Israel is renowned for its dynamic blend of cultures, traditions, and culinary delights. Enjoying a memorable meal at a high-end restaurant, participating in a guided tour through ancient streets, or taking a convenient cab ride, it all becomes more enjoyable when you are familiar with the local customs, especially tipping etiquette.
While tipping is not legally enforced in Israel, it is a customary practice prevalent in many service sectors, closely resembling the norms seen in the USA and Canada rather than Europe. This article provides you with specifics of tipping in Israel with practical examples.
Tipping at Restaurants and Cafes
Tipping approximately 10-15% in restaurants is considered customary in Israel. The tip is generally not included in your bill, and hence, you must add it while settling your bill. If you plan to tip with a credit card, it’s essential to inform the staff beforehand. Unlike the USA, the tip can’t be added post-swipe. For instance, if your dinner bill amounts to 200 Israeli Shekel (ILS), a suitable tip would be 20-30 ILS.
Tipping in Bars
In bars, the norm is to tip around 10-15% of your total bill. Alternatively, you could leave 1-2 ILS per drink if you’re paying as you order. To give a practical example, if your total expenditure for a few beers comes to 60 ILS, a tip of approximately 6-9 ILS would be considered fitting.
Tipping for Taxi Services
While tipping isn’t a custom in taxis, rounding up the fare to the nearest whole figure is seen as a polite gesture. For instance, if your taxi fare is 47 ILS, you might want to round it up to 50 ILS.
Tipping bus or minibus driver
For a day of driving- $60-$90.
Tipping at Hotels
Tips for hotel staff such as bellboys or housekeepers usually range around 10-20 ILS per bag or per day of cleaning. So, if you’re spending three nights at a hotel, leaving a tip of 30-60 ILS for the housekeeper would be appreciated.
Tipping Tour Guides
In the case of group tours, it’s standard to tip the guide around 10-20 ILS per person. For private tours, a tip amounting to 10-15% of the total tour cost is conventional. For a specific site guide (1.5-3 hour tour) 100-150 ILS is recommended.
Tipping for Delivery Services
Tipping isn’t obligatory for delivery services, but it’s considered courteous to tip around 10% of the order or a minimum of 10 ILS. Thus, if your delivery order is 150 ILS, a tip of about 15 ILS would be a gracious gesture.
Tipping at Hair Salons and Spas
A tip of 10-15% is generally anticipated for services at hair salons, barbers, and spas in Israel. To put it in practical terms, if your haircut costs 100 ILS, a tip of 10-15 ILS would be appropriate.
Key Points to Remember
- Credit Card Tips: It’s advisable to keep some cash on hand for tips, as not all places in Israel accept credit cards for tips.
- Service Charge: Always check your bill before tipping. Some establishments may already include a service charge. In such instances, while additional tips aren’t obligatory, they’re a good way to show extra appreciation for excellent service.
Tipping remains a personal decision and is often seen as a reflection of the service provided. These guidelines should give you a general idea of the tipping customs in Israel, but you should feel free to tip more or less based on your experience and your satisfaction with the service.