Tips in restaurants and bars are mostly a matter of culture and less of the client’s wealth. It is common knowledge that in most of the western countries the tip is 10% of the bill.
So what are the rules in Romania? How much should you tip the waiter?
First of all, when traveling to Romania you need to know that the tip is NOT included in the sum written on the bill. It is said that you leave the waiter as much as you think so regarding his service. But even if this is what people say, in most of the cases, even though the service had not been that satisfying, there is still a tip. It is not common to leave the exact sum of money of the order.
Depending on the order, you can leave a tip of 10% or more. For example, if you have to pay for a coffee and a cola the tip will be a little bit higher than 10%, maybe 15-20%. If the order is a dinner for four, the tip can be 9% or 10%.
In many restaurants, the waiter brings you back the change and then you choose how much tip you leave. Also, if you have the exact sum you want to pay (what you ordered and the tip) you can hand the waiter the check holder and say “thank you”. This is how the waiter understands that you don’t expect any change.
EXAMPLE: In Wien, at a restaurant at Schonbrun Palace, I encountered a rather unpleasant situation. The waiter didn’t even think to bring the change. He took the tip by default. This kind of behavior is rarely seen in Romanian restaurants.
Bars have the same tipping policy.
However, the situation is a bit different in night clubs. So, if you want to buy a drink from the bar it is not necessary to leave a tip unless you want to. In some night clubs, mostly the expensive ones, some bartenders take advantage and pretend to forget the change. If this happens, ask for it and they will give it to you. They sometimes think that their clients, because they are having fun and drinking, forget how much money they are spending.
IMPORTANT Try to pay with cash and not with a credit card. In the big cities of Romania, there are restaurants where you can pay with your credit card but only a few.