So I get this question a lot from people that are knew to Norway. I meet these people in Fridays of course and its hard for them to know. The questions I get are: “Is the tips included?” and “How much is it common to give in tips?”
This is my way of trying to answer this. And I answer this based on my own experiences from working in the restaurant business.
In Norway compared to a lot of other countries, we have quite a high hourly rate. As we speak I make 140 NOK an hour on a weekday. I get extra when its weekends,evenings, nights and red days. At this point in time this equals: Euro 18,50 USDollar 23,20 British Pound: 14,80.
So based on that, if I work full time, which is about 150 hours a month, I get at least (not couinting extras!) 21000 NOK. Lets convert that again shall we, E:2774 D:3481 P:2223.
So this is what a Norwegain would make without any tips, every month (if they work full time that is, and if you dont count the taxes!).
If we do included taxes in this. We do have high taxes in Norway. With this kind of income I would say I would have to give roughly 25% to the state in taxes. That leaves me with 15750 NOK left (E:2080 D:2611 P:1667) This of course depends on a lot of stuff and is only meant as an example.
Norway is expensieve to live in. This is another factor. Everything here cost more. But Im not saying everything costs that much more than what we are making compared to other countries. Lets take an example. From one hour i can probably get 2 beers in Oslo. I could get half a pizza in a reastaurant. I could buy a latte 3-4 coffe lattes. I could go to the movies, once or I could fill 9 liters of gaz in my car. Its not much, but you do get something.
So, what does this mean? Well it means we actually get paid pretty well for our work. We are hired to work, give you service, which includes: smiling, helping, answer your questions, make things go smooth.. etc. We are suppose to make you feel welcome, seen and heard. We are suppose to give you a smile and be nice and wish you a good evening when you leave. So this should come naturally, shouldnt it? Usually this is where the tips comes in.
You give tips if you are very satisfied. It is not something you have to do. It is not something everyone does. But you do have the posibility to give something extra to your waitor. But as the last paragraph said, we are paid to give you sercive and you shouldnt have to pay us extra because we took your order and gave you the correct food. This we should be able to manage anyway. So what I would say, give tips if you are very satisfied, with very being in bold letters.
From my expreience, I can see the difference in my tips from my mood. If I had a very good day, the guests were nice, nothing bad or unexpected happened and If i felt that I got time for my guests, I usually see it in my tips at the end of the night. If I had a bad day, I was stressed, Things didnt work out, I forgot something, I just didnt do my best, uasually the guests noticed and I see it in my tips.
So basically, its not expected of you like it is in many countries. There is no 10 % minimum tip. I will not be sad or dissapointed if you had your burger and your beer and you paid me the exact amount and left. I will not ask you why you didnt tip me. I will appreciate the tips if you do give it, I will say thank you very much and tell you how kind you are. I will feel like I did a great job. But this is only natural, wouldnt anyone be a little happier everytime they make a little more money? ^^
I hope this answered some of your questions. And please comment or ask me questions about this if you want me to elaborate on anything!