Tipping etiquette in Jamaica

What's the deal with tipping in Jamaica. I'm at Mobay atm, moving onto Ochios and then Negril. What's the correct amount to tip? Every time I've paid with card the server has asked how much I want to tip, without let me put it in myself. This seems very aggressive, but then I'm used to the UK system. Also what's up with your conversion rates to US dollers too, when I've checked it out, a couple of times your paying an extra $10 or so to pay in US. Are Americans stupid and fall for this?

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Advice

Jamaicans don’t necessarily tip, so there isn’t a fixed amount, but I usually tip if the service is good. A lot of times servers don’t even ask me how much I would like to tip, they just put 0 unless I say something.

Foreigners are expected to tip 15-20%. The expectation of this tip is also why service is often better for foreigners than Jamaicans.

>Are Americans stupid and fall for this?

Yes. And I laugh everytime I see Americans in tourist advice threads saying “no need to use local currency, you can always just pay in US dollars.”

Advice

You are going to have all types of people replying to comments in these threads.. nonetheless, 15% to 20% is about the current US standard. My rule isn’t based on percentages, but a standard $5,$10$20 US, depending on service. Always seems very appreciated and usually in my experience go a long way.

Advice

It’s just catering to different kinds of customers. Foreigners get the experience they want and expect (more attentive service, having to tip) and Jamaicans get the experience they want and expect (less attentive service, no tip).

Usually when I hear this criticised as racist, its black foreigners getting mad that servers thought they were Jamaicans and gave them Jamaican-style service. First time I am hearing someone say this is racist against foreigners generally, for giving them better service and then expecting they pay for it.

Advice

>If someone wants authentic Jamaican service and doesn’t want to pay extra what’s wrong with that?

There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s not like tourists can’t get that experience by going to restaurants that cater to Jamaicans. It’s more that, if a tourist goes to a restaurant that primarily setved tourists, they’ll get the type of service most tourists expect and will be expected to tip like most tourists do.

Advice

I’m going there in January my 1st time. I’m already on this site asking for a local to show me the Jamaican culture. They know where all the best bars are where the best food is. He’ll make sure you don’t get it taken advantage of or robbed. Make a hell of a wing man. Im on Vay-kay. You want awesome service be loose with the wallet. I would love to show up with a friend already there that is local. Im very happy to pay for thier knowledge and security. I always like playing on the seedy side anyway.

Advice

Best rule of thumb is to remember you’re spending thousands of dollars on an optional vacation and being waited on by people who often make around $1 USD per hour. Maybe err on the side of generosity and tip big.

Advice

The service (at least in Negril ) is 1000 times better than it was in the early 2000’s . It used to be “soon come”, and you would wait forever… but now they are really on top it. I always tip 20% and if the service is special I leave more. Always use Jamaican currency.

Advice

One thing most persons have neglected to say is that tipping is only expected in the hospitality industry with tourists mainly because of the low salaries, but also Americans have ruined it for other nationalities as they tend to tip ANYWHERE they visit. Jamaica does not have a tipping culture outside of that so don’t beat yourself up about the money that you decide to give someone, don’t reward bad attitudes. And don’t be afraid to speak your mind (respectfully, choose your words wisely.)

Hope this gives a better perspective.

Advice

15-20% is fine. I’ve never encountered the how much do you want to tip thing, but I’m mostly cash in JA.

Jamaicans will readily take USD instead of J$. It’s really a very nice and convenient thing to do for an American tourist who is not interested in exchanging local currency. Many Americans seem to welcome the convenience of it all. 😉

Advice

With the card machines I believe the tip amount is set in 5% increments, you can also ask the server to allow you to enter the amount that you want but for me once the service is good I normally tip anywhere between $500-$1000 jmd which is probably like $4-8 USD

Advice

Wow, I’m just trying to work out how to do the right thing. As I said I’m from UK (and used to holidaying in Europe and Asia) where tipping is done on service received not automatically expected and demanded.

My bad for not realising your tipping culture is worse than America and for trying to support local businesses. Glad I’m in an all-inclusive next week where tipping is banned…

Advice

Nah I’m just trolling… as regular Jamaicans we don’t can’t say much about how tourists are treated. We are treated way differently. I’ve never had an experience where a waiter ask how much tip I’m going to leave.

U are better off getting advice from regular visitors instead of residents

Advice

They received an APB on that no tipping guy from the other restaurant. Think of it as an invisible social credit system. You cant see it but the jamaican waiters can see your tip score hovering over your head 😆

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