This story comes from my Kenyan experiences when visiting nations of the world. I mean the western world.
You see, out there, many families like to take a meal out of their home every once a while.

So let’s say on weekends, maybe once a month, they all congregate at a themed hotel or restaurant. Say an Italian eatery, an Indian food joint, you get the drift.

After having their great time of eating and catching up, they go ahead and ask for the bill.They will proceed to swipe their credit cards, and as well add a dollar bill to the tray, for the waiter.

Mh, impressive! Those are my thoughts whenever I witness these gestures. They give a handsome tip, and without effort. Then my mind drifts off to my homeland, Kenya.

For the avoidance of doubt, a tip, also called gratuity as the sum of money in addition the basic price, given to certain service sector workers for a service performed or anticipated.

The tipping culture in Kenya is significantly different despite the fact that over the years it has become more common place especially in high end hotels, restaurants and cafes.

Tipping in Kenya is more popular with tourists than locals. Tourists visiting on safari or staying at Kenyan hotels and restaurants for the first time are constantly looking up the tipping culture and the tipping etiquette in Kenya. I guess they do not get much information! *sigh!*

Some Kenyans have argued that a diner must not be expected to pay extra for a service they are entitled to. That it is unreasonable for you to pay more to someone whose job it is to provide that service.

One argument put forward to counter this is that employees in some industries aren’t paid well enough, and will use tips to supplement their incomes.

In response, diners argue that it is not the customers’ obligation to ensure that they (the employees) are paid well, but the employers’ responsibility.

Employees in the local service industry do not always expect a tip. Most of them will appreciate receiving one, but do not expect it, especially not from locals.


But banter aside, those against tipping in Kenya mentioned that sometimes the pressure to tip not only inconveniences customers but it puts a damper on the dining/lunching experience, making it awful. Some said that they felt short-changed for being expected to tip.

The general consensus however with many Kenyans on this topic that while it is not a must to offer a tip, Kenyans will go out of their way to give a tip for great service, but only if they have the extra cash.

So there you have it folks! Choose the most appropriate gesture for the service you receive while out having a great time!

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