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Tips on tipping in Poland


isa 10 | 41
31 Jan 2009  #1
Hello!

I did a search here and found no threads on tipping in Poland.

Would like to know how much you would tip:

1. cab driver (does he help you with luggage?)
2. pizza/food delivery person (even if the delivery itself is gratis)
3. hairstylist
4. waitstaff at a restaurant/cafe

If I left out anyone else who should be tipped, please add them to the list.

Thanks!
benszymanski 8 | 465
31 Jan 2009  #2
Poles generally don't tip, the total opposite of Americans who tip everyone for everything.
ArcticPaul 38 | 233
31 Jan 2009  #3
My Polish friends were annoyed at me when they saw I wasn't tipping.

I didn't know I was supposed to!

I then started to leave about 10%.

Poles are laid back about it BUT a few tips makes a big difference to a poor wage.
MrBubbles 10 | 614
31 Jan 2009  #4
1. cab driver (does he help you with luggage?)

Not usually a tipping occasion but if he's been chatty or get my arse out of trouble than I slip him 10 per cent. When I first came to Krakow years ago, the taxi driver got me to my flight on time and I tipped him about 50% but he was a really nice guy.

2. pizza/food delivery person (even if the delivery itself is gratis)

If he's surly, no

3. hairstylist

10% Maybe more if they try to talk to me

4. waitstaff at a restaurant/cafe

At least 10% depending on service
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Jan 2009  #5
Exactly right, AP. The tips I give are an hours pay for some of them.

I tip in all of the above situations, isa.

When I get a cab back from Tesco, the fare is usually 12PLN so I pay 15PLN, not much of a tip but convenient. 25% in fact.

I don't get pizza much for dieting reasons but, when I do, the tip depends on the bill and how easy it is to round up. Up to 5PLN.

Hairstylist, a couple of złot. I gave her 15PLN for a 10PLN haircut a few days back.

Restaurant, just over 10% typically. When I'm feeling charitable, 20%
gosiaczek 1 | 85
31 Jan 2009  #6
I think not all professions from your list are tipped in Poland

1. cab driver (does he help you with luggage?)

sometimes he helps but isn't often tipped

2. pizza/food delivery person (even if the delivery itself is gratis)

yes, (10%?)

3. hairstylist

not really, I haven't heard of that

4. waitstaff at a restaurant/cafe

yes

And: In Poland it's customary to tip the postman when he brings pension (!!!) ;D
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Jan 2009  #7
Gosiaczek is right in the sense of outlining the standard position.

Still, they won't feel offended for offering them one. A tip I mean ;)
sausage 19 | 777
31 Jan 2009  #8
A little tip for you...
When handing over the money for your meal do not say "Dziękuję"
Your waiter/waitress will interpret this as "keep the change"
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
31 Jan 2009  #9
15% if they are good (perhaps more depending).
10% standard.
0% if they are useless or generally miserable.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
1 Feb 2009  #10
Would like to know how much you would tip:

0 in most cases... Unless people are doing more than they should (for example you buy some furniture with free delivery but that mean they should just leave It on the sidewalk and that's It, however they help you move these thing inside...) most of Poles don't tip...
OP isa 10 | 41
1 Feb 2009  #11
So, to summarize:

- only/mostly foreigners in Poland leave tips
- average tip around 10%

So the waitstaff does not expect tips (although would certainly appreciate it) and does not turn ugly/vengeful if you do not tip?

A little tip for you...
When handing over the money for your meal do not say "Dziękuję"
Your waiter/waitress will interpret this as "keep the change"

Good to know!

I also imagine that with the reversed migration (Poles returning home from their working stints in Western Europe), the tipping culture might become more prevalent here.

I know that for me, who spend most of my life in the US, it would be very hard not to tip...

There's a job opening at Poland's Puszcza Białowieska circumcising żurby (bison). It doesn't pay much, BUT THE TIPS ARE BIG!!!

Just be careful where you snip ;-)
ladykangaroo - | 165
1 Feb 2009  #12
So the waitstaff does not expect tips

Surely they do :| Especially having in mind that their salaries are generally kept low because it is assumed they will make some money out of the tips. Pretty much the same way as everywhere else.

Hairdresser / taxi would be the cases when I wouldn't feel guilty leaving without tipping. Still, I tend to leave some change. Pizza guy should definitely get a tip, usually the bill is round up.

Generally tips are expected but so many people are not leaving them for many various reasons (from being tight-arses to simply not having any spare money) that it won't surprise anyone when you just pay a bill with no tip at all.
Moonlighting 30 | 232
1 Feb 2009  #13
Don't confuse "tip" and "service". Service is their salaries, hence on bills either the mention "service included" or "service not included" in our countries. Tip is just a little extra you may give if you think the service was really great or if the person was cool for some reason. In the States for example, service is not included and usually amounts to 15% of the bill.

I've been to restaurants in Krakow with my (Polish) girlfriend. the bill was entirely written in Polish, except a mention "service not included" in English. My friend told me "Don't give extra money for service, it IS included. This mention is just a tourist trap because they know that in anglo-saxon countries service is usually not included, and they're trying to get extra money from tourists, thinking they will pay an extra, but they're not supposed to do so."
benszymanski 8 | 465
1 Feb 2009  #14
My experience is that Polish people don't tip in restaurants and the staff don't seem to expect it.

