How Much Should I Tip in Panama?
Saturday, January 14 2012 @ 10:18 AM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: Great question. In the United States people generally tip more than in Panama. But at the same time in many places the cost of food or eating out is less here than there. I can only speak from personal experience because there really is no accepted standard - some Panamanians tip more, some less, some not at all. About 10% seems to be about the standard, especially in the larger restaurants and places that cater more to rich Panamanians and foreigners than poor locals. So, I sort of start off at about 10%, but then adjust that depending on the level of service provided. If the service sucked, then I have no qualms whatsoever with getting up, paying my bill, and leaving with no tip whatsoever. If the service was excellent then I'll leave more than 10%. Restaurant workers and people in the food service industry work really hard and they count on the tips to make ends meet. At the same time, in my opinion anyway, tips should be both earned and deserved. The jobs in bars and restaurants that cater to foreigners are most sought after, because the service personnel know they are better tippers. The bottom line is - just do what feels right - and you can't be wrong no matter what. And of course if the waitress is smoking hot, then all bets are off. Just hand her your wallet - which would be cheaper than marrying her. (grin)
Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.