Bill’s Top Ten Tips On Tipping In Iquitos
I never told anyone this before, I’m not a good tipper. Most of the servers around Iquitos already know this from personal experience, but I never told anyone else, until now. I’m going to change though…someday soon.
I expected to change into a good tipper last night. Marmelita and I went out to eat. The restaurant we went to had a new waitress, who needed more training. Our bill was S/90 soles. I was going to leave a S/10 sole tip.
Marmelita told me the waitress did not deserve that much.
I knew she was right, so I left a S/6 sole tip instead. Oh well, I’m trying to change for the better…
What is the custom for tipping in Iquitos?
I have been in business in Iquitos for over 10 years and during that time one of the most frequently asked questions has been some version of, “What is the custom for tipping in Iquitos?”
Hundreds of times I have answered, “I stay out of tipping. That is between you and the crew or you and your servers.”
“Yes but how much…?”
So for the first time ever, I am going to give my tips on tipping in Iquitos.
- Tipping is not a cultural requirement. It is discretionary. Gratuities are not included in your bill.
- Tipping is a way of expressing satisfaction, gratitude for a job well done, (gratuity). Exceptional service deserves a larger tip. Terrible service deserves none.
- We expect exceptional service from our Dawn on the Amazon crew. If you don’t receive exceptional service, our crew will not deserve your tip.
- Everyone within the Dawn on the Amazon family are paid fairly, at least minimum wage, and those that have been with us for long are paid above the Iquitos area average for their position. However, all of our personnel have family, with hopes and aspirations for their children, and care about their parents well being, as we all do. Many of our crew are the providers for their extended family. One young man that worked for us for years, was the only one of 24 family members living under one roof that was employed.
- Consider your own economic situation. If you are on a tight budget, don’t let your tip break the bank, but if a dollar does not mean so much to you, it will mean a lot to your server or guide.
- Special favors above and beyond the call of duty may deserve an extra tip. It’s up to you.
- If you want I will distribute your tips among our crew according to your directions. As president of the company, I do not personally accept or keep tips.
- We do not include tips with your credit card payment. Please plan ahead and have some dollars or soles.
- I always leave at least a small tip, unless there has been a bad mistake, or I am dealing with total incompetence.
- Ok, now, for the first time, I suggest that 10% is an adequate tip for good service in Iquitos, exceptional service may be 12%. Extraordinary service when they remember your name and are happy to see you might be 14%. This is low by United States standards, and maybe high by European standards where gratuity is usually included in the bill, but I think it is about right for the wages and state of the economy of Iquitos Peru in 2013.
From now on I am going to try to follow my own suggestions and be a better tipper. I look forward to going back to that restaurant again next week to see how much the new waitress has learned and maybe rewarding her with at least a 10% tip.
I don’t expect these ten tips are the last word on tipping. Let me know your opinion. Leave a comment. Thank you.