Answers from Our Experts (2)
Tipping, for the most part, is not required in Hong Kong. Most dining establishments add a 10% service charge onto your bill, although more restaurants are cropping up with "no service charge" policies. This is usually stated at the bottom of the menu or of your bill. Even in these cases, adding around 10% extra is polite, unless your dining experience was wholly negative and not worthy of the charge to begin with. Whether the service charge actually goes where it's supposed to is debatable, though.
Taxi drivers generally do not get tipped unless you're leaving a few coins' worth of change or you're particularly happy with the service provided. Hairdressers, employees at beauty salons and hotel staff do accept (and should receive) tips. Though not required, it's also not unheard of to leave tips for bartenders.
At restaurants, a 10% service charge is almost always added to the total, and there’s no obligation to leave more (though word on the street is that this money doesn’t always make it to the server’s pocket). Some newer restaurants, especially western places, are forgoing the automatic charge, leaving it to the diner’s discretion. Be sure to check your bill.
Tipping a taxi driver is neither obligatory nor expected, beyond perhaps leaving behind the 50 cents you may be owed in change. If the fare is a whole number, don’t feel bad about keeping all the change, unless the driver has really gone above and beyond the call of duty.
At hotels, a little something (HK $10-20) for the bellhop, valet or room service staff is typical, and appreciated. Be sure to have some small bills for this purpose.
For beauty and spa treatments, tips are generally expected. An extra HK$20-50 should do, depending on the complexity, quality, and cost of the service.