Gastronomy is the industry, which was most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Along with the so-called back to normal, the number of job offers in this industry has increased. How much does a waiter earn in Europe? Check the latest rates! Read more about earnings in gastronomy.

The period of the pandemic thwarted the plans of almost all employees and employers. The closure of the restaurants resulted in economic losses for one of the largest sectors of the economy – gastronomy. The aggrieved parties were on both sides: employers with high rents to pay for renting premises, e.g. in the city center, and employees who are most often employed on a mandate contract. And their earnings depend on tips.

However, the situation has improved over the past year. Most of the restaurants have survived the worst times of the pandemic. It is also worth noting that, despite all of this, the number of new gastronomy premises is constantly growing. This, in turn, leads to an increase in the number of job offers in this industry, especially in the summer season.

What does a waiter do?

Let’s start with what the waiter actually does.Regardless of the country of employment, the duties of a waiter will be similar: 

  • customer Service 
  • cleaning the premises
  • serving food / drinks
  • settlement of orders

At first glance, the waiter’s job seems not to be too complicated. But when we talk about serving a few or a dozen guests, the matter is a bit different.

Apart from that, the waiter’s work is based on direct contact with customers, which requires patience and understanding.

In summary, a waiter is a person:

  • familiar with the customer service rules
  • communicative and patient (the principle client is always right)
  • knowing several foreign languages ​​(an important skill when serving foreign tourists)
  • hardworking (morning / night shifts of 10-12 hours)

Job on vacation abroad – What to pay attention to?

Earnings in gastronomy – what do they depend on?

First of all, earnings in gastronomy depend on the location. We are talking about the country, city or even the location of the premises itself (e.g. city center). There is no doubt that the earnings of a waiter in Germany or the Netherlands will be higher than the wages in Poland. It cannot be denied that in the rest of Europe we deal with a bigger number of foreign tourists. The amount of tips received abroad will be incomparable, because customers reward the waiters in Euro currency.

Tips in gastronomy

Important! Tips depend, among others, on the type of restaurant (cafe, pub) and the customer. The level of prices in a restaurant at the outset determines the type of customer who will most likely visit the premises. So the more expensive the prices on the menu, the greater the chance that the waiter will get a bigger tip.

However, it is worth emphasizing that this is not a rule. Much depends on the communication with the customer. That’s why the deciding factor to the amount of the tip, can be both the delicious meal, and the level of customer service.

How much does a waiter earn from tips?

Below you can see examples of tip amounts in different European countries.

CountrySample of tips
Germanyapprox. EUR 4-5

automatically added 15% to the prices of meals (approx. EUR 7.5 for  dinner for 2 people) 

The Netherlands
there is no culture (habit) of leaving tips – most often it is rounded to the full amount, i.e. approx. EUR 2-3

we usually talk about a 10% of a tip

Great Britain
there is no obligation to leave a tip

Residents of Spain don’t tip, it’s considered a kind of bribe. However, tourists are automatically charged a 10% tip.

anyone who has been to Italy at least once, met with coperto, i.e. the amount charged in advance for the service (from EUR 1 to 5)

approx. EUR 1-2

Interestingly! In Belgium, as in France, the tip is included in the bill. The difference is that a French waiter will gladly accept an extra tip from a customer, while in Belgium this is considered a lack of tact.
It is also worth remembering that tips are either only given to the waiter who serves the customer or shared between all employees of the restaurant. The decision is on the side of the employer.

How much does a waiter earn – earnings in gastronomy

As mentioned above, a large part of a waiter’s earnings are tips.

How much does a waiter in Germany earn? In Germany, the waiter earns around EUR 2500 – 2800 gross.

However, when we are talking about a cook’s earnings, the situation looks a bit better here. In Germany a cook earns around EUR 3000 – 4000 gross.

In the case of cooks, the amount of earnings depends on the required qualifications. If we are talking about a kitchen aid, the earnings will be a bit more modest, and the cook or chef can count on a similar salary (as stated above).

Earnings in gastronomy – Hourly rates in 2023


The Netherlands



Waiter/WaitressEUR 15-17 grossEUR 15-17 grossEUR 12-15 grossEUR 13-15 grossEUR 11-13 grossEUR 13-15 grossEUR 20-22 gross
Kitchen aid (on the dishwasher)EUR 12-14 grossEUR 12-14 grossEUR 11-13 grossEUR 11-13 grossEUR 11-13 grossEUR 11-13 grossEUR 17-19 gross

EUR 17-20 grossEUR 15-17 grossEUR 15-18 grossEUR 15-18 grossEUR 13-17 grossEUR 18-19 grossEUR 20-25 gross

Interestingly! Working at special events is usually more profitable. For example, a waiter at a wedding earns about EUR 7-9 gross / hour. In this case, cooks or kitchen aids can also count on higher earnings. Usually, the rates at parties are 1.5-2 times higher than the rates in the restaurant.

Average monthly earnings in gastronomy


The Netherlands



Waiter/WaitressEUR 2500 grossEUR 2600 grossEUR 2500 grossEUR 2500 grossEUR 2000 grossEUR 2500 grossEUR 3000 gross
Kitchen aid (on the dishwasher)EUR 2000 grossEUR 2000 grossEUR 2000 grossEUR 2000 grossEUR 2000 grossEUR 2000 grossEUR 2800 gross

EUR 3000 grossEUR 2700 grossEUR 2900 grossEUR 2900 grossEUR 2600 grossEUR 2800 grossEUR 3700 gross

Average hourly rates and monthly salaries are derived from job offers published on the portal.

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