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By Nancy Todd
The Scoop Experts say: Tip! And, you tip differently in Spain. We hope that servers in Spain are well compensated when payday rolls around because tipping is much less in Spain.
Whether you are in big cities like Barcelona or Madrid, or in villages, service is slower as in really slow. Don’t let that deter the quantity of your tip. It is not bad service. It is Spain and people are in less of a rush. I have often been in a restaurant when the servers were talking with each other or on their cell phones, and they just continue talking. The guest is not attended to until they are ready. The positive side to this is that you will not be asked to leave so that they can turn the table.
Review your bill to make sure it is correct. Bills are incorrect about 50% of the time (a slight exaggeration…but do check your bill). Check to see if you are charged a tip. If you are, don’t tip anymore. Some places include a tip, most do not. Here are some rules of the wallet when it comes to tipping.
1. Coffee, beer, small stuff – Round the amount off to the next euro. For instance, when I pay 1.30 euros for a coffee, I leave 1.50 euros if it is a place I go to often. If I don’t go there often, no tip.
2. Lunch - For the Menu del Dia (set menu/ daily special), tip etiquette is to leave one euro per person or about 5%. Some people don’t leave anything.
3. Dinner - In a moderately priced restaurant, leave one euro per person. In an elegant restaurant, 10%.
4. Taxis – Round tip off to the nearest euro. If a driver is surly or takes you out of your way, leave him a crumpled gum wrapper. Drivers usually charge 1.50 extra for each suitcase handled so no need to tip for that.
What have your service/tipping experiences been in Spain? Any advice?