Wondering about the rules on tipping in Manila? We’ve compiled a set of useful guidelines for those who are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the number of unwritten rules comprising Manila Tipping Etiquette.
When eating out:
For sit-down restaurants. Most local sit-down restaurants (such as those found in Greenbelt or Serendra) already incorporate a service charge (up to ten percent), which should be reflected on your bill. By law, most of that will go to the restaurant’s staff. If a service charge is already incorporated, leaving a gratuity of Php 20.00 – Php 50.00 for good service is enough.
If the restaurant does not incorporate a service charge, leave a tip corresponding to about ten percent of your bill (up to a maximum of Php 100.00). For truly excellent service, you can leave a larger gratuity.
For casual and fast-food restaurants where you have to line up to give your order. If there are tip jars next to the cashier/counter (such as in most Starbucks or CBTL stores), leaving spare change (if you are so inclined) for the employees will be welcomed, although it is generally unnecessary.
For taxi drivers. This will depend on the time of the day. If traveling when there is heavy traffic (8-10 in the morning, or 5-7 in the evening), giving a tip of Php 20.00 to Php 50.00 on top of the cab fare is customary. At any other time, it would be enough to bump up your bill to the nearest round number (e.g. for a Php 53.00 bill, pay Php 60.00).
For “informal parking attendants” or security guards. By informal parking attendants, we are referring to those folks in the city who will help you park your car while you run around to do errands or grab a bite to eat. These include security guards. In this case, giving a tip of Php5.00 to Php10.00 is customary. (They will usually wait by your car. When you leave, just roll down your car windows and hand them your spare change).
For bellboys. A Php 20.00 tip is customary, but give more (up to Php 50.00) if you have a lot of luggage or if you have special instructions that require extra effort on the part of hotel staff.
For hotel maids and cleaning staff. Php 20.00 – Php 50.00 for each day that you stay in a hotel is sufficient. On your last day, just leave the money on top of a table with a thank you note.
When availing of a service:
For service providers such as barbers, hair stylists, manicurists, masseurs, etc. It will depend on the amount of money you spend, but leaving a Php 20.00 – Php 50.00 gratuity is customary. You can give more if the service is exemplary.