Package Forwarding

Mexico Expat Forum

How much am I expected to tip?

Post New Topic
Brendahalol
8/20/2017 19:18 EST

Anyone know what is an acceptable amount to tip? I dont want to seem cheap or unappreciative/exploitative, but.... i get the sense if the tip is too high it comes off as condecending or an attempt to show off.
So... resurants, Costco, deliveries- what is an acceptable amount of money to tip?

Post a Reply

00abuse

rmajijic
8/21/2017 09:17 EST

Tipping, as always, is all over the place. I have asked Mexicans about it and they tell me that 10% is the the rule of thumb. I am sure that other peoples views will vary widely

Post a Reply

10abuse

expat health insurance from CIGNA

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

Learn More Get a Quote

Marinoni
8/21/2017 09:30 EST

Tipping is out of hand in Mexico in my opinion. I tip the baggers at grocery stores 10 pesos (I don't tip at Costco), I tip the Pemex gas attendants 10 pesos if they clean the front windshield, I tip the server at the chicken or taco restaurants 20 pesos. Sometimes I tip parking lot attendants 10 pesos. I rarely do percentages, but if you do you should feel comfortable with 10%, never more than 15%. Tipping is getting expensive if one gets out much. I'm getting tired of it.

Post a Reply

12abuse

Fredo63
8/21/2017 10:03 EST

The nationals tip 10%. So do I, although there are Canadians in my building that say they tip 30 to 40% daily to everyone.
I would say you'll be safe with 10%.

Post a Reply

10abuse

Marinoni
8/21/2017 11:05 EST

"there are Canadians in my building that say they tip 30 to 40% daily to everyone."

Of course they have money to burn. They think they are buying loyalty, but there is no loyalty, only money unfortunately.

Post a Reply

01abuse

topmexico
8/21/2017 11:33 EST

According to the Canirac, which is the restaurant association, Restaurants expect their waiters to get 15% tips, They normally have to share the tip amount with the kitchen and busboys. Wages are low and tipping is expected to be the waiter´s main source of income.
Just a very few gas attendants get paid, a big number of them have to pay around 100 pesos to be able to work on a pump.
Grocery baggers don´t get paid either, If they are old, this is normally their only source of income.
Tip what you can, be generous, because it always comes around, =)

Post a Reply

20abuse

International Moving Quotes

Are you tired of calling up random removal companies to quote for your international move? Tired of telling the same story every time? ExpatExchange's new partner, International Moving Quotes, offers you a simple and hassle free solution to plan your move. You'll get up to 5 FREE quotes from trusted international movers. Takes 1 minute! No obligation. Save up to 40%. Only qualified and professional movers. Get your quotes now!

Learn More Get a Quote

Cozumeldeb
8/21/2017 12:01 EST

Let's try and remember the past 3 yrs have been really hard for the Mexican people, peso devaluation cuts their buying power. At restaurants we pay in pesos and tip in USD..We all need to remember we are guests in MX. No UGLY Americans, please.

Post a Reply

42abuse

Marinoni
8/21/2017 13:03 EST

"According to the Canirac, which is the restaurant association, Restaurants expect their waiters to get 15% tips, They normally have to share the tip amount with the kitchen and busboys. Wages are low and tipping is expected to be the waiter´s main source of income."

Unfortunately the restaurant tipping is a joke. It seems like this restaurant assoc. is not doing a good job in making sure wait staff are trained. I have not yet met a waiter or waitress in Mexico that knew their job. I'm always hesitant to tip at restaurants because I've never had a comfortable experience at a restaurant except for the taco places(where I always tip). Oh, and I am easy to please, I'm not a difficult customer. Remember folks, this is not the United States or Canada, tipping is always optional regardless of what the propaganda says. And "what goes around" does not "come around" in Mexico.

Post a Reply

02abuse

MexJuan1
8/21/2017 13:47 EST

The Taco places or sidewalk cafes/restaurants are the best places to go anyway. The food is the mist authentic. At the more upscale places it seems tweaked to suit the American palette? That's been my experience anyway...

