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tipping in Spain

Old Sep 14th, 2009, 07:03 AM
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tipping in Spain

Can someone shed some light as to what is the tipping etiquette in Spain?
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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Not sure there IS an exact etiquette.. as we have friends of all sorts and opinions.

But I feel comfortable with a bill of 18E leaving 20.
of 5 -5.50 euros.. leaving 6

of 85 euros.. leaving 90-or so
coffee and snack.. round up to next euro or leave a euro

A taxi for 6.50...giving 7 or so
beautician.. 1 euro or so to each person who touches you

package brought to the door 1-2 euros
bags in hotel.. 1-2 euro/each

This is just approximate and I haven't really thought it out much, just quickly writing what I personally would probably do. Of course, sometimes the restaurant and service are out of sight and I, too, would tip a little more if there are more people attending the table than usual.
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 07:27 AM
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Thank you for the information, very helpful.
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Regarding tipping...

In my last couple of trips in Spain and Italy I have had the experience of the waiter making a point of telling me that service is not included. However, I don't see them telling the same thing to the Spanish/Italian patrons sitting at the tables around me.
This really irritates me. Frankly, I have continued tipping the same, around a 5% of the bill, sometimes a bit more if service warrants it. Based on my observations , this is more than what the locals tip.
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 08:18 AM
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Cruisluv and others, in Spain service IS included, no matter what they may say. (Sometimes, 7% VAT is not included, but it shows clearly in the menu). 5% of the bill is all right.
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 09:08 AM
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As josele points out, service is always included in your restaurante bill in Spain, but there are some places (where tourist tend to congregate) where your waiter may tell you service in not included in order to get you to leave a little something extra for him knowing that Americans always over-tip because they are unfamiliar with the culture.

Most bars and taverns use the three-tier pricing system, similar to France. One price at the bar, one at the table and out for the terrace or sidewalk tables. That’s why the bars in Spain tend to be crowded, that and the fact the spaces are small and there are never that many tables. Some places do not differentiate between the price at the bar, table or terrace, but most do. The difference in price is the service charge.

We usually leave the small change when having something at the bar, sometimes a couple of Euros when sitting at a table, regardless of what the bill may amount to, but never more than 5 Euros, and only if the meal was exceptional.

Outside of restaurants and bars, we always leave 2 Euros/day for the maid (but you should leave a note with the tip, otherwise the tip will probably still be there when you return to the room), and always something extra for the taxi driver.
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 10:04 AM
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Thank you for taking the time to provide such useful information...
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 12:21 AM
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Please note there is no service charge in Spain, despite what the VISITORS say. I work in the hostelry trade here in Spain.
To answer the question there is no hard and fast rules on this.
Some Spanish leave the small change after say a coffee or they will leave a tip after staying at a hotel. Others simply do not.
And gratuity is left ONLY if the service is good. NOT because you have to.


PS If you do not believe me next time you come to Spain look at your bill. No where does it state service is included, unlike France.
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 12:27 PM
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And a very important point: don´t feel pressed to tip. Waiters earn good wages, and they will expect just a small tip from your side, not based in any percentage, but on your opinion of their service. Don´t tip when having the daily menu (although spare change would be ok), it´s not customary.
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