We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

a word on tipping

switzerland
Level Contributor
292 posts
Save Topic
a word on tipping

from time to time someone has to point out that tipping is not required in switzerland. that's true: it's not required, there's no legal responsibility to tip, but - _not_ tipping is considered down-right rude and very bad manners. you don't have to tip 20%, but normally you give around 10%, especially if you have received extra attention.

(minimum) wages are higher in switzerland, but the cost of living is as well. you can't get by on only your salary as a waiter, the tipps are part of it.

Likely To Sell Out
Mount Titlis Day Tour from Zurich
1,061 Reviews
US$163 per adult
Swiss Alps Bernina Express Rail Tour...
1,257 Reviews
US$153 per adult
Likely To Sell Out
Jungfraujoch: Top of Europe Day Trip...
1,073 Reviews
US$250 per adult
Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Level Contributor
13,339 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: a word on tipping

Thanks for the note, a_s! It's always good to get the real info from a resident!

s

London
Level Contributor
8,329 posts
98 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: a word on tipping

Thanks Ava. It's useful to know. Times have changed since my childhood when I remember staff actually following us out of the restaurant in Switzerland to give us our change, which they felt we had left by mistake. Having said that, although things have clearly changed, I have found that in the region I stay in, the norm seems to be to say "keep the change", or to round up to the nearest reasonable figure, rather than automatically tipping 10 or 20%. Do you think it varies by region, or perhaps by the type of place you are eating in?

I feel tipping should be done if you feel you have received good service, and I would certainly tip if I felt I had.

Mentioned in this post
Schwyz, Switzerland
Level Contributor
7,139 posts
526 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: a word on tipping

Ava sophia, I do not agree at all. There are 10% service charge on your bill, and its not usual to tip for an average service or a little smile, and those who do pay twice!

Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
382 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: a word on tipping

If there's a 10% surcharge on the bill I refuse to tip. Is there automatically a service charge or is it only some places? Do they tell you on the menu? I do feel tipping is a very controversial issue. These days you have to tip everyone, and it's totally out of hand. I never got a tip when I gave good service in my very badly paid job when I was young, and I can't see the reason to do it now, with everyone else. In saying that, certainly here in South Africa, where our wait staff are usually paid tips only (illegal, but still done everywhere), I always pay if the service has been good, and more than the accepted 10% if it has been exceptional.

A practice here as well is that if a 10% service charge is included, the extra often doesn't reach the staff, so not only do you need to pay the 10%, but then also 10% (at least) tip to the actualy staff member. As I say - out of hand. Here anyway.

Goldau, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Lucerne, Zug, Brunnen
Level Contributor
16,334 posts
288 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: a word on tipping

Sorry Ava Sophia, I do not agree at all with your point of view!

The service charge is already included in the prices (by law). So, as mum47 says, tipping is only required if you got a really extra service. Do not make more expensive as it is!

If the service was better thn average I leave normaly the change on the table or (if it was extra class) give maximum 10%.

Pore

switzerland
Level Contributor
292 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: a word on tipping

true, the service charge is already in the bill - but that doesn't hgive the waiter automatically more money.

i wasn't very clear in my post: you'd never give 20%, but 10% are a good and acceptable tip. with smaller amounts you normally round up to the next franc. if the service you received was very poor, you don't tip . but i think this goes without saying.

to the (swiss ;-) ) people not agreeing: do you know how much a waiter gets, have you ever worked as such? i can only say, you can't live by normal standards - and i'm not talking a car or a house - on only your paycheck.

Goldau, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Lucerne, Zug, Brunnen
Level Contributor
16,334 posts
288 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: a word on tipping

There are minimum salaries in Switzerland, also for the waiters. It is up on them to offer you a teriffic service to get some tips! Again, please, do not make our country more expensive as it is and do not give wrong informations.

Pore

Mentioned in this post
switzerland
Level Contributor
128 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: a word on tipping

What a load of nonsense ava_sophia.

Service charge is included in the price and it is not normal to leave a 10% tips on top of that. I don't know anyone who does that. We usually just round up the bill - for example chf 105 if the bill is 101. Considering the crappy service you normally receive in Zurich, that is quite generous.

Mentioned in this post
Zurich
Zurich
Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Level Contributor
13,339 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: a word on tipping

aaacccckkkk, you guys are killing me!

Like most Americans, I am totally conflicted about tipping. It's a huge habit here in the U.S., and I'm never confident with what to do while in Switzerland.

I guess I will continue to found up to the next "5" -- then claim the ignorance of an a foreigner if it offends someone either way!

s

Mentioned in this post
Schwyz, Switzerland
Level Contributor
7,139 posts
526 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: a word on tipping

I think, its important to know (especially for budget-tourists) that tips are included, and for those who want afford it, its not "forbidden"