Man holding wallet open; poor man

When traveling to different places, you sometimes have to accept that only some places have the same customs and norms as you. In fact, the vast majority of the time, you will find that people do things differently almost everywhere you go and that the most respectful thing to do is go along with their norms.

Over the past few days on Twitter, a major debate has unfolded on Twitter regarding tipping culture in the US and how European tourists feel about it. It’s fair to say things got a little heated…

Is 20% Too Much?

The tweet that seemed to spark the debate was a viral post from a user going by the name of @madison_tayt. She is a US citizen who works as a waitress at a restaurant in New York.

As New York City is one of the most popular travel destinations for Europeans, it’s fair to see she’s had plenty of experience serving tourists from around the world. In a tweet posted on March 20th, she said:

“Lmao, I ****ing hate Europeans sometimes. This table just left $70 on a $700 check after chilling for HOURS. My manager even asked about their service, and they were OVER THE MOON about my service, so he explained the customary tip is 20%, and they were like, “ok,” and left.”

As Madison explains in her tweet, in the US, it is the norm to tip a minimum of 20% to bar staff and waitpeople, provided you’ve had an enjoyable experience. However, in Europe, the situation isn’t as clear cut, with the average amount tipped after a meal roughly around 10%.

Related: 11 Reasons Europeans Dislike Americans

A War of Words

In response to this tweet, a number of people on both sides of the argument jumped in to have their say. One person said:

“This American tipping culture has got to end. They’ve gotta pay you guys an actual wage; you shouldn’t put up with this.”

Snapping back, an American replied to this comment by saying, “As an American, I fully agree. But until laws change, until wait staff is actually paid a better wage, tip.”

Another user jumped in, suggesting that people should follow the customs of the place they are visiting out of respect for those who live and work there. They said:

“I google the tipping culture of every country I visit. I even learned that in Morocco and Egypt, tipping is very much assumed and expected for any type of service. People need to Google customs and act accordingly, not blame the country for not being like their own.”

With both sides going back and forth, one user jumped in to suggest that this is exactly why restaurants in the US get away with paying their staff poor wages. Their comment read:

“The restaurant owner robbed two people out of 700 bucks and managed to have them turn on each other.”

What do you think? Should the Europeans who Madison served have tipped the customary 20%, or is $70 on any check still a generous amount to give? Ultimately, should the argument focus on restaurant owners who pay their staff poorly? Let us know your thoughts on the entire situation in the comments.

Read the full thread and the subsequent argument here. This article is produced and syndicated by The Impulse Traveler.

The Impulse Traveler
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