Is Tipping Mandatory?


Traditionally, tips in a restaurant are not legally required, but it is rude not to pay them. Common etiquette says if you can’t afford to tip, don’t eat at that restaurant. I find that hard because of social pressure.

What does Halacha say about tipping?

I am not well off, but I often find myself forced by social circumstances to eat in a restaurant and pay for my own meal. Affording a tip no matter how small is a struggle for me.



  1. What a fascinating question! The general consensus of opinion among the Poskim is that when the universal custom is to tip, it would be an Halachic obligation to do so (see, Tuvcha Yabiu Volume 2 page 107). When there is no hard-and-fast custom, there is no obligation to tip. However, even in a location where there is no custom to tip, if the restaurant states clearly from the onset that there will be a service charge (i.e. “a tip”) automatically attached and presented with the bill, there is an obligation to pay it.

    Best wishes from the Team