“The first time I went to a restaurant was with my office colleagues. It was full of cultural shocks in this new country.

The server in the restaurant asked us if we would have a single check or separate. Everyone ordered for themselves. There was no discussion on the food to order, the combination of dishes, spicy level, previous experiences… I was used to having many stories around ordering food. The menu card would do round-robin, before somebody taking the lead, to realise all his choices were voted down!” I missed those stories. It was formal, jumping straight to the order.

As the bill arrived, I was shocked to see ‘gratuity’ there. Till that day, gratuity for me was the money employer would pay if one stayed for more than five years in the company.

18% gratuity (tip) was part of the total bill. My sharp brain quickly converted the amount to INR. It was more than my total bill at a restaurant back home!

I wasn’t inclined to pay it as I was still an outsider to the culture. I was yet to embrace the way of living here, now I call home!” shared a friend.

Which country are we talking about? Do you have personal experiences of the tipping culture away from home country?

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