Is tipping common in Mauritius? Do you tip in restaurants after a good meal?
Tipping in restaurants in Mauritius occurs mainly in the touristy spots, due to the patrons there often come from a tipping culture, however it is neither compulsory, nor expected.
Visitors from Europe and America sometimes find the service in Mauritius to be somewhat lacking, and this is partly due to the lack of a tipping culture. A waiter working in an upmarket restaurant in Flic en Flac once told us:
“We don’t have a tipping culture here, but many people tip anyway. We just provide the service. No more, no less – but you won’t get an extra smile for an extra dollar. It’s good and bad, depending on where you come from, but at least it’s genuine”.
Needless to say, any waitress or waiter, or chef for that matter, will of course very much appreciate a tip, small or big. Money talks in Mauritius, just like it does in the rest of the world.
Bottom line: Tip if you’re happy with the food and service, and staff will be equally happy, but there’s no need to tip for the sake of tipping.
… and to contradict the above: Some restaurants promptly point out that “service is not included in the total” when you receive your bill. This might seem offensive to visitors from some countries but it is simply a way of pointing out the fact – and to get that tip of course. This way of asking for a tip is mostly found in the more upmarket restaurants, where patrons are expected to tip anyway.
A word of advice: Have a look at the menu footer before you order, and check if prices are quoted inclusive or exclusive of VAT. Some restaurants in Mauritius include the VAT and some don’t. Either way, this is the easiest way of avoiding a surprise at the end of the meal. VAT on restaurant services in Mauritius is 15% of the grand total.