The year was 1754, the scene — a fleet street coffee house in London, where a bowl tastefully set in the middle a table read, ‘To Insure Promptitude’ or TIP. In many ways, the modern practice of tipping started in the industrial revolution, which began in England around this time. As the
aristocracy made more money in the productivity boom, they were more likely to dine out, stay in hotels, travel in trains and come into contact with poorer people who were serving. It became normal to tip good service by the riffraff. Eventually wiping trickled downward, from the 1 percent
to the 99. In the last 100 year though, Europe has slowly moved away from tipping with laws that force restaurants to pay waiter higher wages. In the US by comparison, tipping has become more and more mainstream. Some states only require restaurants to pay 2 dollars minimum wages, expecting the rest to be made up by our generosity.
In Mexico, the tradition of tipping is widely practiced. This article covers everything you need to know about tipping in Mexico — from tipping at a restaurant to an all-inclusive resort along with situations where you wouldn’t imagine having to tip!
Tipping at a Restaurant
This is probably the most common situation in which you’ll be tipping when you visit the country. Just like in the United States, you’re going to tip at least 15 percent at a restaurant. If the service is really good, tip up to 20 percent. However, if your bill is 50 pesos or less, tip at least 10 pesos,
if you pay any less than that, you’ll come up off as a cheapskate and it’ll be considered disrespectful. Alternately, you’re not required to tip when you’re grabbing a bite off the street, but if you really want to, make sure you tip at least 10 pesos.
If you stay at a hostel in Mexico, you actually don’t have to tip. Tipping at hostels is not expected so don’t even worry about it! Air bnbs are another form of accommodation that doesn’t expect you to tip at all, as they are included in the service fees. Hotels, however, have entirely different
practices. There are many different situations where you’re going to be required to tip if you stay at a hotel. For example, if you take the help of a bell boy to carry your luggage or a chauffeur for parking, you’ll be expected to tip at least 20 pesos. If you’re staying at a more expensive hotel, tip
at least 50 pesos for these services. Anything to do with food or drink requires you to tip as you normally would at a restaurant. Aside from that, you’ll have to tip housekeeping at least 50 pesos a day. Make sure to do this on a regular basis and not at the end of your stay, as this ensures that the person who’s cleaning your room actually gets the money.
Do you tip at an all-inclusive resort? It sounds like everything’s included, so why would you have to tip? This is a common question amongst tourists. It’s important to remember that tips are not included in the all-inclusive resort so you do have to tip at one of these places, as you would at
any other hotel. Just because you paid ahead of time, doesn’t mean that the people who are going to be serving you when you get there, get anything extra. Tip at least 15-20 percent to make sure your drinks are strong and no one spits in your food!
The Grocery Store
This is baffling to many first time visitors as it is an uncommon practice. If you go to a bigger grocery store, something that is equivalent to the ‘Walmart’ of Mexico, like — Commercial ‘Mexicana’ ‘Soriana’, ‘Chedrali’, etc — there is going to be someone bagging your groceries and they expect you to tip them. The expected amount is usually between 5 pesos for just a couple of bags and around 10 pesos if there are more. A lot of the times, people working at these places are elderly, so they rely on tips, so make sure you tip them!
Another practice which might sound a little strange to you is tipping at a gas station. When you go to the gas station, someone else will fill your tank for you and when they do so, give them 5 pesos. They all offer other services, which include, cleaning your windshield, checking your oil
and tire pressure. If you ask for any additional services, you should pay between 10-15 pesos depending on how much work they’re doing for you.
If you’re visiting from the United States or Canada, there are a few different services where they expect you to either tip or don’t that might surprise you. One of them is going to the hairstylist. Several years ago, this was not in practice, however, this is a practice that is more common
today. So if you avail their services, they might ask you politely, if you would like to add a tip to the bill. However, in smaller places that aren’t as touristy as Mexico City, tipping a hairstylist or a barber is not expected.
You usually don’t tip taxi drivers in Mexico, unless they help you with something. For example, if you visit the grocery store and the taxi driver helps you with your bags to the car and your house, you’re expected to tip him at least 10 pesos. If you notice that he took a different route which was
faster and helped you reach your destination more quickly, tip the person. Additionally, if the driver is helping you with extra information to make your stay nicer, by giving you recommendations, you might want to think about tipping him. Alternately, if you’re in an Uber, tips
are usually expected and you’re not always able to tip from the app. Make sure to carry change, just in case the application doesn’t allow you to tip in such a situation.
A general rule of thumb about tipping in Mexico is that if you’re visiting a heavily touristy place, tipping is probably going to be expected. Don’t forget your change!