Guide to tipping in restaurants

Tipping has often been a tough decision to make in our daily lives. Believe it or not, people actually remembers if you are a good or bad tipper which is why you sometimes get really bad services at certain restaurants despite having patronage those places for years. So how should you tip? Or better still, should you even tip?

Not compulsory to tip in Malaysia

In certain countries, tipping is almost ‘mandatory’. In Malaysia however, the situation is slightly different because there are the Sales and Services Tax which constitutes to about 10 to 15% of the bill depending on the place while the GST Malaysia has change the situation considerably.

Rule of Thumb to tipping

The rule of thumb is to leave about 10 to 15% of the total bill as the standard tipping rate but no one will fault you if you do not leave anything at all besides being called the ‘bad tipper’. This is if you think you have not been accorded the service you deserve as a customer in the outlet.

When to tip more?

There are situations when you should tip more and that might be above 10-15% of the total bill. Although this is not mandatory, you could decide to do so when:

  1. If you are dining there with a large group of people (5 or more), then it would be good to leave a larger tip.
  2. This should be practiced if you are in an upscale restaurant or in those romantic restaurants you go to impress your other half.
  3. Other times when you should give more is when you have a lot of ‘specialized’ requests and when you were there for a long time. If you like your server (with no ulterior motives) for a great job, then leave a larger tip.

When should you NOT tip!

On the other hand, you can leave little or NO tip if you think you have been shortchanged for the service you paid for. If the server (waiter) has been rude and the food was bad, then forget about tipping altogether.

Having said that, always remember that a lot of the servers and waiters rely on tips for a higher bring-home pay but if they do not deserve it, then it is okay. Tipping is always the choice of the customer.


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