One of the most awkward scenarios you can find yourself on any vacation is worrying about whether or not you need to leave a tip…
In Israel things are no more obvious, so we’ve decided to write up a few tips (no pun intended!) to help you on your travels around the Holy Land.
The first point to remember is that tipping is always at your discretion. If you do chose to give a tip, the common rate in restaurants is to tip between 10% to 15%. While a tip of 15% to 20% is generally considered to be a very generous tip, we’d recommend it, especially if you’ve received excellent service. Just so you know, a lot of the staff at restaurants rely on tips to boost their low wages; some will deserve a bigger tip, some not. Having some extra cash is always handy for a tip, though many restaurants now let you add the tip on your credit card (though some restaurant staff complain that they never see these tips…).
Tipping is also common in bars. Similar to restaurants, tipping bartenders 10% to 15% is the common range whilst tipping above 15% is considered to be a generous tip and best reserved for outstanding service. Though if you sit at the bar and all the barman is doing is handing over your drink, some argue that you don’t need to leave a tip.
Unlike in many other countries, it is not common to tip hotel staff. Equally, and perhaps surprisingly, it is not standard to tip taxi drivers. Also, if you are going on a tour, again, it is not common to tip your tour guide.
Giving 5-10 shekels is usual for food deliveries, including pizzas and grocery home deliveries. When it comes to more domestic matters, tips are usually paid to removal companies (depending on how many guys are doing the moving, but you might have to pay some 200 shekels between the lot of them) but not to handymen.
Another area where you might expect to tip but where it is not common to do so in Israel is hairdressers. Although if you are being washed or cut by someone who doesn’t own the salon, you should probably tip a few shekels.
Lastly: don’t stress too much about tipping. If you feel the service you’ve received deserves it, then give!