Should You Tip in Restaurants in Spain?

Restaurant in Plaza Mayor - copyright exfordy, Creative Commons


For many people visiting Spain, the question about should they tip or not tip is often on their minds. For Americans especially, who tip exorbitant amounts in US restaurants, tipping in Spain is probably something they do, and to excess, but do they need to?

Actually, if you spend much time in Spain around the Spanish, you’ll see quickly they don’t tip that much. Menu prices already include a service charge, so tipping on top of that seems a bit much.

For rule of thumb on tipping in Spain in an average restaurant, if you leave around 5% or round the amount you pay up to the next Euro, you’ll be tipping just about what most Spaniards leave.  If you eat the menu del dia, you’ll find most Spaniards will just leave an extra euro as the tip.

Of course, you can leave 15% or more, like you would in the US, but don’t be surprised if the Spanish waiter chases you down to “return your change”.