Eating out in a different country can present some different challenges. This can be true if you are a #waygookin traveling in Korea for the first time. You may not be used to using chopsticks with your meal. You may not be used being able to have McDonalds delivered to you front door. You may even be shocked to see that at some restaurants, you need to take off your shoes in the entry way. With all of these different rules, that will depend on where you are eating, you may wonder about rules when it comes to leaving a tip when you eat out. What percentage should you tip when you eat at a Korean restaurant? There’s only 1 simple rule you need to keep in mind when it comes to giving a tip in Korea.
There’s No Tipping
That’s it. People don’t leave tips when eating out in Korea. In fact, some have told stories of deliver people returning to them to return the tip they were giving. It’s how things are done in Korea. This may also explain if you are around Korean people that do not leave tips in your country. No matter if you come from a place where you tip all the time, or you come from a place where there is no tipping, doing the opposite can be quite a challenge.
What About Outside of Korea
Say you eat at a Korean restaurant outside of Korea. Should you tip your server or not tip your server? It depends on the situation and the custom. If possible, you can look around to see if others are leaving a tip or not. If you do tip, tip according to the level of service that you get. But keep in mind that because there is no tipping in Korea, Korean restaurants don’t wait on you as often as Western restaurants. If this happens to you, it’s not someone being racist or rude. It’s due to Korean restaurants making their money based on the number of people coming in to eat, not on the number of tips they received for great service.
To Keep In Mind: If you are traveling in the United States, some Korean restaurants have 2 menus, a Korean menu and a menu in English. If you can read Korean, order from the Korean menu. At some restaurants, the Korean menu has lower prices than the English menu.
Hopefully this helps you understand some things about eating out in Korea a little better. Look for more tips, no pun intended, about eating out in Korea to come in the future.