Photo (cc) by Dave Dugdale
Have you had bad service at a restaurant and still left a tip? If you answered yes, you’re not alone.
According to a new TripAdvisor survey, nearly 34 percent of Americans say they’ve left a tip even after receiving terrible service because they feel obligated. And nearly a quarter said they feel guilty if they don’t leave a little something extra behind.
In fact, servers around the world may want to take note of another big finding in TripAdvisor’s survey, which gathered input from 25,000 respondents from eight countries, including the U.S.: Americans are the best tippers while traveling.
Sixty percent of Americans said they always tip while on vacation. The remaining seven countries averaged half that, with a 27 percent tip rate. Italy ranked the lowest with just an 11 percent tip rate.
“The TripAdvisor survey shows the majority of U.S. travelers tip on vacation, regardless of the quality of service,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “While friendliness and helpfulness are the most important qualities that influence tipping behavior, cultural norms are also a significant factor.”
About a quarter of Americans said they’re not sure how much to tip in other countries. Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman told ABC News:
“There are so many different customs and so many different countries,” she said. “Every one of those countries is different. The best way to find out how to tip on vacation is to do your research before you go. Ask the hotels and the cruise lines what they suggest. Buy a travel book. You do want to know the customs.”
When it comes to tipping hotel staff, the majority of Americans tip the bellman (79 percent), room service (73 percent), bartender (71 percent) and housekeeping (69 percent). American travelers aren’t likely to tip the hotel gym staff (2 percent) and pool staff (9 percent).
I have a friend who regularly travels to Italy. She said tipping is not expected there, although she always leaves at least a euro and more if the meal is really superb.
How about you? What are your tipping habits? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.