Eating out Swiss style? Don’t be left confused when the bill comes with our guide to everything you need to know about tipping in Switzerland.
Tipping etiquette varies across the world and, as an expat, it can be difficult to know when it’s appropriate, optional, or downright necessary. This is even the case somewhere as highly organized and predictable as Switzerland.
Despite its high per capita income, Switzerland does not have a national minimum wage. This means that when it comes to tipping in Switzerland, it can be confusing to know what the right thing to do is. In this guide, we’ll go over the best practices for tipping servers, bellhops, and more, by answering these questions:
- Is tipping in Switzerland mandatory?
- How much is appropriate tipping in Switzerland?
- How much should I be tipping in Switzerland for different kinds of service?
- A final note on tipping in Switzerland
Is tipping in Switzerland mandatory?
The short answer is no. Service fees are always included in your final bill when visiting a cafe or restaurant. This means that, regardless of tips, your server is earning a living wage. That said, it is very common in Switzerland to leave a small tip for good service. It’s considered a nice gesture if you’ve been happy with your meal.
How much is appropriate tipping in Switzerland?
Whereas in other countries it’s common to tip a percentage of the bill, many Swiss people will round up to the nearest 1 CHF, 5 CHF, or 10 CHF, depending on service and the total bill. For example, if the bill is 66 CHF, you might leave a 4 CHF tip, bringing the total to 70 CHF. For larger restaurant bills, say 180 CHF, you might round it up to 200 CHF, if the service was excellent.
How much should I be tipping in Switzerland for different kinds of service?
How much you choose to tip will depend on the kind and quality of the service. Remember, tipping in Switzerland is entirely up to you and you won’t be frowned upon for leaving a smaller tip. That said, here are a few helpful guidelines.
If there’s a tip jar, drop a few coins in it. If you received table service, you can round up to the nearest franc or two, or more if you really enjoyed the service.
A good rule of thumb is to round up generously to the nearest franc or the nearest five francs. Alternatively, if you are out for a celebration or big meal, you can tip 8–10% of the bill.
Most locals won’t typically tip if ordering a drink at a bar. However, if you have a larger bill or you’ve had the bartender patiently listened to your problems, consider leaving a larger tip.
Round up to the nearest franc, if you’d like. If the taxi service is particularly outstanding and you’ve managed to beat the traffic and catch that train, you might want to tip 5% of the total fare.
Just checked into that fancy hotel for a weekend away with your special someone? Feel free to tip the bellhop 1 CHF or 2 CHF for every bag they helped you with.
Still enjoying that luxury weekend away? If your hotel room was spotless, feel free to leave a tip for the housekeeping team of 1 CHF or 2 CHF for every night of your stay.
If you’re really pleased with your new do or the level of service you get from your favorite stylist, you can drop some coins in the tip jar or leave a 5%-15% tip.
If you had a fabulous, rejuvenating spa stay, you can round the cost up to the nearest franc or five.
A final note on tipping in Switzerland
Remember that tipping in Switzerland is for exceptional service. If your service was subpar or just mediocre, you are not obligated to tip. This can take some getting used to, especially if you’re used to tipping culture in other places, like the United States. Additionally, wherever possible try to provide tips in cash, because servers may not be able to access credit card tips.