Are you planning a trip to Armenia and wondering about the customs around tipping? Look no further! In this article, we will provide a complete guide to tipping in Armenia, including information on service charges in restaurants and cafes, recommended tipping practices, and other considerations such as coffee stands, hotels, taxis, supermarkets, and car parkings.
Tip and Service Charges in Restaurants and Cafes in Armenia
If you are dining out in Armenia, it is important to be aware of the local practice of service charges. In Armenian restaurants and cafes, it is common for a service charge of 10-20% to be added to the bill. However, this charge is often kept by the owner of the cafe and restaurant rather than given to the waiter as a tip. Many waiters in Armenia rely on tips for their income, as they do not receive a salary. This can be frustrating for customers who expect the service charge to go to the waiter as a tip, but it is essential to be aware of this practice when dining out in Armenia.
Recommended Tipping Practices for Cafes and Restaurants in Armenia
Despite the above, leaving a tip in Armenia is still customary. We recommend leaving an extra 10% or at least 1000 AMD (Armenian dram) if your total order exceeds 10000 AMD. If the total is less than 10000 AMD, you can simply round up. It is worth noting that most locals do not leave tips in Armenia, so if you’re not satisfied with the service or the waiter had a bad attitude, you are not expected to leave a tip.
Paying with Cash or Card in Armenia
If you are paying with cash and do not have small bills or change, you can ask the waiter to break your bill/money. If you are paying with a card, you can leave a tip next to the bill when it is brought to you. If you have no cash and want to leave a tip, you can ask the waiter to charge a specific amount to your card.
Other Tipping Considerations
In other situations, such as at coffee or food stands, hotels, or supermarkets, tipping is not expected but can be a nice gesture. Here is a more detailed breakdown of tipping practices in these contexts:
- Cafes and Restaurants: In Armenia, tipping at cafes and restaurants is generally expected, with a recommended minimum of 10% of the total order.
- Coffee or food stands or booths: If you visit a coffee or food stand or booth in Armenia, you may see a tip jar. You are never required to tip, but it would be a nice gesture to do so. Such example of a coffee stand is Coffee House.
- Hotels: If you are staying at a hotel in Armenia and the hotel baggage handler helps you with your luggage, you can tip them with a small bill such as 1000 AMD.
- Taxi: If you are taking a taxi in Armenia and enjoy the ride, consider rounding up the total amount as a tip. Tipping in taxis is optional, and only a few people do it. You do not need to leave a tip if you are using a taxi service like gg Taxi and paying with a card; but you are welcome to do so if you want to.
- Supermarkets: In supermarkets in Armenia, you may come across staff who offer to help you carry your groceries to your car. These employees are not paid for this service, so it would be nice to tip. It can be a nice gesture to do so.
- Car Parkings: If you park your car at a place such as a supermarket in Armenia, you may encounter a parking attendant who helps you park and exit the parking lot. It is common to tip these attendants 200 AMD or more, but it is not necessary if you do not have enough change. Simply telling them that you don’t have change is normal in this situation.
Conclusion: Tipping in Armenia
In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the practice of service charges in Armenian restaurants and cafes, as these charges are often kept by the business owner rather than given to the waiter as a tip. Despite this, it is still customary to leave a tip in Armenia, and we recommend leaving an extra 10% or at least 1000 AMD if your total order exceeds 10000 AMD. In other situations, such as at coffee or food stands, hotels, or supermarkets, tipping is not expected but can be a nice gesture. Tipping in taxis is not necessary, but you can consider rounding up the total amount if you enjoyed the ride. When it comes to parking your car, it is common to tip the parking attendant 200 AMD or more, but again, it is not necessary if you do not have enough change. Overall, tipping practices in Armenia may differ from what you are used to, but by following tipping guidelines, you can show your appreciation for good service while also being respectful of local customs.