Thoughts on tipping culture and what I tip

 Updated July 2023.
Are you also always talking about equality and a just world and be happy and kind and supportive et al? A good way to appreciate other people’s services is to leave a tip. There is nothing worse than to have deep pockets and short arms, don’t you think? 
Bank notes from South Africa, United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, and Australia


In an ideal world, waiters would get a secure income. If I have enough money to spend at a restaurant or hotel or taxi, I am pretty sure I can afford to tip accordingly.

Being out and about so often, I think it fair to give back to the people I meet along the way. To all the cab drivers who point out great restaurants and tell me about the history of a place. To the wait staff helping me to create memorable memories, and to hotel maids who present lovely made beds and leave chocolate on the pillow … We are all in this world together and all these people we meet daily make life as pretty as it is. If I have enough money to spend at a restaurant or hotel or taxi, I am pretty sure I can afford to tip accordingly.

A few gold coins left as tip o a handwritten bill served on a plate
Stylish. A handwritten note in Prague

When I see people who are too mean to leave a tip I get sad. The world might be a better place if they would stay at home and cook their own dinner. It breaks my heart really to see them behaving like a prince or princess, probably complaining and leaving without gratitude for the service received. Often these people say it wasn’t that good or they search for any other flaws. That is something I don’t get at all. Eating out a few times a week, I can hardly remember a time when I was treated badly at a restaurant or hotel.

Honour the service of the wait staff, cab drivers and maids

Waitstaff, cab drivers, or maids most certainly don’t earn thousands per month, so a tip surely is a lovely contribution to their income. Thinking of it, the same goes for street buskers, don’t listen or look if you cannot afford or don’t want to pay for their performance. If you like what others do for you, don't be too shy and show your love with a tip.

A handwritten thank you note with a smiley on an Australian five-dollar banknote.
Thank you note

In the end, we all tip what we think is appropriate for the service received. Please just don’t try to save money at the wrong end.
From Berlin with love