Majority of guests tip in restaurants

01 / 01 / 2023

In Switzerland, tipping in restaurants with service is part of good manners for a large part of the population. This is despite the fact that the service is actually included in the price. It is striking that tips – despite cashless payment options – are mostly still given in cash.


These and other findings are revealed in a study commissioned by Worldline and conducted by the ZHAW School of Management and Law in September 2022, in which consumers were asked about their tipping behaviour.

Cashless payment, tipping in cash

The reason for this is the assumption that this is the only way that the tip actually reaches the service staff. Many pay the bill without cash, but give the tip in cash.

Gratitude as the main motive for tipping

For the majority of respondents, showing gratitude to the service staff is the biggest motivator to tip. Other reasons include supplementing the wages of the service staff, or the good feeling of being able to create a feeling of happiness in others. Around one-third of respondents consider tipping to be a social norm.

Rules of thumb for determining the tip

Most people follow a certain decision-making guide when determining the tip. So either round up to the next higher five-franc amount, or give 10 per cent on the invoice amount. Another, somewhat more pragmatic approach is to make the tip amount dependent on the cash available. Only a few do not follow a fixed pattern, but determine the tip according to mood and satisfaction with the service.

Tip function at the payment terminal

Paying with cash has declined sharply in Switzerland in recent years. As a service, restaurateurs, therefore, also want to offer an optimal and customer-friendly process for cashless tipping. According to the study, respondents prefer it when they can name an amount including tip and the service staff records it on the payment terminal. Another positive aspect is when guests can enter the tip themselves at the payment terminal or skip this step. On the other hand, the perception is far less positive when a predefined selection of different percentages is given for the tip or when the service staff inquire directly about the desired tip amount.

The study on the tipping behaviour of the Swiss population was conducted by the Institute of Marketing Management at the ZHAW School of Management and Law. For this purpose, a total of 1179 people from all over Switzerland aged between 18 and 76 were surveyed in September 2022.