Friday, November 2, 2012

Tips for Tipping

While traveling, you are going to eat out....a lot. You are unlikely to have access to a kitchen, and let's be realistic, Americans like to eat.

You might want to be adventurous and try the super-authentic sit-down restaurant or you can be a boring American and stick to Pizza Hut. (I don't suggest you try the super sketchy food stand on the corner. Just ew.) Besides, their Pizza Huts are fancier than ours. They even sell wine. Doesn't that sounds like a high-class establishment?

Regardless of your food choice, you will inevitably run into the issue of how to pay for your meal. Here are the important things I learned:

1. No European restaurant  should take your credit card from you.

All restaurants have those little hand-held machines you see at farmer's market stands. They should swipe it in front of you. If someone takes your card to a different room, you may soon end up begging for coins on the corner as a random person ruins your credit score buying expensive bottles of vodka.

2. Tip with cash.

We're all used to the little tip line of a receipt. But, don't be tempted. You shouldn't use that. Nope, nope, nope. If  you tip with the credit card receipt, the restaurant will keep a percentage of the it. So rude. You're already paying the restaurant for the food, tip your waitress instead. Use some cash. Besides, you feel like such a citizen of the world when you have Forints, Euros, Zlotys, and Swiss Francs in your pocket.

3. Don't tip more than 10-12%.

I've always been told you should tip 18-20% for good service, 10% if your waiter ignored you, and a kleenex if they were flat-out mean. That's not quite the case over seas. 10% is what you should be giving for good service. Don't give your waiter the impression they are better at their job than they really are, unless you just want to make some friends. 

4. Ask for your bill when you want to leave.

You will not be given a bill unless you ask for it. Periods. Americans expect to get a bill while you're still eating because the restaurant wants you out as soon as possible. They've got people to feed. Europeans find that rude. They expect you want to sit and converse. Who wants to do that? You've already been spending every minute of every day together throughout your vacation. You don't really have any else to say by now. So, just catch your server's attention so you can go. There's too much to see and awkward silence isn't fun for anyone.

Until next time, God bless America


  1. Newest follower here! I found you through the Sunday link up! Cute blog, I can’t wait to read more!

  2. I'm your latest follower. Found you on the hop.

    It's hard NOT to tip when you're used to it...feels like you're being rude if you don't. I didn't know the restaurant kept a percentage of the tip if you used a cc receipt. Good tip.

    1. Yeah, I was amazed to hear that about the credit receipts.. One of my professors is Polish and he made sure to warn everyone. I like to tip my waitress, not the restaurant I'm already paying.

  3. I could have used this a couple months ago!! really this is such an informative post that people don't realize!!
    Found you through the Sunday Sync!
    Helene in Between

    1. I'm glad you learned something. I like to throw in some information between the snarkiness.