Ask Heidi: To Tip, or Not to Tip

Dear Heidi,

My Swiss friends tell me that I shouldn’t tip the waiter more than one or two francs. In the States, we generally tip about 20%. What should I tip here?

Sincerely,
Needing Help!

Dear Needing Help,

Swiss Francs © thegrid.ch
Swiss Francs © thegrid.ch // Flickr.com
Your Swiss friends are right, you’re not expected to tip the waiter 20% since it’s all included in the service. If you want to be nice, you can leave a few francs. Tipping also depends on how long you’ve been sitting at your table, what you’ve consumed, if you’re happy with the service. If you’re not happy, don’t give anything! Once I didn’t like the service and so didn’t leave a tip at all. On the other hand, for a very good meal at a nice, popular restaurant, we paid 90 CHF and left a 4 CHF tip.

For a 64 CHF hairstyle, I usually tip CHF 7 – especially if I intend to keep going back to the stylist.

Taxis will let you know if there are any extra charges, or you can tip them CHF 2.

I only give money to street musicians who are students or have CDs. I never pay musicians on the tram. Actually, this is prohibited.

Also, don’t encourage beggars by giving them money.

At the Weihnachtsmarkt, Herbstmesse, or Flea Markets, don’t tip unless it was fantastic.

When visiting Flea Markets remember they expect you to bargain!

Don’t bargain in shops — except when buying a car!! That’s for another day…

Liebs grüessli,
Heidi

0 thoughts on “Ask Heidi: To Tip, or Not to Tip”

  1. I will be visiting Basel in April, 2015. I would like a good map of Basel to study before I get there. I am already visiting vicariously and excited to be coming. So, where and how might I get a good map. Thanks, Rick

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