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.


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)


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?

Anonymous 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!).