“Do You Tip in Jordan? A Quirky Guide to ‘Baklava Bonuses’ and ‘Shawarma Shakeup'”

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

Do You Tip in Jordan? A Quirky Guide to ‘Baklava Bonuses’ and ‘Shawarma Shakeup’


In this blog post, we will delve into the tipping culture of Jordan. The title, “Do You Tip in Jordan? A Quirky Guide to ‘Baklava Bonuses’ and ‘Shawarma Shakeup'”, hints at the unique aspects of tipping in this Middle Eastern country. Tipping customs vary from one country to another, and it is essential for travelers to understand and respect the local practices when it comes to showing gratitude for services rendered.

Understanding Tipping Culture in Jordan

Tipping holds a significant place in Jordanian culture, as it is viewed as a gesture of gratitude. In many cases, tipping is considered obligatory rather than optional. This is partly due to the fact that many service providers rely heavily on tips as part of their income. Acknowledging this cultural expectation can contribute positively to your interactions with locals.

General Tipping Etiquette in Jordan

To navigate tipping etiquette smoothly during your visit to Jordan, it’s important to familiarize yourself with customary tip percentages for different service providers. For example, tipping waitstaff at restaurants generally involves adding around 10% to 15% of the bill total. Taxi drivers usually expect a small gratuity, rounding up their fares or adding an additional 10% as an appreciation for their service. When staying at hotels, it is customary to tip hotel staff who provide assistance with luggage or other services.

Unconventional Tipping Practices: The Quirky Side

One fascinating aspect of tipping in Jordan lies in its unconventional practices. In some situations, such as visiting a bakery or sweet shop (known for its world-renowned baklava), patrons may receive an extra treat called a “baklava bonus” when leaving a generous tip. Similarly, shawarma stands often have a “shawarma shakeup” tradition, where customers who tip generously may receive an extra serving or special treatment. These unique experiences add an element of surprise and excitement to the act of tipping.

Cultural Considerations when Tipping in Jordan

Tipping practices are influenced by cultural norms, and understanding these can help travelers navigate the tipping landscape in Jordan more effectively. For example, it is important to note that direct exchanges of money can be viewed as impolite in some situations. In these cases, it is customary to offer the tip discreetly and respectfully. Additionally, knowing when and whom to tip based on local customs can prevent unintentional offense or embarrassment.

How Tipping Impacts Service Quality in Jordan

Tipping plays a significant role in motivating service providers to deliver exceptional service quality in Jordanian establishments. Locals generally perceive tips as a form of encouragement, driving them to provide better service. Understanding this dynamic can help travelers appreciate the importance of tipping beyond its monetary value and encourage positive interactions with service providers.

Alternatives to Monetary Tips: Supporting Local Businesses

While tipping with monetary gratuities is customary in many places, there are alternative ways to show appreciation for services without direct cash transactions. In Jordan, supporting local businesses by purchasing locally made products or recommending services through word-of-mouth can be meaningful gestures that contribute positively to the local economy.

Final Thoughts and Practical Advice for Tipping in Jordan

To summarize the key points discussed throughout this blog post:

1. Tipping holds great importance in Jordanian culture.
2. Familiarize yourself with customary tip percentages for different service providers.
3. Expect unconventional tipping practices like “baklava bonuses” and “shawarma shakeup.”
4. Be mindful of cultural norms when offering tips discreetly.
5. Understand how tips impact service quality and use them as opportunities for positive reinforcement.
6. Consider alternative ways to show appreciation by supporting local businesses.

By adhering to these tips and being respectful of local customs, travelers can navigate the tipping landscape in Jordan with confidence and contribute positively to their experiences and interactions with locals.

John Goldsmith