“Do You Tip in Brazil? Only if Your Waiter Can Juggle Flaming Coconuts!”

By John Goldsmith •  Updated: 11/03/23 •  4 min read

Do You Tip in Brazil? Only if Your Waiter Can Juggle Flaming Coconuts!


Tipping culture varies around the world, with different countries and cultures having their own customs and practices. In this blog post, we will explore the tipping etiquette in Brazil. Brazil is a country known for its vibrant culture, warm hospitality, and unique customs. Tipping is a common practice in many service industries in Brazil, but it is important to understand the cultural context and norms surrounding it.

Understanding Brazilian Culture:

Brazilian culture is rich and diverse, influenced by its indigenous roots as well as Portuguese colonization. Brazilians are known for their warmth, friendliness, and love for festivities. This cultural backdrop plays a significant role in shaping tipping practices in the country.

Tipping Etiquette in Brazil:

When it comes to tipping in Brazil, there are certain norms observed in different service industries such as restaurants, hotels, taxis, etc. In restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip of around 10% of the total bill. It’s important to note that some restaurants may automatically include a “serviço” or service charge on the bill.

Hotels also have their own tipping practices. It is common to tip hotel staff who provide exceptional service such as bellboys or housekeeping. The amount can vary depending on the level of service received.

When it comes to taxi services, rounding up the fare or adding around 10% of the total amount as a tip is considered appropriate.

The Role of Service Charge:

In Brazil, “serviço” or service charge is prevalent in many establishments. This charge is often automatically included in the bill and typically amounts to 10% of the total bill. However,”serviço” can be discretionary for customers if they feel that exceptional service was not provided.

Interesting Tipping Practices in Brazil:

In addition to traditional monetary tips, there are some unique scenarios in Brazil where tipping goes beyond the ordinary. For example, it is not uncommon to come across street performers juggling flaming coconuts or engaging in other impressive acts. It is considered customary to show appreciation for such entertainment by offering a tip.

These extraordinary experiences are often tied to Brazilian cultural aspects such as Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and acrobatics. Tipping is seen as a way to support these performers and show gratitude for their talent.

When Not to Tip:

While tipping is generally expected in many service industries in Brazil, there are situations where it may not be necessary or appreciated. For example, self-service restaurants or fast-food establishments typically do not expect tips.

Street vendors also fall into this category, where haggling over prices and negotiating deals is more common than leaving a tip.

It’s important to navigate these scenarios respectfully and understand the local customs before deciding whether or not to tip.

Tipping Dos and Don’ts:

To tip appropriately and respectfully in Brazil, there are a few practical tips to keep in mind. Firstly, it is advisable to exchange some local currency before your trip as many places may not accept foreign currency for tipping purposes.

Expressing gratitude verbally along with the tip can go a long way in showing appreciation for good service. Learning a few basic Portuguese phrases like “obrigado” (thank you) can make your gesture even more meaningful.


Tipping practices vary around the world, reflecting different cultures and customs. In Brazil, tipping is generally expected in many service industries as a gesture of gratitude for good service received. While it is not mandatory, it is always appreciated. Understanding the cultural context and norms surrounding tipping in Brazil can help ensure respectful interactions and enrich your overall experience while visiting this vibrant country.

John Goldsmith