Tipping varies from one country to another and I do not want to offend on my trip to Holland, so what is the tipping practice?

In the US, you can write the tip on the receipt or leave it on the table - I have also seen a service charge added to the bill automatically (in these cases, I also generally tip anyway).

In some countries there is no such practice but it is expected to tip on the table.

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    Just want note that you seem to think Amsterdam is a country... tipping in Amsterdam is no different from the rest of the country. Sep 30, 2014 at 7:59
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    Yes thank you, I understand that. Perhaps I could have worded it better ... in fact, hold on. Sep 30, 2014 at 8:45
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    possible duplicate of Am I expected to tip wait staff in Europe?
    – Bernhard
    Sep 30, 2014 at 8:48
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    @Bernhard if the answer is, "It's the same custom in the Netherlands as the rest of Europe, which is summarised here", put an answer explaining that, linking to the other question, with some reference to how you know it's the same. That way, people can comment if they have experience / evidence that there is in fact some subtle but important difference. Sep 30, 2014 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


In the Netherlands (I live there...), most people tip by just leaving some cash on the table or by rounding up the amount on the bill or credit card slip.

Amounts tend to not be steep either, there's no such thing as the "expected 15% tipping" in the US. Literally rounding up the bill to a nice round number is common. Say your bill is for 46 Euro, make it 50 for example. If it's 23 Euro, make it 25, if it's 74, make it 80. Etc. etc.

Dutch waiters are by law paid at least minimum wage for their age group, and often more, so they certainly don't rely on tips to get their wages up to something one can survive on. Many also have the job not as a primary money maker but are students earning a bit of money on the side.

And don't tip for terrible service, tip what you think the service was worth, not what you're "expected to tip". If you tip heavily for bad service, you remove any incentive the waiters have to provide good service, which hurts the business and the experience of future visitors there.

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    +1 as it correctly describes tipping customs in the Netherlands (although the last paragraph is mostly nonsense and the fact that waiters are students is no excuse not to pay them fairly for their work).
    – Relaxed
    Sep 30, 2014 at 7:35
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    Personally if I enjoyed the experience I make it closer 10%, but anything goes. Eating in restaurants is the only thing where tipping is customary, I think. Perhaps a taxi, if you find one whose prices aren't outrageous in the first place, or in a bar where you pay the tab for a group after being there for a while, round up then as well. Sep 30, 2014 at 7:53
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    @Relaxed waiters ARE paid fairly, that's the entire point. They don't need to earn extra from tips to make ends meet... And no, don't tip for terrible service. It does make the service worse as it rewards people for not doing their job properly. Or do you deliberately buy bad products because "it wouldn't be fair to the manufacturer to not buy it"?
    – jwenting
    Sep 30, 2014 at 7:53
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    @Relaxed I assume it is common to tip much from where you are from? Here in the Netherlands the minimum wage for a 15-year old is higher than that of an american waiter. The waiter is not treated as some sort of additional service you pay for, they aren't at anyone's mercy, its included in the cost of what you buy.
    – user20467
    Sep 30, 2014 at 8:43
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    @all of you, You guys seem to think waiters get to put their tip directly in their pocket. In the Netherlands, waiters usually gather all tips and divide it fairly (according to hours worked usually) between all of them. Rewarding someone for doing great work with a large tip will probably not affect his incentive as much as it would if he got to keep the entire tip. Also, when ordering food, tipping the delivery guy is pretty custom.
    – Kevin
    Sep 30, 2014 at 10:05

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