Tipping on Margarita Island
Should I be tipping on Margarita Island? Short answer, yes. The minimum wages throughout South America are extremely poor in comparison to first world countries like the United States, Canada, England and Australia. Therefore the residents of South American countries such as Venezuela rely heavily on tipping for services rendered.
I find myself tipping on Margarita Island all the time (when someone provides me with their service, of course). As a tourist to the island please consider tipping those who provide you with a service of any type.
Restaurants & bars will sometimes automatically add 10% to your bill as ‘servicios’ (services). Basically, it´s like adding a compulsory tip to your bill. I for one do not agree with this practise, because if the restaurant or bar service has been aweful, why should you be obliged to hand over another 10% of your hard earned cash.
If the service has been great then the employees totally deserve their tips (propinas) from the clientele. Unfortunately there is no way to know if the restaurant owner or manager will divide the ‘servicios’ money and allocate it to each employee at the end of their shift. For this reason I usually give my waiter or waitress an additional tip away from the prying eyes of the owner/manager if the service has been fantastic.
If you feel that the service was well below par, then don´t feel obliged to leave a tip. The only exception being the compulsory tip or ‘servicios’ on your bar or restaurant bill. My advice … probably best to just pay it and never return!
Tipping on Margarita Island … who deserves a tip?
The guy who helps you with your luggage at the airport.
The bell boy at the hotel who helped you with your phone card.
Even the guy who keeps an eye on your hire car while it´s parked outside the bakery.
When tipping don´t go crazy throwing money in all directions, simply give a 5-10% tip to those who deserve it!
See my money page for information regarding the Venezuelan currency