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Factors influencing restaurant tipping behaviour – the case of Poland

Iwona Kowalczuk (Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)
Jerzy Gębski (Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 19 January 2021

Issue publication date: 30 April 2021




This paper aims to contribute to the literature that discusses consumer tipping behaviour in eating establishments. Because there is no detailed research into this issue with regard to consumers in Central and East European countries, the authors conducted research aimed at learning about the tipping behaviour of the Poles.


This study was carried out in 2018, using the computer-assisted web interviewing method, for a sample of 1,000 people. Six research questions were asked: How often the Poles give tips in eating establishments? What is an average size of a tip? What determinants influence the frequency and magnitude of tips? Who is likely to give a tip every one to two visits? Who is likely to tip more than the standard 10%? What influences the reasons why Polish consumers tend to tip?


The findings show the strong relationships between both a consumers’ tipping frequency and magnitude and the frequency at which these consumers eat out. This study also implicates income and education as essential factors influencing tipping behaviour and the lack of gender effect on consumers’ decision to tip. It was also noticed that such reasons as the quality of service, a taste of the dishes and a belief that it is proper to tip have a significant impact on the frequency of giving the tips. A significant diversity of the reasons’ meaning for tipping among Polish consumers depending upon their age was also stated.

Research limitations/implications

It would be interesting to compare the results of the current study with studies concerning consumer tipping behaviours in other Central and Eastern European countries historically and culturally similar to Poland to investigate whether the specifics of tipping behaviour noticed in Poland apply elsewhere.


This study shows the specifics of Polish people’s tipping behaviour and partially fulfills the gap in the knowledge of this aspect of consumers’ from Central and Eastern Europe behaviour. The obtained results suggest that with the increasing incomes and the widespread use of food services, tipping is likely to become more common in Poland. Furthermore, the pragmatic reasons for tipping will become more important than social and psychological motivators.



We express our gratitude to all participants of the study. Funding: The research was financed within the funds of Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, WULS, for scientific research.


Kowalczuk, I. and Gębski, J. (2021), "Factors influencing restaurant tipping behaviour – the case of Poland", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 172-182.



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