Tipping

Jul 15th, 2010, 05:36 AM
  #1  
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Tipping

What is the scoop on tipping in Italy? Drivers, owners of Villa, Chefs at cooking classes, waiters etc.? Is there a preference for cash or euros? I have read if using a credit card to leave the tip in cash. Thank you!!
Carmelk is offline  
Jul 15th, 2010, 05:44 AM
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This topic has been discussed in depth recently on this board - enter "tipping" in the search box. I would say a villa owner would be absolutely astounded to receive a tip!
tarquin is offline  
Jul 15th, 2010, 05:47 AM
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As would a chef at a cooking class.
Zerlina is offline  
Jul 15th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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ira
 
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I thought that Euros were cash.
ira is offline  
Jul 15th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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ira
 
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Hi C,

In Europe tip cab drivers, housemaids, waiters, porters, etc much less than you would in the US.

Also note the difference between a tip and a service charge.

In all restos there will be a 15% SC included in the price. If you want to leave a bit more for extra good service leave cash. A tip added to your CC belongs to the boss, not the waiter.

I generally leave the housemaids about 1.5E/night.

If bkfst at the hotel is included in the rate I leave the buffet staff an E.

ira is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 05:19 AM
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Thank you everyone I appreaciate the info!
Carmelk is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 05:34 AM
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I don't understand the question
*****Is there a preference for cash or euros?****
Here in Europe we only have Euros, we use that as cash!
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 05:50 AM
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The basic rule of thumb is that nowhere in Europe tips as you do in the US. Rounding up (say, 36E up to 40) is fine in restaurants. And no one will have a fit at you if you don't tip.
Kate is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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In some tourist-heavy areas, if you ask a waiter if the tip is included in the bill, they may say No. That is technically correct, but Americans often confuse the service charge (which is mandatory) with the tip (totally voluntary) because in the US the tip IS the service charge.
kayd is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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Kayd:
There is no mandatory service charge in Europe....Spain - The Netherlands- Belgium- Germany- UK amongst others do not have a mandatory service charge.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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I thought this discussion was about Italy, and if service is not included in the bill in other countries, I stand corrected.
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Jul 16th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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I am embarrassed to say that when I first started travelling (in my twenties) I took all of the guidebooks literally when they said that tips were included in the bill (as the service charge) and so do not leave a tip. It wasn't until I visited friends living in Germany that I learned the "round up" rule. My sincere apologies to all of those extremely kind restaurant waiters that I dissed before I learned better - it was entirely unintentional.
tejana is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 02:19 PM
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ira, your advice about the service charge is 20 years old, and completely outdated. Very, very few restaurants still have the service charge. If you chance upon one that still has it, move on (it's mentioned on the menu!) - it's a tourist trap!!! NO serious restaurant all over Italy will charge that service percentage anymore, so yes, if you're happy with the waiters, leave a tip. But don't overdo - it would be more offensive to leave an exaggerated tip than none at all. But don't tip the owner, that's bad manners. And never tip anybody whom you got to know personally, which happens incredibly quickly in Italy. If you go to the same restaurants two or three times, it's quite probable that "your" waiter will have a personal chat with you, i.e. more personal than about what's on the menu today. The art of being a restaurant client in Italy is to understand at which point it would become outright offensive to tip him any longer, particularly in non-touristy places. To make you understand how it goes, if you're a regular (and this, as well, happens incredibly quickly in Italy), they will be tipping YOU!, i.e. they will, similar to the "round up" rule, "round down", often considerably. At this stage - at the latest!!!!! - you would be terribly impolite to equal the "tip" that you've got from the restaurant by a tip for them, never mind if waiter or owner.
franco is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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Wow Franco, it is really amazing how different people can be from place to place isn't it? Here in the U.S. noone would EVER be offended by a tip! Just the opposite is true. I thank you for sharing your knowledge with me. I would truly hate to offend someone when my intentions would be to show my appreciation! I cannot wait for my trip and your comments only confirm what I already believe to be true, that the Italain people are warm, kind and gracious! Thank you again.

Carmel
Carmelk is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 09:10 AM
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ira
 
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Hi franco,

>ira, your advice about the service charge is 20 years old, and completely outdated.<

Are you referring to the "coperto", which in English is a "cover charge"?

Otherwise, on my last visit (Sept 2009) the folks in the Lakes Region hadn't gotten the message.

ira is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 09:39 AM
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ira, of course, I'm not referring to the cover charge, which is still widespread (though on a retreat, as well). If in the Lakes Region, the service charge is still alive and well, this may mean that it's a regional particularity; or (which wouldn't be too surprising in the Lakes Region) that the regional particularity is that most restaurants are tourist traps.
franco is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 10:32 AM
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I have experienced exactly the situation Franco describes on many visits to Italy. On just the second visit to a restaurant in a few days, I've received a much warmer welcome and special treatments, such as a the discounted bill Franco describes, very large portions of antipasti ordered (one towering order of prosciutto and melon was admired by many as it arrived at our table), and free food and drinks. These niceties are the norm offered to "regulars."

For the most part in Italy, wait staff salaries are higher than in the U.S. since it is considered a career, not necessarily just something to on the way to another job. Restaurant owners are not paying wait staff based on the expectation that they will receive tips.
ellenem is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 07:30 PM
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ttt
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Jul 18th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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We tip a little. Breakfast in Venice was always 4.20 Euro, and we’d leave the 30 cents in the tip jar on the counter, but not always. It was appreciated, but not a big deal, just leaving the small change. Many people would leave nothing. Maybe our small tip was compensation to the staff for having to talk with us in broken Italian – an Italian lesson for 30 cents, so pretty good value.

The biggest ever tip was after we had eaten in Rome, when the tab came to about 100 Euro. We had lovely, exceptional, service, and tipped a five Euro note.

In the Billa supermarket, we’d often leave the copper coins – Europe is still cursed with one and two cent coins. But that’s not a tip; it’s just a way of avoiding the task of carting around about half a kilo of copper. There is a chronic shortage of small change in Italy, and if you pay with the exact money, it is most appreciated.

The comments about going to the same place are correct. Because places are so popular with tourists who visit a bar just once, then by the time you go the third time, you are remembered. By the fifth visit, the barman will likely raise an eyebrow, you’ll nod, and he’ll pour two spritzes for you, one Campari and one Aperol.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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ribeirasacra, your definition of what comprises Europe might be helpful given your response above:

"Here in Europe we only have Euros, we use that as cash!"

For example, are the UK, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland in your Europe?

Just asking...
BigBlue is offline  

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