How about a tip?

In the Czech Republic, restaurant tips are an integral part of the income of waiters and waitresses. The money from guests is a significant addition to their salary. The tip amount is traditionally a matter for the customer; they do not even have to give it. However, some restaurants follow the Western model by crediting the rate on the bill.

It is an ingrained Czech custom in restaurants that the tip is a matter that is in the customer’s control. Depending on how satisfied he or she is with the food, drink, and service from the waiter or waitress, he or she can add a certain amount of money on top when paying. This is intended for staff members whose official wages are usually not very high and whose tips are a fascinating extra.

At the same time, it is pretty standard in the Czech Republic that if a person is not very satisfied with a given establishment, they will tip less and sometimes not even pay a penny more than the bill.

The Czech model differs from those abroad, especially in Western European countries, where the service fee is often stated directly on the bill. It is standard practice for service staff to add 10 percent of the price with the customer’s consent.

However, there are also restaurants in our country that adopt the model from abroad. The staff asks guests to add an extra amount to the bill as a service award when paying. Usually, they operate at 10 percent, a value that is common abroad. In such a case, the customer can refuse because there is no law in the Czech Republic stipulating this additional payment for the service. 

Kastner: Tipping should be voluntary

According to the experts and representatives of the catering sector interviewed, the “tips” system should not be changed. “I am more in favor of tipping being voluntary. It appreciates the service and performance of a given waiter, ” LuboŇ° Kastner, a restaurateur, and representative of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, or Apron, said. 

Another reason, according to him, is the rivalry between individual restaurants. “I would say that it should stay that way so that the guest appreciates a quality experience and so that restaurants can compete with each other to see which is better in service,” Kastner added, mentioning that Czech gastronomy still has a lot to catch up with in terms of service compared to other countries.