What is the tipping etiquette in Mumbai?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Rakhee Ghelani

To tip or not to tip is a delicate topic in Mumbai as everyone seems to have a different opinion.  There are however some general guidelines that can help you decide what you are comfortable with.

In a sit down restaurant or bar, you will usually find a service charge on your bill of between 5 and 10%.  Generally it is not necessary to leave an extra tip above the service charge unless you would like to reward great service. Just make sure you don't confuse any government charges like "service tax" with the "service charge".

If you eat somewhere that doesn't have a service charge, like some of the fabulous street food that Mumbai is famous for, then it is customary to leave a gratuity of 5 to 10% or simply round up the bill. 

For taxis and autorickshaw drivers tipping is not necessary. However many people round up to the nearest Rs10 or you may choose to give them an extra Rs20 for a long ride if they got you to your destination safely and in a timely manner.  

It is also not mandatory to tip door staff, security staff or delivery people, but if you are happy with their service then you can always give them an extra few rupees.  They don't generally earn that much money and your gratuity will go a long way with them.

If someone carries your bag, then it is generally expected that you will give them a tip.  It can be as little as Rs20 for carrying your bag up to your room. This is different from railway stations where there are professional porters who charge a flat rate per piece for their service. 

If you have a spa treatment done, it is not mandatory to tip your beautician or therapist, but many people do give them a personal gratuity of up to 10% of the cost of the treatment if they are happy with their treatment.

Whilst tipping is not mandatory anywhere in Mumbai, if you are happy with someone's service then feel free to give them a gratuity. 

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