Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Confused about tipping in Swiss restaurants

Confused about tipping in Swiss restaurants

Reply

Aug 9th, 2014, 10:32 AM
  #21
DAX
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,833
Just to bring a different perspective:
Generous tipping is one of the most positive qualities that American tourists are well known for all over the world, so why not live up to our reputation?

If we think waiters in the US deserve a 20+% tip, how do we justify that the european waiters don't deserve the same. They still serve you at our table, why discriminate? I don't think I get a lesser service in Europe than in the US.

We live in San Francisco where the absolute minimum waiter salary is $10 per hour even for McDonald or any dinky food joint. Servers who work at better tourist restaurants in San Francisco make a lot more hourly on salary and we still give them 20% tip on top of the healthcare surcharge.
DAX is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 9th, 2014, 10:54 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,020
Because workers in European countries have better wages and benefits than these type of workers in the US? There are also differences in mandated benefits from employers in Europe (eg, vacation, sick leave, etc), as well as minimum wages. And they get better health care benefits. In the US, no employer has to give any vacation, holiday or sick leave whatsoever as a law outside union or civil service, etc., contracts.
Christina is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 9th, 2014, 12:18 PM
  #23
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 51,719
and when in Rome, do as the romans do..tip 15-20% in the US, round up in Europe. easy peasy.
annhig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 9th, 2014, 04:23 PM
  #24
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,755
"Generous tipping is one of the most positive qualities that American tourists are well known for all over the world, so why not live up to our reputation?"

Because doing so can backfire. Tipping when tipping is not expected can have all sorts of deleterious consequences, no matter how unintentional. As one simple example: Because Westerners have, over the years, tipped taxi drivers in Beijing, many of Beijing's taxi drivers now won't pick up Chinese nationals any more, creating quite a problem for Chinese people who arrive at Beijing's train stations. Not to mention that many Chinese taxi drivers (and others) conclude that Americans (and others) who willingly pay the "stupid foreigner tax" are wealthy enough that they can be overcharged in other ways, etc. If anything, tipping in China is not seen as "one of the most positive qualities [of] American tourists" -- it is seen as evidence of extravagant stupidity.

Tipping in a non-tipping culture is NOT a good thing.
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 9th, 2014, 04:40 PM
  #25
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,314
Try tipping in Japan. Chances are they will run after you and return the change!
Alec is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 9th, 2014, 06:56 PM
  #26
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,755
Alec is absolutely right -- and they would run after you not just because they might think you had left the money inadvertently, but also because it would be mortifying to accept a "gift" without giving a gift in return. It's a great example of a place where the seemingly well-intentioned act of leaving a tip is actually a true faux pas.
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 9th, 2014, 07:10 PM
  #27
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,930
DAX: you are so wrong. And may not realize how 'Ugly American' you may come across when traveling. Or maybe 'Clueless American' is more the case.

>>If we think waiters in the US deserve a 20+% tip, how do we justify that the european waiters don't deserve the same. They still serve you at our table, why discriminate? I don't think I get a lesser service in Europe than in the US. <<

Wait staff are professionals in most of Europe and are paid high wages and service is built into the bill. Their income does not depend on tips like happens in the States. Small tips acknowledge good service - super large tips just make you look like a know-nothing chav (look it up).

Over-tipping and being smug about it is one of the things Europeans and Ausies find distasteful about Yanks. Like we are the 'Saviors of the World' and need to take care of these poor/third world Europeans . . . . NOT!
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 10th, 2014, 01:34 AM
  #28
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 597
janisj As a frequent holidaymaker in Switzerland I do so agree with you. Being English I usually tip 10-15% at home for good service, eually I walk away without tipping. |In Switzerland |I will usually round up my bill to the nearest Franc.
tipsygus is online now  
Reply With Quote
Aug 10th, 2014, 02:13 AM
  #29
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 15,666
"Being English I usually tip 10-15% at home for good service"

Crikey, you must live in a part of the UK where the streets are paved in gold, in Yorkshire it's 5% for great service and just round up for everything else, though our local veg stall rounds down for good customers.
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 10th, 2014, 02:56 AM
  #30
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,488
According to the statistics of the Swiss trade unions, 2/3 of the employees of the hospitality sector (hotels, restaurants, cafes etc.) earn above the "low income threshold" - which is set at CHF 3,800 per month or USD 4,200 per month.
The lowest minimum wage is that sector (applicable to unskilled workers with no experience) is CHF 3,400 (or USD 3,750) . Working hours can be set between 42 and 45 per week. A 13th montly salary on top is obligatory, so are extra holiday payments and surcharges for working on holidays.
While rents are very high in Switzerland (esp. housing can be a major issue in the major conurbations) and groceries can cost 30% more than in the eurozone, the salary of a waitress or waiter in Switzerland is still in a different league than the $10/hr minimum wage in San Francisco. Which also is not exactly a low-rent heaven, if I remember correctly.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 11th, 2014, 12:39 PM
  #31
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,710
Absolutely kja

We had to walk 2 miles in 28oC and 80% humidity in Singapore.

Why ?

Because 2 taxis stopped and wouldn't take our fare when they discovered we were not American.

The hotel said this had become more widespread following the increase in cruise ships docking.
Dickie_Gr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 11th, 2014, 05:38 PM
  #32
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,755
Yes, Dickie_Gr, and many Chinese taxis won't use their meters, either, instead offering "discounted rates" that may be 10 times what the price would be if the meter were used. It really is a problem!
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:29 AM.