Chilean Tipping Protocol, Chilean Gratuities, & Chilean Culture
- DO dress conservatively. Women will usually wear modest skirts or dresses and men will usually wear pants.
- DON'T sit until told where to sit. Women will usually sit before men.
- DON'T begin eating until the hostess invites everyone to start.
- DO rest your wrists at the edge of the table.
- DO finish everything on your plate.
- DON'T begin drinking until a toast has been made. The most common toast is "Salud!" During the toast, look at the person who is being toasted.
- DON'T use your left hand to pour wine.
- DON'T give black or purple flowers or yellow roses.
- DON'T give scissors or knives as a gift. Those kinds of gifts indicate severing the relationship.
- DO open a gift upon receipt.
Visting Someone's Home
- DO send flowers in advance to your host.
- DO bring dessert or wine.
- DO have one side of your business card translated into Spanish.
- DO keep your business cards in good condition. A business card that's ripped or tattered might give a bad impression.
- DO be patient. Meetings may last a while.
- DO understand that decisions are not usually made during a meeting.
- DO shake hands upon meeting someone. The handshake should be hearty, accompanied by eye contact and a smile.
- DO understand that traditionally in Chile, some women may not shake hands with men. This is becoming less common these days, but keep it in mind.
- DON'T move to a first name basis until invited to.
- DO be friendly and kind. Chileans don't like arrogance.
- DO be careful when discussing politics.
- DO note that some Chileans, especially in higher-end hotels and in the tourist industry, can likely speak and understand English.
- DON'T get upset if you're called a "gringo." Chileans tend to call all foreigners that.
There is no obligation to tip in Chile. This was not the case until 1981, when law number 7.388 was derogated. It stated that tipping was mandatory at places like restaurants, and the tip amount should be between 10% and 20% of the bill. Since then, it is usually assumed that customers will leave a tip of 10%, if the service is considered satisfactory.
Our Chilean Tipping Recommendations
- Taxis and Limos: Tipping not required
- Airport Shuttles: Tipping not required
- Hotel Shuttles and Carpark Shuttles: Tipping not required