Tipping at a foreign Chili's - how much?

Right, so you guys know Chilis, that American institution of deep fried foods and endless refills. There’s one in Singapore, right here.

The thing is, in Singapore, like in many countries, there’s no custom of tipping. Instead, a flat 10% service charge is applied in most restaurants. Servers on the other hand get paid USD$5.24 to USD$8.07 per hour (this particular Chili’s had a sign out front looking for staff).

On the receipt, though, the restaurant happily states that service charge is not included, as would normally be the case. What do you do?

Tip 15%-20% as is the custom in the US?
Tip 10%, which is the standard service charge in Singapore?
Tip only for exceptional service?

In general, you wouldn’t have to tip much, maybe up to 10%, but you could easily get away with just rounding up the bill so that you’re leaving a couple of bucks. But I do feel compelled to point out that Singapore is one of the great food cities of the world and you can find great food from street stalls to fine dining. You can start at http://www.makansutra.com/guides.html

I just watched an episode of The Layover with Anthony Bourdain where he was in Singapore, and I was wowed by some of the food he tried. I really want to find a good “chicken & rice” dish now… Anyone know of a good Singaporian restaurant in Chicago?

When abroad, I tip like an American. It is one of the few positives of our image abroad.

A Singapore Chilis probably has the same tip expectations of any other Singapore restaurant though.

I think Rysler nailed it. Go with the local custom. If 10% is normal, then leave 10%. If you can afford it and the servers were nice and efficient, then leave more.

Chili’s is American? I thought it was Mexican.
You’re in Singapore and you’re eating American food?

An American buddy of mine who lives in Argentina is adamant that I not tip there like an American when I’ve visited, because it corrupts the local culture and gets people expecting more tips, when it’s really not a tip based service economy, its American cultural imperialism, etc., etc. (I think people just tip about 10% or round up the bill there, generally, if I’m remembering right).
Of course, he IS a (lovable) cheapskate, and that could just be a convenient justification! :slight_smile:

When we lived in Italy, we only tipped if the service was exceptional. There was a service charge attached, per person’, in most of the places.

We’ve been to the Chili’s in Singapore. When you live eleven out of twelve months in a foreign land, a bit of Americana was a good break. There was a Hard Rock Cafe there too if I recall.