Post a Reply

00abuse

Marinoni
8/21/2017 13:54 EST

Yes, guests of course. But how much are we "required" to spend to be accepted? To be welcome? I've lived in four dynamically different area's of Mexico and have yet to feel welcome by Mexicans. But I always drop money into the coffers at the grocery stores, gas stations and roadside beggers who look destitute. I guess I'm getting tired of it. And I'm not rich like some posters here who post such great things about heavy tipping because Mexicans are having such a rough time.

Post a Reply

01abuse

promobabe
8/21/2017 22:06 EST

Wow Marinoni. So you've never had a good experience with any waiter or waitress in all your years in Mexico? All Mexican serving staff are unprofessional and terrible and not worth any tip at all? That speaks volumes about you. Yikes. With that toxic attitude, I'd check my food for spit if I were you.

Post a Reply

01abuse

JohnPS
8/21/2017 23:23 EST

Knowing when to tip is another issue. The cashier at 711 carried 4 heavy water bottles to my car, but seemed offended that I offered a propina. "I'm not your service.", he said.

I think maybe he was the store manager, but there was no real indication, other than he spoke English very well, was very well-mannered and seemed more educated than the typical 711 employee.

We always give a few pesos to the person who bags our groceries, and it's usually worth it just to see the smile their face.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Cozumeldeb
8/21/2017 23:24 EST

Marinoni, appreciate where u are. We are lucky to have a great retirement in MX. Tip up!

Post a Reply

00abuse

RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
8/22/2017 10:48 EST

Heavy and prolific tipping is not part of the Mexican culture, and offering a tip to someone who just offered assistance will be insulting and offensive. Taxi drivers do not get tipped, for example, unless they carry luggage into your destination. Waiters are generally tipped 10% and grocery store baggers, who do not receive any pay from the store, should be tipped a few pesos per bag. Gas station attendants are tipped only if they clean windshields, etc.; not just for pumping the gas, as they are paid to do that. When parking, there are guys who may help direct you, car washers and car watchers, all of whom you may tip as you see fit; maybe up to 10 pesos. I cannot think of any other tipping situations.

Post a Reply

10abuse

MonicaRixPaxson
8/22/2017 12:27 EST

Not only are parking attendants paid in tips only, many have to pay a daily fee for the honor of working a job with no pay. For example, at a local grocery the attendants pay 300 pesos every day before they can earn anything for themselves. While by law the attendants at Pemex stations receive pay, in practice many do not (although they have to sign weekly that they do). Further, many must pay a significant bribe to get the job to begin with. Your waiter is typically paid in tips only and may have to share with the rest of the staff. Yes, baggers at the grocery are paid in tips only and is often the only work people over the age of 50 can get in Mexico. Have a heart. Tip generously if you can. This includes the vene venes on the streets, the people who clean your windshields and street entertainers. Give everyone something. People have to eat. Consider it crime prevention or public welfare if you must, but if you are living in Mexico you are expected to chip in, and if you do so with a spirit of contribution and generosity, so much the better. This is a culture where even small gestures—buying someone a bottle of water, giving a package of cookies or a piece of fruit—will be deeply appreciate and earn good will in return. Tips do not have to be large to make a difference. 10% or more for restaurants and a few pesos practically anywhere else will make a difference.

Post a Reply

20abuse

Brendahalol
8/22/2017 13:01 EST

Its a bit overwhelming. I'm not accustomed to. Thanks. I did tip the guy at costco, i propably shouldnt have.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Brendahalol
8/22/2017 13:06 EST

Wow. Are they in a space that caters to foreigners? What prompted me to ask about tipping was i was getting .... negative responses to high tips. In several instances i didnt want to do the math so i over did it. It did not seem appreciated, so i figured maybe giving high tips is seen as snobby.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Brendahalol
8/22/2017 13:10 EST

I read Mexico has a minimum wage. I also read the amount of money i had to prove i make, in order to get a visa, is based on Mexico's minimum wage.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Brendahalol
8/22/2017 13:16 EST

..... i was under the impression thats why some people offer assistence, they want to be tipped.
But now that you mention it, may i was being hit on?

