This blog post is part of the “Must read” series for people visiting Belgrade. Find all others blog post in “Essential” category HERE.
Tipping in Europe is different than one in the US. It’s not obligatory to tip, but tipping is expected if you are satisfied with the service. This is usually right just for the cafes & restaurants, no need to tip anywhere else.
They usually have a tipping jar but no one expect you to leave anything. It’s mostly there for people who don’t “like” to carry around change or small bills. So if you are at a fast food or coffee to go kind of place, it’s perfectly normal not to leave a tip.
Cafe & Restaurants
The “rule” is to leave 10-15% tip based on the receipt, and that is if you are satisfied with the service. Many new “upscale” restaurants decided to include a mandatory “service fee” as a separate thing on the bill, so no tipping necessary. It’s not common to see it (service fee) but it’s a trend at the moment.
In smaller cafes, you can just round up the bill. If something is 310 RSD it’s OK to leave 350, or if it’s 280 give 300, for 740 it’s OK to leave 800 etc.
Tipping not needed, again, you can round up the bill if you want to.
Credit card tipping
There isn’t any! Credit card system (actually the money transfer law) does not recognise tipping as an option, so there’s none on the card terminals as well. You need to tip with cash.
Things to remember
If you are not satisfied with the service, you don’t have to tip.
If you have just a credit card, no cash and cannot tip, it’s not that big of a deal. Sure, the waiter might be a bit disappointed but it happens.