This might be different in more touristy areas such as Krakow or Warsaw or where they are used to more foreign customers.
OP isa 10 | 41
1 Feb 2009  #15
Don't confuse "tip" and "service".

Good point, moonlighting. In France, where the "service" is always included I felt no obligation to tip - I would mostly just round up the bill.

On the rare occasion when the service was "extra", I would leave something extra ;-)

On the other hand, the wages in Poland are much lower...so I would feel some compulsion to tip on top of the "service included".
osiol 55 | 3,922
1 Feb 2009  #16
It's one way of saying sorry for being an irritating tourist.
Whatever happened to the word holidaymaker?

Then again, if you're just a foreigner, it's a way of saying sorry for being an irritating foreigner.
Can any foreigner be called an alien or just those from beyond Saturn?
noimmigration
1 Feb 2009  #17
I only tip taxi drivers, barbers and waiters.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
1 Feb 2009  #18
Sausage's tip is a good one. There is something I do which my fiancee must explain to the Pole in question.

Let's say the bill is 53PLN and I put down 60PLN, I will put down 1 groszy extra to make it relatively clear that I don't want change. Maybe they just can't read my intentions or don't want to second guess me.
Moonlighting 30 | 232
1 Feb 2009  #19
On the other hand, the wages in Poland are much lower...so I would feel some compulsion to tip on top of the "service included".

Actually I left a big tip once in Krakow when I was by myself in a restaurant. My Polish wasn't good enough and the young waitress spoke a bit of English. My bill was something like 34.90 Zł and I paid with a bill of 50. I wanted to tip the waitress because she had been very helpful, efficient and was probably a student willing to make pocket money so I wanted to leave 5.10 Zł in order to round the bill at 40 Zł.

I told her "Take five ten". Then with a big smile she thanked me and gave me back a coin of 10 Gr! Obviously she had understood "Take fifteen". But I didn't say anything, as this would have been embarrassing both for her and me. Anyway it was just a tip once in a while so I wasn't upset at all. I'll just ensure everything is correctly understood next time. :-)
Cardno85 31 | 976
1 Feb 2009  #20
I've been to restaurants in Krakow with my (Polish) girlfriend. the bill was entirely written in Polish, except a mention "service not included" in English.

That would suggest to me that your friend is rather tight fisted. I have never been anywhere in Krakow where service is included and they have lied on the receipt. As for working in a restaurant, people do expect tips. Wages for waiting staff are around 6pln per hour and they make up the rest in tips.

As such I have always left a tip in restaurants. Taxis are extorsionate so I don't tip them. I tip the hairdresser but just to round it, same with the pizza guy.

I told her "Take five ten".

For this situation, just say clearly how much you want the total to be...that's how most polish people did it with me.
benszymanski 8 | 465
2 Feb 2009  #21
and they make up the rest in tips

When I was last back in London our waitress happened to be Polish (no surprise!) so we got chatting. She said that at that chain of pizza restaurants (called "Ask!") they have the choice of being paid less but they get the tips, or being paid a slightly higher hourly rate but they don't get the tip that's left. So she said there was no point in tipping for our meal as it would just go straight to the owner/management.

Thus my tip for you back in the UK (no pun intended) is to ask the waiter/waitress if they get the tip if you leave one.
Elssha - | 123
2 Feb 2009  #22
Thus my tip for you back in the UK (no pun intended) is to ask the waiter/waitress if they get the tip if you leave one.

does that not defeat the purpose of the tipping process?
I mean, regardless of what someone's paid, a tip is a tip... for them. doesn't that basically cheat the customer who thinks that the waitress/waiter is getting said tip when it actually goes to the management?
Cardno85 31 | 976
2 Feb 2009  #23
It does defeat the purpose. Technically the tip is a gift, it is not part of the bill it is basically you giving money to a person to say thank you for the service. Therefore the company has no real right to take it off you. However I know Wetherspoons suppliment their wage bill with any tips left on credit cards and the staff don't get a tip as such from it. So if you are drinking in an establishment like that it's best to tip in cash.
davidpeake 14 | 451
2 Feb 2009  #24
One thing I have found is if paying by card, is to make sure you have some cash for the tip, as with most places if you include it with your card payment, the waitress/waiter won't see any of it.
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,512
2 Feb 2009  #25
went out for a pizza t'uva night which cost me 120,000 of the local doolips and so rounded up to 150k which was less than 2 of your american dollah fingies tip...

poor girl ran down the street with my change thinking i had made some terrible mistake leaving such a wad. i said listen dahlin, you cant put a value on a smile, treat yourself... innit
Trevek 26 | 1,702
4 Feb 2009  #26
Big tip... DON'T say "Dzienkuje" when you pay for anything. They'll take it as "keep the change". Get your change before you say it.
sausage 19 | 777
4 Feb 2009  #27
When I'm in Poland I give my girlfriend all my money so that I don't have to feel guilty about not giving tips to taxi drivers etc. (Was that her idea??? I'm not sure I'm saving any money!)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Feb 2009  #28
Sausage said that above, Trevek. No matter
sausage 19 | 777
4 Feb 2009  #29
Sausage said that above

Indeed I did. If you really must say something when handing the money over, I believe that "Prosze" is ok.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Feb 2009  #30
I think another rule, though not golden, is not to offer an overly flattering tip. I know some businessmen in Scotland who would flash the cash, depending on the extent of their drunkenness. This would not go down so well amongst some here.


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