Post a Reply

00abuse

Brendahalol
8/22/2017 13:20 EST

Can i ask, how do you know all this? People (ANYWHERE) seldom want to speak of their wages/salary unless its to brag.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Harddisk66
8/22/2017 17:40 EST

"So you've never had a good experience with any waiter or waitress in all your years in Mexico?"

Correct, never at a restaurant. Many great experiences at chicken and taco places/restaurants where I always tip. The wait service I've experienced in this country has always pushed me back to going to the chicken and taco places only. You should read more carefully, I'm not toxic nor a difficult customer. I'm just a realist and finally learning how to be fair to myself.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Cozumeldeb
8/22/2017 18:12 EST

Agree, 100% Monica..Would also like to request, it's back to school time and every area have organizations exist that help buy school supplies, shoes etc..$50 USD goes a long way helping the kids.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Marinoni
8/22/2017 22:48 EST

promobabe(your name speaks volumes about you btw)

"Yikes. With that toxic attitude, I'd check my food for spit if I were you."

Hmm.... so tired of posting with illiterates ..did I spell illiterate correctly? If you read my previous post you would have read that I am not a difficult customer, therefore, not toxic, in fact I never complain....ever. You made an assumption based on your poor reading ability. So, I do not go to restaurants anymore because the wait service is always poor, but I do go to the taco places with chairs and tables and I don't hesitate to tip. Oh, I eat at the chicken places too and tip there as well. I haven't had a decent pizza in Mexico yet so I've given up on pizza restaurants. My experience with the suishi places is poor as well, but I do go to one place that actually puts there heart and mind into the wait service.

ps, I don't think any of us needs to check for spit, it's a very common ingredient no matter where you eat.

Post a Reply

01abuse

MonicaRixPaxson
8/23/2017 00:40 EST

I assume you are asking me? (Brendahalol regarding where I got my information when people are typically reluctant to talk about what they make, etc.) I got my information about jobs, tips, etc. from watching my husband in action. My husband is involved in a very interesting course of study called Subsistence Marketing. Essentially it is about how poor people earn money and how they make buying decisions with the intention of better meeting their needs. My husband, who is Mexican, has been involved in a study on this subject that is being conducted by academics internationally and sponsored by the University of Illinois. Part of his research has been to interview people about their jobs, earnings, how they manage when they are sick, etc.— all about their lives related to work. He does this informally and is very good at getting people to talk. So good in fact, that he continues the practice with nearly everyone he comes into contact with long after collecting the data he needed. I have spent countless hours standing by, waiting for him to finish talking to a 65-year-old vegetable vendor or a 16-year-old grocery bagger about how they got their job, how much they earn, etc. The vast majority of people are happy to answer personal questions as long as he is asking them. For the most part these are people who are never asked anything about their lives and they seem to appreciate his interest. Obviously, he has compiled a great deal of information about how working people in Mexico, particularly people living at a subsistence level, earn a living.

Post a Reply

30abuse

Brendahalol
8/23/2017 15:09 EST

Impressive. Thank you for responding.

Post a Reply

00abuse

tomwins
8/24/2017 17:25 EST

Thank you, MonicaRixPaxson, for posting about your husband's study. It sounds interesting. I'd enjoy seeing a summary from him at some point.

Post a Reply

00abuse

alwaysateacher
8/24/2017 17:32 EST

I tip 15% for good food and services -- just as I would do in the U.S. I am so fortunate to be able to live in Mexico because I cannot afford to live in California on my State Teacher Retirement in any place even close to the level that I am living now. Some expats come here and decide to pay people differently than they did in their own countries. If they do so because they think the people here are used to so little or they believe our hosts should be happy with whatever is given to them, then they should be careful ... what goes around always comes around! Let your heart be your guide and you will do the right thing.

Post a Reply

10abuse

Iturbide
8/24/2017 17:37 EST

alwaysateacher; good words and advice; could not have said it better myself !

Post a Reply

00abuse

Cozumeldeb
8/24/2017 19:19 EST

Always her, Agree with u 100%. Living here v Chicago is a huge cost of living difference, taxes alone $6k annually v $400 annually.

