Irish Tipping Protocol, Irish Gratuities, & Irish Culture
- DO dress modestly, if you wish to blend in. Bright colors aren't typically worn in Ireland. Subdued colors, tweed, and wool are more common.
- DO wear a suit for business meetings. Women wear skirts and dresses more often than pants.
- DO use the small plate next to your dinner plate for the peelings of boiled potatoes.
- DO eat everything served to you if eating at someone's home.
- DON'T refuse a drink unless you absolutely must. It could be considered rude.
- DON'T give expensive or flashy gifts.
- DON'T give lilies, which are for religious occasions. Avoid giving red and white flowers, which symbolize death.
- DO politely refuse a gift when it's first offered. When giving a gift to someone, expect them to do the same.
Visting Someone's Home
- DO bring a little something for your hosts, such as flowers, chocolate, cheese, or wine.
- DO try to have a third party to initiate business.
- DO be on time, but don't expect your Irish colleagues to be punctual.
- DO exchange business cards.
- DO practice your golf skills beforehand! Business is often conducted on the golf course.
- DO be patient. Long-term planning and agenda-following are rare.
- DO ask for a glass of something if you want a half-pint, though pints are more common.
- DO understand that asking for a "drop" of something (i.e. whiskey) means that you're actually asking for a glass of it, not simply a drop!
- DO buy drinks for people. If someone has done you a favour, ask the bartender to send over a drink. They don't have to tell who it's from. It's also common to buy drinks for musicians playing in a pub.
- DO shake hands with everyone present upon meeting, and maintain eye contact. Shake hands again upon leaving.
- DO be friendly. When walking around small towns and villages, it's common to say "hello" to everyone you pass by.
- DON'T confuse Ireland with England. The Irish are proud of their cultural differences with England, so steer clear of making any comments that could be seen as offensive.
- DON'T discuss religion. It's a very sensitive subject to many Irish.
In the Republic of Ireland, tipping has been established as a custom since the early sixties, and has become much more commonplace in the period of increased wealth through the Celtic Tiger. Many people working in the service industry, particularly in restaurants, would expect a tip even when providing poor service. It is increasingly common to tip hairdressers/barbers and for a taxi ride; the fare would normally be rounded up. It is not customary to tip bar staff, or any 'over the counter' server, though often waiters in pubs (known as lounge staff) are tipped a token amount. It is not usual to tip in a restaurant when a service charge is included (which is the norm for large groups), except in the case of exceptional service. Where no service charge is indicated, a tip of about 10% to 12% is appropriate for good service.
Our Irish Tipping Recommendations
- Taxis and Limos: Tipping optional, Round up to next bill/large coin
- Airport Shuttles: Tipping not required
- Hotel Shuttles and Carpark Shuttles: Tipping not required