Worldwide Guide to Restaurant Tipping
Central and South America: Restaurants
In countries without an automatic service charge, such as Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, tip between 10 and 15 percent, depending on the level of hospitality. In Costa Rica, Brazil, and Peru, where 10 percent is added to the bill, drop a few extra coins in thanks for particularly warm service. You may encounter an additional fee in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay: customers are often charged the equivalent of $2 to $4 for utensils, even at high-end hotels.
Good service is defined differently here than in the U.S.—it’s both more relaxed and less obtrusive. In many Latin American countries, asking a diner if he’s ready for the check is regarded as rude, so waiters often make themselves scarce once the meal is served. In Argentina, for example, they can become downright invisible. —Sherri Eisenberg