Tipping in Greece is confusing for most visitors. Here's a simple guide that will let you return to any restaurant with confidence.
Difficulty Level: average Time Required: 5
- Tipping for Tourist-type restaurants: Ask for the bill - usually, it will not be brought until you request it.
- Check over the bill for obvious errors, and bring any substantial errors to the attention of your waiter. Minor error? Decide if it's worth trying to sort it out.
- Confirm that a "service charge" has been included. If it has, follow suggestions below.
- Pay the bill.
- To reward warm service from your waiter, leave about 10 percent on the tray. If service has been poor, skip this step, as the waiter generally shares in the revenues from the meal. Waited on by the owner? No tip is expected.
- Regardless of the general service, unless it has been memorably abysmal, ease the burden of the busboy, who often receives virtually nothing for his work, by leaving a Euro or two on the table.
- If appropriate, thank the owner or person in charge for the great meal.
- Tipping for Traditional Eating Places: Ask for the bill. Check for obvious errors, and bring any to the attention of your waiter. If it's less than a Euro or two, it's easier to forget it.
- Note if a "service charge" has been included - it probably won't be.
- Tip your waiter between 10 and 20 percent of the total. Leave this on the tray, or give it to him directly.
- Leave some small change totaling a Euro or so on the table for the busboy.
- Thank the owner or person in charge for the great meal.
- Tipping Taxi Drivers: -Taxi drivers generally don't expect tips from Greeks but certainly won't turn them down from tourists.
- There is a charge for handling each piece of luggage - this is not a tip, but an official charge.
- Tipping Public Toilet Attendants: Tip 50 Euro cents or so and bless them, since without them, there would be no toilet paper or soap there.
- You will often see a "cover charge" on the bill. This is literally the cost to cover the table when you sit down, and includes your bread and non-bottled water (which you must carefully request or be served and charged for water). It's generally a Euro or two per person. It is unarguable, even if you don't drink water or eat bread.
- Don't stress over tipping - get it close to the guidelines above, but don't break out your calculators.
- Had a horrible experience and feel ripped off? Contact the local "Tourist Police" office. They exist to handle complaints and assist tourists - not to arrest them!