10. Shopping and service

So, what is ‘service’ in Korea.

Find out!

I don’t think in Ireland I’ve ever got free stuff. I’ve never even got awful free stuff. The free stuff you don’t even want like a hug from Teresa May, white jeans or chlamydia.

Korea is different. Sooooooo different.

If you go to a supermarket you’ll see a lot of goods with free stuff attached to it. What’s strange is that sometimes the free stuff has nothing to do with what you’re buying. A large bag of coffee and attached to it – Kimchi or light bulbs or cleaning products.

As there’s that many different products it’s a way of saying, ‘okay, you like sausages have some dish cloths along with them.

Now what sometimes happens at restaurants is you get service. It’s a little freebie that the owner throws in that says,’hey, thanks for coming in and buying here’. I’ve never got service the first time I’ve been to  a restaurant but I’ve definitely got it when I’ve come back to a restaurant the second, third or forth time.

I’ve always thought of it as the owner saying,’hey, you’re back, this is for you’.


The fries where service. It’s a strange idea but a really appreciated one. I’ve had free side dishes, free deserts, free drinks, free time at karaoke. You’re not going to get a free meal but it’s a really friendly addition to your evening and it’s more likely to make you comeback.

How do you ask for Service?

I’ve never asked. I don’t know if you should ask. The way I see it is the owner has decided to give you something for free because ‘why not’ as opposed to you trying to get something for free.

1) → 서비스 없어요? (seobiseu eopseoyo?) – Is there no service?
2) → 서비스으로 주시면 안 되요? (seobiseueuro jusimyeon an doeyo?) – Could we get this as service, please? (specific item) (Taken from https://seoulistic.com/travel-to-korea/how-to-get-free-stuff-in-korea-service)

You don’t tip in Korea so you’ll sometimes get an amazingly cheap meal, service and no tip for W7,000.

Tell me your service stories or if it’s odd ot get free stuff where you live.

Thanks for reading,





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