You got a hefty bill after having lunch in a restaurant and now you have to ALSO tip?
Well, you can… but you don’t have to.
In fact, you never have to worry about tipping in Switzerland. Nor need you feel bad for the nice waiter who served you all evening as he does not live off of tips (unlike the US). The system is different over here – for 35 years now, tips are generally included in the price and tipping is totally optional.
Do you tip in Switzerland?
Even though you’re not obliged to tip service people, you can still reward good service. It will surely be appreciated if you leave a little extra or you round up to the nearest franc.
How much to tip? Round it up.
The most popular (and logical) method of tipping in Switzerland is to round it up. The Swiss say so themselves. 20 Minuten, a Swiss Newsportal reports the golden rule of tipping is to ‘generously round up’ the bill.
In many cases, rounding to the nearest Franc is enough and is appreciated. For example, with a coffee that costs 3.50 CHF, many pay 4 and don’t accept the change, as a bartender in Zürich tells Beobachter. However, in certain cases, for higher bills, rounding to the nearest Franc might not be sufficient.
For something around 100 CHF, some round up to the nearest 5 or 10 CHF, while for bills over 100 CHF some (Americans) go by percent, usually about 10–15 percent.
Switzerland Tipping Guide
If you’re unsure as to how much to tip different service people and bigger bills, here’s a guide.
How much to tip…
The cafe server
For table service, go by the rule of rounding up to the nearest Franc, as we mentioned before. However, if you’re paying at the cash register and they have a tip jar, you could leave a couple of coins there.
If you order a lot of drinks or spend the whole evening at the bar, it’s only natural to leave a little extra. For smaller bills, round up to the nearest franc, but for larger bills, round up to the nearest 5 or 10 CHF.
The restaurant server
Although a service charge is included in the final bill if the service was good, consider tipping about 8 – 10 percent as a ‘thank you’ to the server. Depending on how fancy the restaurant is and how appreciative of the service you are, you can go lower or higher than this percentage.
Remember to always give tips in cash since they might not get to receive it if it’s by credit card.
The taxi driver
Taxi rides in Switzerland generally have high fares, with Zurich being the city with the world’s highest taxi fares. Still, if you have to pay 17,40 francs (which is how much it will cost you for a 3-km ride), you might as well pay 18 CHF and refuse change.
Either that or round up to 5 percent of the final fare if the service was exceptional.
While it is not necessary to tip your driver, if they are nice enough to help with your luggage you can reward their kindness by giving them 1 CHF per bag.
The cleaning service
For a spotless stay, you can leave 1 – 2CHF per night.
A simple thank you is enough, but feel free to offer 1 CHF (or up to 5CHF in a luxury hotel) if you were helped with your luggage.
As for all services, you do not need to leave anything extra since the tip is supposed to be included in the bill. However, if your hairdresser listened to all your problems and gave nice advice during the time they cut your hair, in that case, you can show your gratitude by leaving up to 15 percent of the final bill.
Sandra, a hairdresser in Ettingen, shares that her customers leave something in the tip jar willingly. One time she removed it, it got requested back. ‘People feel the need to tip their heads when they are satisfied,’ she says.
There you have it! You no longer have to wonder how much to tip in Switzerland.