Tipping in Mexico

Old Jun 1, 06, 1:14 pm
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Tipping in Mexico

This has been discussed in other threads, as sort of an OT thing, so I wanted to give it its own thread and link to this article I found very useful:

http://www.gringogazette.com/souther...31_2005/page7/
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Old Jun 2, 06, 8:52 pm
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In general we tip 10% of the bill in restaurants, 15% if the service was really good. You should tip more in places frequented by americans, like Cancun or Los Cabos. In more traditional places like San Luis Potosi or Queretaro the expected tip is usually smaller.

Like the article said, you don't tip the cab drivers, and don't expect an envelope for the maid in not-so-expensive hotels. You can however leave your tip under the pillow (and so you assure it's really the maid and not her supervisor who takes the tip).
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Old Jun 2, 06, 9:15 pm
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If we stay for a week or so, I usually tip the maid directly at the beginning and the end of the week, and always receive very good service.
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Old Dec 3, 10, 6:56 am
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What's the latest on tipping in Mexico, Cancun in particular?

I usually don't ask taxi dricers for change if cange would be 10 pesos or less. To have a private service take us to the resort and load and unload luggage, I tip $2 per person with a $5 minimum.

At the hotel they suggest $2 per bag. We usually have more than 5 bags and less than 10 for 3 to 5 of us. I tip no more than $10. This year the three of us will have 4 bags and a back pack and we will likely tip $8.

At restuarants if tip is added, we do not tip except for exceptional service. Then we add around 5% or $1 per person, whichever is more. In fancy restaurants where tips are not added, in Cancun we tip 155.

Is this about right?
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Old Dec 3, 10, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by mshaikun View Post
What's the latest on tipping in Mexico, Cancun in particular?

I usually don't ask taxi dricers for change if cange would be 10 pesos or less. To have a private service take us to the resort and load and unload luggage, I tip $2 per person with a $5 minimum.

At the hotel they suggest $2 per bag. We usually have more than 5 bags and less than 10 for 3 to 5 of us. I tip no more than $10. This year the three of us will have 4 bags and a back pack and we will likely tip $8.

At restuarants if tip is added, we do not tip except for exceptional service. Then we add around 5% or $1 per person, whichever is more. In fancy restaurants where tips are not added, in Cancun we tip 155.

Is this about right?
There are no rules. I tip cab drivers about the way that you do. I always ask how much itīs going to be before we start, and if they try to īgrindīme, I give them exactly what they ask for. If they are the least bit pleasant, like you, I tip about 10 pesos.
Your tips for bags seem a little high. Remember that a skilled construction worker in Mexico makes about 350 pesos per day. If you are tipping 120 pesos, he only needs 3 customers a day to make the same as the above worker. For 5 bags, I would tip 50 pesos.
At restaurants, the most servers have to split their tips. Their wages are also minimal, and in resort areas, they only have about 4 months of high season. If the restaurant is including the tip, it is generally 15%, so if the waiter is nice, I will slip him an extra 30-50 pesos.
I tip the valet parking guys 20 pesos everytime they get my car, and leave a tip in the room for the maid when we are leaving
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Old Dec 7, 10, 4:19 pm
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What about the gas station attendants -- how much do you give them?
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Old Dec 7, 10, 6:00 pm
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Originally Posted by jcs27 View Post
What about the gas station attendants -- how much do you give them?
I'm usually good for 5 pesos or so just for gas if the attendant is courteous and efficient. If I ask him to add air to the tires, check the oil or clean the windshield I kick in an extra 5 pesos.

Unique Mexican tipping situations that visitors may not be aware of:
-- Bag boy or girl at supermarket (2 to 4 pesos - these kids are hard workers; increase tip when I have a lot of groceries to bag).
-- The guy in the parking lot that "helps" you back out of your space by watching for traffic and guiding you (1 or 2 pesos).
-- Car watchers (15 pesos/hour if he is actively watching my car).
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Old Jan 2, 11, 8:53 pm
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If everyone tipped bellmen $2 per bag, they would make more than management level employees. 10 pesos a bag is generally sufficient. In most of Mexico, 10% at a restaurant is pretty standard in terms of what the locals tip (I live here). In resort areas that get lots of Americans, however, they expect 15% or will add that to your bill automatically. Locals tell me you should only tip a cab driver if they help you with their bags, but I follow the same policy on whether they've tried to rip me off or not, usually rounding it up if not.
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Old Jan 5, 11, 2:16 pm
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To generealize, my experience and observation has been that Mexicans don't tip well - and foreign tourists grossly over-tip. Though I do tip, I follow the patterns established by Mexicans who do.

Unless the restaurant is one of the top ones, I'll tip waitstaff about 10%, not more. In the coffee shops I'll leave extra coins (smaller demonination). I don't always tip, though - because - to generalize once again - I've found that service standards are so bad. I view tips as a gratuity for service above the level that should be provided and paid for in wages.

I don't tip taxi drivers because I find most to be out to cheat me (in so many of the destinations in the country). In Mexico City, though, I'll tip the person driving me to or from the airport - with the comment thanking them for a safe trip. Too many taxi-related crimes in that city and I want to reward the honest guys and gals.

Supermarkets treat the secondaria school kids like slaves and pay little or nothing, and expect customers to pick-up the wage payments. It's offensive but Mexicans accept the practice. I give the kids some coins, varying by amount of purchase - number of bags - but don't have a set amount. Sometimes I don't tip them at all - if they've only stuck a couple of small items in a bag. The kids earn a lot of money bagging and it goes to support their school supplies, and other purchases.

Relatively few tourists - myself included - rent cars or park them where someone will watch/wash them - and I have little experience with that. The people watching the cars are self-employed and they do provide a necessary service. You can bet on it being a certainty that if a car thief is going to take a car from a particular block it'll be one that the driver didn't ask the guy on the block to watch it. Consider it insurance. Inexpensive insurance.

When I use airport porters to help with luggage, which isn't too often, I give them 5 pesos per suitcase, but not more than 10 pesos in total.

It seems that everyone has their hand out, and most think we're all wealthy. We are wealthy by the standards of so many people in the country. But we don't have to be foolish when tipping. I don't tip out of a sense of guilt. I do it because I receive something in return. Keep focused on the local wages and the services being provided, and tip accordingly.
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