Tip amounts, as well as acceptance, vary in different parts of the world. In some countries in East Asia such as Japan, tips are seen as insulting and can sometimes be interpreted as a bribe.

In yet other countries such as the United States, tipping is widely expected, and in many cases, is even factored into a service worker's compensation towards satisfying the minimum wage requirement.

It is illegal to offer tips to some groups of workers, such as U.S. government workers and more widely police officers; the tips may be regarded as bribery. A fixed percentage service charge is sometimes added to bills in restaurants and similar establishments. Tipping may not be expected when a fee is explicitly charged for the service.

In France, tipping is neither required nor expected, and should only be offered after the customer received outstanding service. Waiters are paid a living wage and do not depend on tips, and cafes and restaurants are required by law to include a service charge (usually 15%) on the bill.

Tipping is not expected in Britain the way it is in some other countries; however for the majority of people tipping in some circumstances is customary as a sign of appreciation.