Friday, October 24, 2008

To tip or not to tip

It's been a question for me since I arrived here. Tipping etiquette is pretty well known in the US: 15-20% depending on service.

But here, things are not so clear. Which is odd, since the Swiss seem to have rules for everything. But I digress.

When we arrived we took a relocation course. The woman who came to meet with us told us that people tend to round up on bills as a tip, if they are waited on. So a $48 bill would become $50, and so on.

Other people have told us not to tip. And then others tip 10%, less than they would in the US but more than people seem to do here.

I've done all three and nothing seems right. I'm so used to the 15-20% rule and really don't have a clue as to what waiters and waitresses expect here.

So imagine my surprise when I read this blog post over at Waiter Rant.

I couldn't help but chuckle to myself and thank my lucky stars that I tend to be on the overgiving side of things over here just in case. No one likes to piss off the waiter.

7 comments:

De Campo BC said...

Great. Now every freaking swiss who even smiles at me will expect a tip. Thanks.

Jessica said...

I dont tip in Switzerland. I feel that the food prices are so high that they can pay the wait staff out of it. But Jace always rounds up. Does that make me a bad person here?

mrsmac said...

Brendan- funny :-P let me know if you ever make it to Switzerland!

Jessica- Of course not! I'm surprised there aren't any rules on this, the Swiss have rules for anything else!

Hoppy said...

Loved reading the Rant. I can just imagine two American waiters arguing over who's going to get stuck with the foreign visitors in a restaurant. "it's you're turn, I had the last four cheap french bastards." "no, remember, I had the couple from Manchester and the three drunk Irish guys." "yeah, but that was four weeks ago, right after I got stiffed by the family from Italy and the golf pro from Spain." (fisticuffs ensue)

Hilarious!!!!

Lisa said...

I feel you. Tipping in other countries is always stressful! You hear rules, but are they really rules, and do they apply to you as a foreigner?

Colleen said...

hahaha, hilarious!

rösti said...

15% is INCLUDED in your bill already, so if I am just having a coffee or whatever I just pay or perhaps if they were very nice I leave a bit of change. If it is a normal restaurant and the service was standard, then I round up the bill, and if it is a nice restaurant and the service was excellent I leave an additional 10%. Waiters and waitresses make a living wage here, get vacation and sick pay, so that is why the prices are higher. It doesn't bother me, as I have been a waitress making $2.50/hour and living on tips, so I appreciate how people are treated and don't mind paying a bit more (but only for tasty food of course!).