Why European Waitresses Love Americans! We Have Big…

What an interesting title. When you click this post I’m pretty damn sure you were thinking, “What the heck is Dom talking about?”

Why would European waitresses love fat, overweight and overconfident Americans?

You see the answer is rather simple but interesting. I’ve never been to Europe before, so when we went on our European vacation I knew that tipping your waitress after a meal is customary. What I didn’t know was that European tipping practices are drastically different than American tipping practices.

A simple Google search could have solved this, but let’s be frank, I had more important shit to worry about before going to Europe.

Like… How many licks does it take get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop!

or

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

or

Why does Shaquille O’neal pick tiny women to date?

you get my damn point!

I should have known I was doing something wrong when waiters and waitresses were treating us like celebrities.

What Happened

For example, in Amsterdam we ate at the same restaurant for dinner two days in a row. The reason we did this was because this restaurant was amazing, and there was no way in heck we wanted to take a chance on another restaurant after finding such a stellar one.

Anyways, the server from our first Amsterdam dinner happened to work on day two, and when I tell you this guy was happy to see us… That’s an understatement. I thought he was going to name is first born after me or ask me to adopt him.


Why?

Well…umm, I’m used to tipping 20% all the time regardless of the bill.. Sometimes, I give 100% tip. Because I be ballin’ like that.. jk jk

Americans might be thinking, big deal! That’s what you’re supposed to do. Remember, in America, servers make $2.15 per hour and live on tips.


In Europe, this is different. Europeans are paid a salary, excellent benefits, etc etc. So a 20% tip is a huge bonus to a person already receiving a pretty good salary.

Secondly, tips and all that jazz is baked into the price of the food in Europe. That’s why everything is so damn expensive.

I didn’t learn until we made it to the last leg of our trip in Belgium that we are over-tippers.

Apparently, a tip of 1-3 euro is what you give when you get stellar service… Not 20-40 Euro.

Whoops!

Oh well, you live and you learn :-)

There are two things that can come out of this.. I perpetuated a stereotype of Americans in Europe being big tippers or I crushed the stereotype of black people don’t tip.

I’m going with the latter. Because I’m cool like that!

Let me hear from you…

What are some things you got wrong financially when vacationing?

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Comments

  1. Just don’t do what I did in London once… press the ‘zero’ key one too many times when tipping through the debit card machine!

  2. Wow very interesting to think about! I never even thought about that other countries did it differently.

  3. Yes, i happen to visit in Japan and ate on one of their most famous restaurant, along the bill i was gonna put a $10 tip but my friend who's a local there told me it wasn't a good idea. I really love how Japanese people take pride in what they do.
    My recent post Importance of investing in an energy monitor

    • URFinanceSimple says:

      I heard it's like that in Japan. So instead of the tip what did you do? Do the service people even accept thank you's? On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 10:52 PM, YFS <yourfinancessimplified@gmail.com> wrote: approve

  4. I lived in Japan for a few years and while the customer service is unmatched, you do not tip at all. EVER!!! It is actually rude and considered an insult to tip in Japan.

  5. In Australia we don't tip at all. It's just not part of our custom. Some inner city places are starting to add in tips to the bill, but we get good wages, good benefits, compulsory retirement payments from our employers, 4 weeks paid holidays etc… So we LOVE American tourists who tip, lol.

    It's something I keep in mind and try to remember to do when I am in the USA, tipping that is. It's so foreign to me, but I would hate to be considered a bad tipper, so always over tip. I was shocked to know the wages are like $2.15 for a waitress. Here it is $20+ an hr, more on Saturdays and more again on Sundays.
    My recent post I never finished high school

    • URFinanceSimple says:

      Wow 20 dollars per hour plus benefits! I'm sure Americans would love to be waiters in Europe lol. Yup 2.15 /hr is the going rate and they have to work hard to earn tips. However, if you get to be a waiter in a good restaurant.. You can make some serious money. Then again competition for that job will be stiff.

  6. Christian L. says:

    Dominique,
    On my recent journey to Europe, I was fortunate enough to visit locals who showed me the ropes. Each city had different norms. In London, you only tip if you're served at your table. And you didn't have to tip bartenders! I was into that. We tipped a small amount for a dinner in Paris, and we never bothered to sit down to eat in Geneva. It was too damn expensive.

    Other than that, I think my buddies and I made sure not to commit any faux pas.

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

  7. Why does it have to be one or the other, dude? You could have nailed both! (although I've never heard the 2nd stereotype….maybe I'm sheltered).
    My recent post 2 Guys and Your Money, Episode 11: Why Aren’t We Saving More? Luke Landes interview, BillGuard, PlanWise Gets an Update

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