologically stressful work. Especially if you do it well.

I went to the US with a bunch of Swedes who told me that they resisted tipping based on their silly Communist principles. They considered it patronising to the working man or objectifying the working woman and so on. They also mused that tipping the poor postpones the day of reckoning for the exploiter classes, much like giving money to beggars does. Plus it saved them money which they could spend on getting shitfaced every night. Someone politely reminded them the importance of tipping. All but one of them did tip from that point on. When they left the non tipper found the maids had turned on his TV and tuned it to the porn channel each day he left the hotel so he ended up with “Porn channel $lots” on his bill.

In capitalist America it seems, the poor exploit YOU!

Also worth mentioning, what works for me at the Taiwanese bars and clubs if I feel like tipping is to offer the bartendar to buy them a shot or a beer. Whether they accept or not, they always seem to appreciate the gesture and there isn’t the awkwardness of tipping.