A NEW survey has confirmed that the Spanish are indeed stingy tippers, as anyone who has worked in the hospitality trade will attest.
Unlike the United States, where tips of 20 per cent are considered near-mandatory, or the UK, where many restaurants now include a service charge of 10-12 per cent on the bill, Spanish patrons choose how much to leave by themselves.
The survey of 1,700 Spanish eateries, conducted this August by the Spanish Hospitality Industry Federation and cash-and-carry behemoth Makro, shows that almost three-quarters of customers tip less than 5 per cent, with many electing to leave nothing at all.
Just three per cent of the miserly munchers left a tip comprising more than 10 per cent of the bill.
Around 23 per cent of customers left tips between 5 and 10 per cent, amounts that restaurant and bar owners consider “normal.”
Despite this profusion of parsimonious patrons, restaurateurs are not inclined to introduce fixed service charges, with only 4 per cent of those surveyed in favour.
Instead, they are seeking less complex administrative procedures in their dealings with government departments, improved institutional support, more favourable credit conditions and access to state-funded training.
Other than the poorly-developed tipping culture, another major complaint was the Spanish tendency to book a table then fail to show up, with such failures blamed for 90 per cent of restaurants’ economic losses.