The idea of leaving a tip can sometimes be confusing, especially if you don’t know whether or not you have to leave one.
In the United States it is almost obligatory to tip because employees in the hospitality industry depend on it. In the Middle East, on the other hand, it could be seen as an offensive gesture. And in Italy? What is the right way to do it?
I will tell you everything you need to know!
Tipping in Italy—An Old Courtesy
The statistics are clear: most Italians don’t believe in tipping the waiter, the handyman, or the porter. This is not surprising if we consider the economic distress that Italy has been through over the course of the past decade. However, a closer look reveals that it's mostly the younger generations that don’t believe in the tipping process. Why? Because for them, tipping is a process that makes the employees feel like they are less than the guests. Of course, that is just one point of view. Leaving a tip could also mean that you appreciated the service because it went above and beyond.
Where, When, and How Much
As in many other countries, you can leave a tip for the waiter who served you or the handyman who helped you fix something in the house.
Etiquette says that the tip should be generous, but given with discretion and never to the business owner. But what is the right amount to give?
In Italy, where employees in the hospitality industry are paid by the hour, leaving 10% of the total is considered a good amount. But remember this: it is not a fixed fee; it is at your discretion.
In my opinion, leaving a tip is always a good gesture. If I order a coffee, and I pay between 80 and 90 cents, I always leave 1 euro. The same applies to restaurants. I always tip my waiters because I know how hard they work, and it is nice to show them I appreciate their work.