When a French couple enters the coffee bar, I can bet you €100 euro’s nothing will go into my tip jar when paying. Americans either tip fiercely outrageous or not at all and even the Dutch have different opinions on the matter.
Fact is that waitressing is not going to get me rich. Lucky for me, that is not the reason why I am making other people’s coffees. We do not make as much as the Red Light District ladies, but then again we do both offer a very specific service!
Luckily in the Netherlands we do have something called ‘minimum loon’ which is basically meant to secure us waitresses of a minimum salary.
Except it doesn’t.
What Dutch Waiters Should Officially Get Paid
Officially a Dutch waiter’s contract says we work 38 hours maximum a week which comes down to around 8 hours a day.
Officially waiters in The Netherlands have a 15 and 30 minute break during the 8 hour shifts so we can eat and drink properly.
Officially us waiters in Amsterdam should pay taxes from our tips.
Except we don’t.
What Waiters In The Netherlands Actually Get Paid
Since we do not get paid for extra hours a day this is exactly where greedy employees come in. Your hourly salary quickly deteriorates when you have to work 12 hours a day instead of 8.
I have never ever worked in a restaurant or cafe where we get a break or we are allowed to sit down. Even worse: I have worked in places where staff was not allowed to drink water. One of my colleagues fainted that day. Not an honorable day for hospitality in The Netherlands.
We pay have to pay taxes over our tips. As it is seen as extra income, your yearly tax forms should mention any tips and then you need to pay a certain percentage depending on the total amount and your salary.
Tip Your Amsterdam Waitress – How Much?
So to answer your question about if you should tip waiters and waitresses in Amsterdam, yes would be the definitive answer.
How much? I hear you ask now. Well, 10% is a nice average to keep in mind.
When you only order a take away coffee, we usually do not expect a tip, so you are excused there.
Or when treated horribly by you waiter, of course do not tip them for their services. I mean, we do need to earn it right?
But when receiving service with a smile and you have asked for so much more than just a take out coffee, please remember: we are not in the business to get rich. But we do have to make a living.