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Do you tip in Hong Kong restaurants (Our HK Tipping Guide!)

Do you tip in Hong Kong restaurants? (Our HK Tipping Guide!)

I had my friends from America with me in Hong Kong this year for our summer shindig. Now, being the self-proclaimed tour guide slash foodie enthusiast, I took them to my favorite dining spots. And hey, I like to flex a bit, you know?

Well, there we were, having a blast, hitting up restaurants left, right, and center. But here’s the kicker: when the bill arrives, my friends—bless their hearts—started sliding extra cash onto the table. I’m sitting there thinking, “Wait, what?” 

I was over there sticking to the service charge, minding my Hong Kong manners, but my pals were throwing tips around like it’s confetti. And let me tell you, they were utterly gobsmacked when I spilled the tea about tipping culture in Hong Kong restaurants.

Do you tip in Hong Kong restaurants? 

Tipping in Hong Kong restaurants is not the norm since most places tack on a 10% service charge to your bill. You’ll spot it on the menu and see it again when you settle up. 

That 10% service charge usually covers it, but hey, if the service totally rocks your socks off, feel free to toss in a little extra tip to show some love!

Tipping in Hong Kong Restaurants

So when is the ideal time to tip even if there’s already a 10% service charge on the bill? Well, here’s the lowdown: if you get exceptional service, it’s cool to add a little extra tip on top of that 10%. Toss in a few extra dollars as a gesture of appreciation. 

Feeling super grateful? Go ahead, drop a bit more!

Now, when you’re rolling deep with a squad of 10 or more, it’s standard to leave a little extra on top of the 10% service charge. Groups can put some serious pressure on the staff, so a little bonus is a nice way to say thanks for handling the chaos.

But if you’re eating solo, the service charge is definitely enough. Tipping is not customary and it’s not offensive if you don’t give it.

If that service charge isn’t spelled out on the bill, just ask your server about it. If there’s no service charge in sight, then feel free to leave a modest tip to show your gratitude.

Note: Keep in mind that in less formal dining settings, such as street food stalls or take-out joints, a simple yet appreciated way to tip for great service is by leaving your change. It’s a casual gesture that many locals and vendors appreciate.

Fine Dining Restaurants

When you’re indulging in the lavish experience of a fancy restaurant, things work a bit differently. Tipping is far more common in these classy joints, regardless of whether there’s a 10% service charge already factored into your bill.

So, what’s the magic number? Aim to leave a minimum of around HK$20 as a tip. It might seem like a small amount, but it can mean a lot to the folks working tirelessly behind the scenes.

Still, Hong Kong is not a “tip” country and even in high-end restaurants, this gesture is not expected. The best action is still to not tip at all if you find yourself confused by the service charge.

Things to Keep In Mind When Tipping in Hong Kong Restaurants

Tipping in Hong Kong is like finding the secret ingredient in a recipe – you’ve got to get it just right! Here’s your cheat sheet for tipping savvy at local eateries:

  • Tip in cash, especially in smaller eateries or local places. Cash tips are more directly received by the staff, ensuring they benefit directly.
  • When tipping, consider rounding up the bill or leaving an even amount rather than loose change. It streamlines the process and is appreciated.
  • If possible, hand the tip directly to the server or staff member who served you. This ensures they receive the gratuity intended for them.
  • Alongside tipping, expressing gratitude verbally for excellent service can complement the tip and make your appreciation more personal.
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