Jun 27, 2007

To Tip or Not To Tip:That is the Question

Giving a tip at a restaurant is not really been part of the Omani culture, perhaps due to cultural aspects such as the fact that eating out as a family has not been traditionally common here in comparison to other countries or the fact that we do not have many fancy places to go eat at anyway.

Tipping is almost an obligation in some other cultures, it is very common in some countries to have restaurants that explicitly mention in their food menus that service charge is not included (although I really do not understand how they could charge us so much when service charge is NOT included, vegetables and meat are not that expensive) so that the customer has to pay/tip for the service. However, the majority of restaurants in Oman do charge a ‘service tax’ when you dine in, so that does not really matter much in Oman.

So what do you our readers do, at what circumstances do you tip? Do you tip only when you experience an extraordinary service? does it depend on how fancy the restaurant is? does the frequency at which you eat at the place matter? and finally – how much do you tip: is it a specific percentage of bill amount or is it just whatever change you have left in your wallet?

  • muscati

    You gotta tip. Always. But always tip cash. Never tip by adding it to the bill when you’re paying by card. The owners almost always take that as additional income to them and rarely ever give it to the waiters, whereas when you give them cash they benefit from it immediately.

    Ideally you should tip about 10% of the bill, but I don’t see people doing that here. In the US if you don’t tip the waiter he still gets taxed on the tip he didn’t get. Usually the tip is just a couple of rials. I tip at least 1 rial but when we’re out in a group and we’re splitting the bill, we add a tip to the total before splitting it. Ya3ni, say the bill is 60 rials, add at least 5 rials as tip before splitting it among the group.

  • Suburban

    We always tip as well, and always in cash for the same reasons Muscati stated.

    Exceptional service gets 20% above average service 10-15% The exception is rude service or lazy service (we are pretty easy to look after so there is no excuse) where we tip nothing.

    We usually tip if the service is bad but it’s not the fault of the waitstaff. Ie- Bad management.

  • Twister

    we tip if the restaurant does not charge service charges. Although we may add a tip if the service was exceptional.

    In Australia there’s no trend of tipping.