Knowing the ins and outs of the tipping culture is an essential part of your travels in The Netherlands. You don’t want to be rude, but you also don’t want to be seen as a cash-cow.
There are several things you should know about the tipping culture here in The Netherlands. And about the service that is included. That’s why I’m giving you advice on how much euros you should tip in The Netherlands when you visit a restaurant, and where you should or shouldn’t tip.
Disclaimer: Service in The Netherlands
Service in The Netherlands in restaurants and many other places isn’t like you would expect if you are from, for instance, the United States. In The Netherlands, we see it as intruding when a waiter doesn’t let us finish our food, and continually interrupts us for asking what we want to drink. Eating is an experience and the way to discuss your day, among other things. If you’re going to drink something extra, you might have to ask the waiter when he or she passes you.
So after this little disclaimer, let’s get into the ins and outs of the tipping culture in The Netherlands.
1) First of all. Tips are ALWAYS voluntary
No matter where you are. If you don’t appreciate their Dutch service or if your food was less than you expected. Or, for instance, if you don’t want to tip. Then it’s completely fine to get the bill and don’t tip. You have to see the tip as a little extra, but it’s not needed to keep them from the streets.
2) Don’t tip 20%
That’s so much money and is seen as a ridiculous amount of money to waste on tips here. If you want to count in percentages, count 5-10%. But what I often do is make it a round number. So from 27 euros to 30 euros, for instance.
Do you have to tip a tattoo artist in The Netherlands? No. You can, but I don’t know anyone who does. It’s their job. It would be best if you saw it as a store. Do you tip people that work in a clothing store or supermarket? No. Well, not in The Netherlands as least. Of course, if you are thrilled with your tattoo and you have some euros to spare, go ahead.
4) Tipping hairdressers in The Netherlands
When I first heard that people tip hairdressers, I was utterly confused. It’s weird. It’s again, their job. You can start tipping everyone with that mindset. The cultural differences are there. I can assure you that most hairdressers will give you the money back as no one tips here.
5) Taxis and tipping
You don’t have to tip a taxi driver. However, we usually do tip. We tip the taxi drivers in The Netherlands because it makes it easier to pay (and because we usually take a taxi when we have some drinks in our system which makes us more generous).
6) Fast food places and snack bars
We don’t tip in these places at all. Yes, if your fries from the snack bar are 2,10 euros, you won’t have to pay 2,50.
How to leave a tip in a restaurant or cafe?
Give them billet money and say they can keep the rest. Or if you pay by card, get some coins and tell them they can keep that. The reason I’m telling you this is because not all restaurant or cafe owners are honest. Some won’t give the staff the tips they worked for if you pay by card.
Should you tip the bell boy and maid in hotels?
You can if you want. But in general, quite a few hotels add an addition of 15% for the service.
Tipping tour guides in The Netherlands.
If you are on a free walking tour, you should always leave some money. So technically they’re not free then, but still. Even if it’s just five euros. You can give tour guides that are paid for by a company a tip, but for me, it would be weird.
How to give tips in The Netherlands 101:
1) Tipping is not required. It is a little extra.
2) If you are not happy with your service or food, tell them that. But again, don’t expect, for instance, American style service.
3) 10% isn’t a criterion. Give as much as you want. Or don’t tip. Whatever you want.
4) Give a tip in cash. This way, you will know that the tipping money will get to the staff.
5) Be clear when you give a tip. Don’t talk soft (don’t yell either), but be clear about the amount that you are leaving.