Tipping in Israel is discretionary but expected, similar to most of the Western world. Waiters and bartenders are generally paid a low salary with the majority of their earnings coming from tips. Tipping taxi drivers, on the other hand, is not usually expected.
How much to tip in Israel in restaurants
The Israeli public is generally sympathetic to the fact that waiters and bartenders are poorly paid, and with most of these workers being students, leave a tip generously. A regular tip for a waiter in Israel is 10-12% depending on how good the service was and how much you ordered. In a bar, you should usually leave a tip of a few shekels, of course depending on what you are ordering. Occasionally (and in some ‘tourist-trap’ restaurants) service is automatically added to the bill, so be sure to keep an eye open for this.
drivers in Israel – how much to tip?
Taxi drivers in Israel do not generally expect to be tipped, and will generally return change to you without even asking if you would like it. Remember that any taxi you take within an Israeli city should be based on a metered fare, and between cities, there is an official price list, although different vehicle sizes and timings mean that this can vary. You also shouldn’t feel the need to tip when ordering at a cafe counter, a hotel reception, or travel information, although if you receive great service, feel free to make the person who helped you extra happy!
Tipping in Israel on a tour
When joining an organized tour, it is polite and encouraged to tip both your driver and your guide. Depending on the service that is given, the length of the tour and the number of days spent with the guide, the amount can range. On average, $3-5 USD is the minimum to offer the guide, but if they have given outstanding service, tipping more generously is encouraged.
If visiting a spa while in Israel, it is recommended to tip as well. In general about 20 shekels is customary, however, if the spa services are more expensive then tip accordingly.
Tipping other services in Israel, such as porters or delivery drivers is expected, but how much to tip is less formulaic than with waiters and bartenders.
In general, if a person is providing a service and they go above and beyond, a tip is always welcome.