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Tipping at European hotel restaurants

Tipping at European hotel restaurants

Old Dec 12, 2021, 1:14 pm
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Tipping at European hotel restaurants

Two hotel restaurants in Italy have had gratuity lines on the bill. I haven't seen this before. Tipping does not seem common at non-hotel restaurants (beyond rounding up when paying cash). On other forums I've been told not to bring American tipping culture to Europe, but maybe that does not apply to restaurants in luxury hotels.

Have I missed something? What is one to do about this?
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Old Dec 12, 2021, 1:46 pm
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Not tip imo. Certainly you should always leave a few euros on the table as has been customary but do not apply the American standard of 20%. They put that gratuity line in for those naive enough to fall for it.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 12:21 am
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It does seem odd to leave only a few euros on a couple of hundred euro bill. Or what will no doubt be a rather large bill for tomorrow's planned Michelin multi-course white truffle tasting menu (if they put a gratuity line). When there's no line on the receipt it feels much easier.

I was concerned customs had changed and it sounds as if they have not.

Last edited by richarddd; Dec 13, 2021 at 12:33 am
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 9:06 am
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Park Hotel Vitznau did that too. I felt weird not leaving anything, so I did leave a few CHF here and there.

(Trying not to stray us too far off topic) that was just my American guilt.

I’m hoping to book a trip to France for Jan/Feb soon and I’ll have to work on that…
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 12:06 pm
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Restaurants in Europe include the gratuity in their prices. The few euros you leave on the table are simply an extra. courtesy. They are not the entire gratuity. Only an American (and I am one) would even ask this question.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 12:11 pm
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Tipping customs in Europe aren't uniform across all countries. For example, it seems much more common to see the natives leaving about 15% in Greece than in Germany/Switzerland/France.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 3:06 pm
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I've had this in a few restaurants in Italy too, Don Alfonso was particularly obnoxious about it from my memory, after a very disappointing experience none was left. My general impression was that it is a tourist trap type request, and that some very fine meals (with both locals and tourists as guests) did not request this
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by richarddd
It does seem odd to leave only a few euros on a couple of hundred euro bill. Or what will no doubt be a rather large bill for tomorrow's planned Michelin multi-course white truffle tasting menu (if they put a gratuity line). When there's no line on the receipt it feels much easier.

I was concerned customs had changed and it sounds as if they have not.
Tipping-related customs remain largely as they have long been for each of the EUropean countries. While it’s not a uniform custom across all the EU/Schengen countries, old habits remain.

Beware the DCC scam for US and other non-European cards has become increasingly prevalent even during this pandemic. Opt out of it.
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Old Dec 13, 2021, 4:00 pm
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In Italy itīs not common to add a tipp to the bill, itīs common to leave it at the table in cash. So thatīs about Italy here, in other European countries itīs common to have the tipp-lines.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 12:00 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum
In Italy itīs not common to add a tipp to the bill, itīs common to leave it at the table in cash. So thatīs about Italy here, in other European countries itīs common to have the tipp-lines.
What would you regard as a common amount or percentage to leave as a tip in Italy?
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 12:10 am
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Originally Posted by richarddd
What would you regard as a common amount or percentage to leave as a tip in Italy?
I read a tipp is not expected, but I doubt that's the truth. I normally leave 10 or 20 €, sometimes more if it's a high end restaurant.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 5:26 am
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Originally Posted by tdiddy23
I've had this in a few restaurants in Italy too, Don Alfonso was particularly obnoxious about it from my memory, after a very disappointing experience none was left. My general impression was that it is a tourist trap type request, and that some very fine meals (with both locals and tourists as guests) did not request this
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 5:27 am
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Tourist trap it is

Italy isdefinitely a tourist trap in most of its big cities.I live in Europe and And we do not normally leave tips in most of the continent. Except for a few euros if we like the service.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 6:42 am
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In France it is also a few euros. Or nowadays I leave 5 euros with today's inflation. The word for tipping in French is pourboire which literally means "for a drink". Historically people would make sure their servers could have a drink at the end of the night. So that's why it is just a few coins one leaves on the table, even at a high end restaurant. It was never meant as a supplement to the servers income, as is the case in America.

In general it is best if travelers leave their culture at home and experience the culture of the place they are visiting.

Last edited by stimpy; Dec 14, 2021 at 6:48 am
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 8:28 am
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no tipping as a sacred principle - especially at high end places

Originally Posted by tdiddy23
I've had this in a few restaurants in Italy too, Don Alfonso was particularly obnoxious about it from my memory
Please refrain from tipping anywhere in Europe, especially at high end restaurants where you already pay the "right" price and staff is emploied according to Law.

It has become customary in german speaking countries to ask on the screen if one wishes to add a tip when paying by credit card on the machine. I suppose this is a function which can be enabled or disabled by the property. Seeing this "option" I systematically complain and will rather not go back to such places.

Regarding Don Alfonso, his wife and sons were always "US tourist orientated" and over the years lost one of their 3 Michelin stars. Well deserved. There is much better around Sorrento, like the Torre Saracina.
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