Tips are a way of showing your appreciation
Should you just round up to the next whole number? When it comes to tips, does it make a difference whether you are buying a beer at the bar or being served a three-course meal? Vania Kukleta, co-owner of two restaurants and founder of Switzerland’s first street food festival, has a clear opinion: “As wages are generally low in the service sector, tips are a way of showing your appreciation toward the person serving you.
It’s less about percentages and more to do with the interplay between tips and motivation.” Whether you’ve been served a drink at the bar or a three-course meal in a restaurant is irrelevant – anyone who expresses their gratitude for attentive, personal service by giving a tip will be rewarded at the latest on their next visit.
By law, the service fee has been included in the price since 1978, meaning that tips are primarily about showing your appreciation and are not a legal requirement. Natalie, a barkeeper in a Zurich bar, mainly values the gesture of giving a tip: “Slapping down 20 centimes on the bar does not demonstrate appreciation of our work.”
Although rounding up to the next whole figure is entirely normal and OK, Natalie thinks that a higher tip would be appropriate on purchases of more than two or three drinks. “In addition to providing a professional service, we barkeepers also look after drunk guests and making sure everyone’s in a good mood.” According to a study, 57% of people in Switzerland give tips if they feel that the service they received was above- average. What is more, 34% of respondents reported tipping more on vacation than at home.
Whether the tip actually goes to the person it was intended for is handled differently from establishment to establishment. According to the law, the employer can theoretically divide tips between all employees. However, bosses are not entitled to their employees’ tips.
In other words, tipping is a tricky issue. Whether it’s set down in law or not, the money you leave at the bar expresses your appreciation of the person serving you. Just as you, the guest, are pleased to receive generously sized drinks, free tap water and large portions, staff in the hospitality industry are happy to get a good tip and a smile.