What you didn't know about Israels tipping culture
When it comes to tipping in Israel it is very simple, if you give someone a tip they will be very happy! In some ways the tipping culture is similar to the United States but there are a few differences.
When you are at a restaurant its expected to tip at least 10% but feel free to make their day with more. Most waiters make minimum wage and in big cities many people make their salary off of tips. For bars its the same principle, 10% and be sure to give it to the one who made your drink. I have worked in the bar tending field for over 10 years all around the world and we are often overlooked by guests who get carried away drinking and forget to tip.
One important thing to remember is you CAN NOT tip on a card after they swipe it!!!! Make sure to tell them how much to add or a total to charge. To be on the safe side try to keep some cash on you just in case (currency in bill form is widely accepted).
Do you tip the cab driver? It is always nice to but not expected in Israel, unless the driver goes out of his way to help you with luggage or gives some great advice. I once had a cab driver carry one of my suitcases up 4 flights of stairs and I tried to tip him. He responded by saying thank you but would not take it as a gesture of kindness.
Hotel workers are another place to consider. You should use your discretion with it. tipping a bag boy 20-50 ILS (Israeli Shekel) is expected for helping with a lot of luggage if you travel heavy. Don't forget to leave a tip for the cleaning staff at the end of your visit. For booking accommodation in Israel, use the smart agent to find the best hotels.
If you hire a private guide or join a group tour, make sure to leave a tip. Usually 10-20% depending on how much you enjoyed it. For a free walking tour of a couple hours, each person should tip at least 50 ILS.
If you ever have any questions on the culture of tipping just ask a local. Israel is full of people that want to help and show you the land that we all call home.
Interested in Israeli culture? Read more about cultural rules you should have in mind for Israel.
About the writer, Hannah Rosenberg
Hannah Rosenberg is a Licensed Israeli Tour guide, fluent in English and with a passion for the land of Israel. She is a former IDF lone soldier and professional mixologist. Contact her directly to book a custom tour anywhere in the country.