Tipping culture in the Netherlands

Tipping culture in the Netherlands! Yes, it exists! Kinda. Here is some knowledge on the non-existent tipping culture in Holland and when you should actually consider giving someone a tip.

Do I tip in the Netherlands?

Dutch people are not very big on tipping. In fact, absolutely no one expects you to leave a tip whenever you’re at a restaurant or a bar. Taking this into account, it might seem like this article will be really short. Is there a tipping culture in the Netherlands? No? Ok, bye.

But hold on! To my surprise it’s a bit more complicated than that and apparently there are some social norms as to when you’re supposed to actually tip someone in the Netherlands. So here is everything you need to know about tipping in Holland.

Why people don’t tip in the Netherlands

The reason why Dutch people do not tip, is because many services already have a 15% service charge added to the bill (which often you won’t see specificated). In fact, people working in hospitality in the Netherlands earn good wages. While most are students working part-time to earn a bit of extra cash, the older staff hold senior positions and receive an even higher wage. Nonetheless, on the few occasions when someone does leave a tip in the Netherlands, you can literally see their face light up (especially if it’s a student worker). And you can still see tipping boxes at the cash points.

Even if you’ve gone through opening a bank account in the Netherlands and have the money you can’t tip from your card. You can tip in cash but be careful with the coins, I once tipped four euros by accident, and once it’s in the jar it’s theirs.

tipping culture in the Netherlands

Tipping in Amsterdam

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Now, Amsterdam waiters may not be the friendliest bunch out there. However, it is also very common for people working in hospitality in Amsterdam to earn very good tips! Weird, I know! That is because all of those tourists flooding to the Dutch city are not aware of the non-existent tipping culture. So do not fall into the peer pressure! Do not give that entitled nasty waiter a tip, and watch as they internally curse you as you’re leaving the venue. Ah, the small joys of living in Amsterdam!

 

The few occasions when you should consider tipping in Holland

Apparently, there are a few occasions when you would be expected to leave a tip. For example, tipping could be expected if you’ve stayed at a hotel, restaurant or bar for a long time. It is also socially acceptable to leave a good tip if you’ve required extra services. Depending on the situation, the tip can range from just some extra cents (which is totally ok), to rounding up to the nearest five or ten.

What I also usually try to do is tip the food delivery boys, especially if they’ve had to cycle through typical Dutch weather just to bring me my meal. It is also nice to tip the hotel porter. Usually, one or two Euros is more than enough and greatly appreciated.

I’m so sorry pizza boy – I’m too lazy to cook!

Keep in mind that the tip may not always go to the awesome waiter

Now let’s imagine the following scenario. You’ve had a great dinner, and you were more than happy with the service that your waiter provided you with. He was kind, patient, happy to answer any questions, and even chatted for a while with you. You’re so happy with the service, that you want to give a generous tip as a token of your appreciation. Well, keep in mind that your tip may not always go to the awesome waiter.

One time I was chatting with this very friendly waiter and asked him if the tipping is good at the restaurant. However, somewhat uncomfortably he told me that the tip does not go to the waiters, but the senior staff and kitchen workers. To which I thought that all the workers split the daily tips between each other, but turns out the waiters were completely excluded. While I thought that it was slightly unfair, the waiter didn’t seem much bothered by it.

On the other hand, some businesses use the tipping money to arrange staff nights out. While it might be argued that the company should pay for that and just give workers their tips, Dutch people don’t seem all too bothered by that either. So keep in mind that your awesome waiter may not always get your generous tip.

tipping culture in the Netherlands

How do you feel about tipping culture in the Netherlands? Do you tip when you’re on a night out in Holland? Let us know in the comments below! Also, while you’re here join our DR Facebook group for more Dutch stuff.

5 COMMENTS

  1. My girlfriend works in restaurants in Amsterdam , every one touch a tips , even the waiter and same for the other restaurant !! There are all a team and not just a single personne, all workers split tips between each other. Sorry for my English

  2. I am Dutch myself living and working already over 16 years in Spain, i am a tourist guide and work with all kind of people. And indeed Dutch are in general one of the worst for giving tips, although i receive sometimes also from Dutch people tips. We are stingy people in general, and not alone when it comes to tips! Dutch people love saving money. Germans are way more generous when it comes to tips and it will put the Dutch into the shade. but North Americans including Mexico and South Americans are ruling in giving tips. one couple from the US can tip the same amount of money like 30 to 40 Dutch People, this is not a joke, it’s a fact!

    here is my list of the top 5 most stingy nations when it comes to tips:

    1. Israel
    2. Holland
    3. France
    4. Sweden
    5. Italy

    top 5 most generous nations for tips:

    1. Canada
    2. US
    3. Germany
    4. England
    5. Austria

  3. a tip is a sign of appreciation. the customer is simply not responsible for, nor should he need to think about- the staffs wages. thats what unions are for.

  4. Who makes up this complete nonsense? We make a good wage? In a lot of bars even the senior staff makes the absolute minimum. Minimum wage in Holland covers the cost of living in 1985. Tips make up at least half our income. Or they used to, until people started telling tourists not to tip. My income decreased by about 30% in the last year because especially Americans have stopped tipping entirely. Who the hell can take a 30% cut and be fine? My tips used to pay the rent, now they barely cover my gass bill. And when Dutch people tip they do not simply round up to a whole euro. Most Dutch people will tip between 5 and 10 percent. Please stop messing with people’s livelihood by spreading this bs.

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