Post a Reply

00abuse

mmapags
8/24/2017 19:53 EST

Your husband's area of study is fascinating to me. I look forward to getting to know both of you if we should end up moving to Mexico!

Post a Reply

00abuse

FlippydaMan
9/2/2017 23:34 EST

Hi,

I'm Monica's husband.

Just to comment on what she said.

Employers consider tipping as part of the income of many employees. Sometimes tipping is the only money an employee makes. In some cases, they do have to pay for the privilege of working. Monica got the figure wrong, but viene-vienes usually have to pay between 30 to 60 pesos per day for the right to be a viene-viene. Gas attendants sometimes get paid minimum wage, but most times they don't. Even if they don't get paid a salary, they still have to sign papers every month indicating that they do. In some cases, they have to pay a fixed fee to be able to work, which varies but it can be as high as $2000 pesos.

The packers at supermarkets are legally "volunteers." So, in the eyes of the law, they just felt like showing up and help you put your groceries in bags. Old or young, they get no tip.

As for how I get this information, I talk to them. I go by feeling and try to gauge how much a person wants to share.

Obviously, that's not the only thing they talk about, and these conversations have revealed a lot of interesting information about people's values and way of living.

That's not the case of everyone, but I've found that viene-vienes

Post a Reply

00abuse

trippinbilly23
9/3/2017 09:16 EST

Floppy
Did you mean to say baggers get no wages?
Your comment said they get no tips. Thanks

Post a Reply

00abuse

Cozumeldeb
9/3/2017 11:09 EST

Yes, I'm sure he meant they get no wages. We live in Cozumel and the seniors bag at all the stores and others help to your car. I tip and urge everyone to as well. We pay in pesos and tip in USD. The peso devaluation has been bad for the locals.

Post a Reply

00abuse

lindaceleste
9/3/2017 16:44 EST

Why tip in US$?

Post a Reply

00abuse

Cozumeldeb
9/3/2017 16:53 EST

USD gives them a little more buying power.

Post a Reply

00abuse

FlippydaMan
9/3/2017 19:34 EST

Yes, I meant wages, not tips. This forum is not very intuitive to use.

As you can imagine, sometimes tips are not enough and they complement their income by selling things to their co-workers, from candy to shoes. It's interesting to know that in such sales in such environments, there is no competition, as competition would be taken personally. So if a cashier sells shoes to the rest of the people at the supermarket, none else would try to sell shoes, but they'd try to sell other products, like cheese. Work is much more linked to personal life and relationships become paramount in surviving.

I hope this time the message comes right as last time I posted I couldn't find my own post.

Post a Reply

01abuse

Brendahalol
9/5/2017 02:14 EST

Wow. Its difficult to believe. I see them wearing uniforms. Is the fee for their uniforms?

Post a Reply

00abuse

JWinPS
9/5/2017 05:59 EST

RVGRINGO, wow, thanks for saying what you did about taxi drivers and to tip only if they help you with bags, etc.

Just a few days ago I said this on a Facebook Group I joined a while back: "Puerto Vallarta: Everything You Need Or Want To Know." As by it's name it focuses on Puerto Vallarta. However, when I said "I understand you don't tip taxi drivers, but what about others?" I got ripped up one side and down the other with comments like: Why wouldn't you tip, the person who told you this is wrong, you should tip just like in the US, etc. I'm glad to see I wasn't crazy in reading o another site about taxi driver tips. Only a few other people had seen and referenced some travel sites to come to my defense. But, the general consensus of the group was to tip.

Post a Reply

00abuse

FlippydaMan
9/5/2017 10:39 EST

Actual uniforms are typically given by the company or the company pays part of the cost. But "informal uniforms" like all the parking attendants wearing blue pants and white shirts are responsibility of the "employee."

Post a Reply

00abuse

RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
9/5/2017 11:52 EST

Tourists and tourist destination towns are always a bit strange. I try to avoid them & have managed to do so in over 30 countries. Generally speaking, Americans have the reputation of being the worst tourists, followed closely by the Brits. I wonder where we got it????

