Unlike the United States, where nearly every establishment seems to have a tipping expectation, tipping in Amsterdam operates with a different set of norms. Tipping in Amsterdam is not mandatory, but has taken on more of a customary tone. Most tourists to Amsterdam still express confusion as to whether there are any rules for tipping in Amsterdam and, if so, what those rules are.
Contrary to the U.S., which relies on customers to largely foot the bill for service employees’ salaries, European employers pay their servers a living wage. In comparison to their American counterparts, hospitality industry workers in Amsterdam receive a fair wage. Still, if you want to leave tips in Amsterdam, you are certainly welcome to do so, but not required.
Tipping in Amsterdam etiquette
There are several different ways to leave tips in Amsterdam. The first is to round up the bill to the nearest Euro. The second way is to leave a few extra coins on the table when done paying the bill. The notion of a near mandatory 20-percent tip on a bill is far from reality in Amsterdam. Tipping is a simple expression of appreciation for a job well done as opposed to outsourcing the function of paying the server to the customer. A more customary tip in Amsterdam is up to, but not exceeding, ten percent.
Customers should check their bills at a restaurant. Often times, a service charge appears on the bill, making a tip truly gratuitous. Customers should certainly not feel obligated to tip anything for bad service. You should also keep in mind that, in a restaurant, tips may not necessarily go directly to the servers, but may be pooled together for other restaurant staff.
Outside of the restaurant setting, tipping is not customary in Amsterdam. For example, only tip hotel staff if you’re staying at the hotel for a long duration. Tipping of taxi drivers is very rare. However, if you are receiving an extra service from a worker, it is proper etiquette to give a small tip.