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Tipping

Can someone make suggestions on whether or not to tip in restaurants or elsewhere ?
Should I tip in any other areas?

Posted by
16683 posts

In Germany, if you are paying in cash, you “round up”. So if the bill comes to 38€, you hand the waiter or waitress 40€ and say “stimmt so”. That is the equivalent of saying “keep the change”.

If the numbers are such that rounding up does not work for the bills you have, you can ask for change, but I always do it in German. Say the bill is 42 € and we only have 20 and 10 € notes. I can give the waiter 50€ and tell him we are paying 45€. He or she will hand back 5€ in change.

If paying by credit card, they cannot add the extra to the credit card bill. In that case you pay the amount due on the card and leave a few € coins on the table as “trinkgeld”.

In Switzerland we do not tip if paying by credit card.

Posted by
387 posts

The Swiss tourism site is confusing, but accurate. Service is included in the costs so you don’t have to tip at restaurants and should never feel obliged to, but if you were very happy with the service (or just don’t want to get lots of small change!), it’s also common to round up the bill by about 5-10% or closest appropriate round number. For example, from 46 to 50chf. There is really no expectation though and you’re also free to just pay the bill as is and leave.
It’s more common to tip places you go to regularly or if you’re in a large group, and in bigger cities like Zurich.

Posted by
993 posts

No need to tip. It is not the local custom there. It is less stressful for both the customer and the server.

As a Swiss I can tell you without hesitation that it is the local custom to tip. Most of the staff working in Swiss restaurants are not Swiss but citizens from the poor parts of Europe on short term visas, working for minimum wages and often living in hostel type accommodation. It is considered pretty poor form not to tip and typical of Americans.

Posted by
521 posts

We always tip, as does anyone that we have ever gone out to eat with. Not stressful at all. I can't see how it would be stressful for the server to receive a small thank you for their hard work.

Posted by
2771 posts

I do find tipping to be a little awkward outside of the U.S. In the U.S., when paying be credit card, we can just write in the amount on the bill.

My (limited) experience outside of the U.S. has been that when paying by credit card, you have to either ask the server to add x amount to the bill before they run your credit card or hand them cash (assuming you have some). It can be a little uncomfortable.

As stated above, I have always tipped in Switzerland. My meals are always so inexpensive and it feels weird giving someone a 5 CHF coin. That’s my issue obviously. 😊

Posted by
521 posts

It may feel weird Carrie, but what you are doing is exactly how we do it. Usually we don't spend that much in restaurants either, often just going out for coffee, so having some smaller bills and/or coins on hand always does the trick. 😁

Posted by
273 posts

. It is considered pretty poor form not to tip and typical of Americans.

@ Jim Bern, Switzerland I don't understand.

All of the Americans here on this thread say they tip in Switzerland.

And then hopper18 who is from Switzerland says "Service is included in the costs so you don’t have to tip at restaurants and should never feel obliged to,"

Posted by
16683 posts

My (limited) experience outside of the U.S. has been that when paying by credit card, you have to either ask the >server to add x amount to the bill before they run your credit card or hand them cash (assuming you have >some). It can be a little uncomfortable.

In Italy, at least, the server cannot add a tip to the credit card. The total amount on the credit card bill is considered income of the the restaurant and subject to tax. So there, we leave the tip in cash.

Posted by
2771 posts

We only tipped once in Italy (in cash). My understanding from Dario and others on the forum is that tipping is not expected at restaurants in Italy.

Posted by
2771 posts

lsmith7823, I also wanted to mention that I do tip the housekeeping staff in hotels. I don’t get my room cleaned every day, but when I do, I leave a few dollars in the local currency (Switzerland I leave a 5 CHF coin) in a little envelope with “Thank-you!! 😊” written on it. I do this whether it’s customary or not. And I know it’s appreciated because I sometimes get a little note back.

These are what I use:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BL5WBGJ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1