Post a Reply

00abuse

FlippydaMan
9/16/2017 08:59 EST

The reputation comes from gringos being the most common type of tourists. Tourists create a love/hate relationship with people in tourist places because there will always be someone obnoxious. It's the same reason chilangos are hated elsewhere.

Post a Reply

00abuse

katzgar
9/16/2017 09:31 EST

"Tourists and tourist destination towns are always a bit strange. I try to avoid them & have managed to do so in over 30 countries. Generally speaking, Americans have the reputation of being the worst tourists, followed closely by the Brits. I wonder where we got it????"

the posts on here that try to justify being cheap are part of the reason. Americans are more demanding so the locals have to step up and that causes resentment. I understand that brits like to vacation where there are Americans because of Americans demanding more. The brits figure they get a better experience. Cant say I have seen any research though. LOL

Post a Reply

00abuse

RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
9/16/2017 12:23 EST

Quite true. Back in 1960 we hopped a ship from Izmir to Pereus and a local bus to downtown Athens, where we were able to join a bus tour to the Acropolis. We were placed on the English speaking bus, and there was another in French. At the destination, a group of American women complained constantly and loudly about the lack of escalators and other conveniences for tourists. We took the French speaking bus back, toured on our own two feet and took the Italian ship back to Istanbul and on to Izmir, where we lived.
In 2000, we joined an RV Park tour group on a Mexican bus, organized by Egyptians, for an 1800 mile ten day trip through some of Mexico. The majority stuck together like sheep and were certain we would die, because we chose street snacks and always avoided the restaurant chosen by the guide, in favor of striking out on our own & meeting the bus after the meal. In Mexico City, we were the only ones to walk out for dinner in the evenings & had fun, while the others ate in the hotel, where the restaurant was being remodeled. Generally, we avoid tourists and tourist destinations; even when we are tourists ourselves. The good food and music is on the back streets, where the locals eat and dance. Join in. You will probably be welcomed.

Post a Reply

10abuse

katzgar
9/16/2017 16:39 EST

the chinese seem to have usurped the top spot as bad tourists... https://www.vice.com/sv/article/gqnzxj/are-chinese-tourists-the-worst-tourists-in-the-world

Post a Reply

00abuse

Iturbide
9/16/2017 19:02 EST

A good take, Words of wisdom, Rvgringo

Post a Reply

00abuse

innesst
9/20/2017 08:35 EST

Alwaysateacher:
Your comment about how when people are abroad should tip and act as they do in their home country is exactly why servers in America hate foreigners.

You should try to abide by the customs of the country that you are a visitor in, not your own. To intentionally act otherwise makes you a pretentious? foreigner. Since in Mexico the custom is 10% tips at restaurants and no tip for taxis, that's what you should do. You may be fortunate enough to pay excessive tips, but many locals are not. High tips by foreigners have the unintended consequence of degrading service for locals.

Post a Reply

00abuse

kleinm
9/20/2017 10:07 EST

that's a honest insight / at least for me ,i'm in total agreement with you as a visitor /tourist/employee, in a country other than your origin , i need to adjust my being as a guest and not to offend or burn any bridges ? but that's true for me any where i go at least i try to come from that place ? but unfortunately most tourist or americanos might do some homework on the place their going and what and where their going to do when they get their but most don't get much past there i get it but it's hard to accept their spending their hard earned money it's a vacation so they want to have a good time for 3 day's a week etc and return to work and have some memories in most cases it's all about them and if they don't take the time to learn or look past that oh well it's my vacation ? maybe i'm just jaded ?cheers all Thanks

Post a Reply

00abuse

JWinPS
9/20/2017 12:37 EST

Thanks so much, alwaysateacher. Yes, that's what I thought and had read. Also, the reason you gave makes perfect sense now. It would put poorer locals at a disadvantage. Again, thanks!

Post a Reply

10abuse

JWinPS
9/20/2017 12:44 EST

Sorry, my comment was to say Thanks so much innesst. Mia culpa.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Mexico.

Mail Forwarding to Mexico

Mail Forwarding to Mexico.


Expat Tax

Expat Tax Preparation, Expat Tax Professionals


International Moving Companies

Moving to Mexico? Find a moving company.

Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Copyright 1997-2017 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal