Ask a Mexican

 Ask a Mexican

Who tips more – locals or foreigners? In the case of foreigners, where do the biggest tippers come from?

Federico Vázquez, 31, waiter. I’m in the service industry. When I visit I usually tip 10% when eating out and I hardly tip a taxi, if ever. They usually try to charge an inflated price when it comes to tourists but I’ll usually tip like 20% on Ubers since they’re hardly making any money on that. I have learned that the biggest tippers are other Mexicans coming on vacation, but they do expect top-notch service, and that is what the tip depends on. Next up are our lovely gringos and Canadians who tip the same given any type of service unless it’s awful. 

Laura Mendiola, 21, waitress. The people who tip the most are always American or Canadian, but it really depends on their own culture. Some of them think a single dollar bill is enough for a tip when it should be based on the ticket at the end of their meal, and they believe we prefer dollars, which we don’t. More travelled folks tip more generously as they know how hospitality works, and at the end of the day our wages are ridiculous since they are precisely compensated with tips in an effort to force good service. 

Flor Miranda, 26, housekeeping. In the hotel where I work as housekeeping, we are allowed to keep all our tips since they are left in little envelopes and we pick them up when we clean the room, but the restaurants and bar staff are different. I don’t think there is anyone who tips more based on where they’re from, but at least in my area, locals and national folks don’t tip as much as foreigners do. 

David Gomez, 41, bartender. I think Americans and Canadians tip more than some locals and nationals. The only people I’ve realized tip way less or not at all are Europeans, the few that make it down here. Especially people from Spain, and once a guy told me, “Tipping is optional. That’s why you have a wage.” I’ve learned that tipping is not customary in Europe, so that is probably why. My best tip to this day, however, came from a bunch of guys from the center of the country who were at a bachelor party, and I kept their drinks flowing and made crazy moves and recipes. It was all fun. 

Delia Marquez, 23, former waitress. I think the biggest tippers are Canadians and Americans. The older they are, the better they tip. I always found it depends on the season, though. Around Christmas, all tips were juicier. Spring break was less. Before exiting the service industry, I gained more money from tips than from my actual paycheck, and it was not very hard since giving good service is easy. My best tippers were always the regulars, foreigners who live here for long periods of time and know a little about our culture. 

Roberto Olmo, 52, chef. The best tippers are the happiest customers and the ones who get treated with respect and receive good service. It has nothing to do with where they’re from. It has to do with how you make them feel. In my restaurant, we have applied a new suggested tip reference along a meter of “great service”, “good” and “bad” with suggested percentages.

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