Do you tip in German restaurants and how much?


Tipping is assumed to be quite a complicated task while you are dining in a restaurant. In some countries, tipping is not expected but in some countries it is. Most of the fine dining restaurants promote tipping like a good gesture. But when it comes to dining at a restaurant in abroad it may seem like a huge challenge. If you pay a bit extra, you will end up losing some of your bucks or if you pay little you may end up disheartening the waiter. German restaurants are a bit unconventional, so if you are in Germany or planning a trip there, here is your tipping guide to help you out from your dilemma.

Tipping Tips in German Restaurants

People find tipping complex as in most of the cases they are doing it wrong. In some countries like Japan and Nepal, waiters even refuse to accept the tip as they believe in the notion that quality service must be provided to everyone. While in the USA and Germany waiters expect a tip. So here are some points you should go through if you are going to dine in Germany.

• Its completely okay to not leave any tip, if you are restrained by your budget. 5-10% of people don’t pay any tip for services provided.
• In Germany, the tip is expected by the waiters in restaurants in the same manner as in the USA or Europe, although the amount is lesser in Germany.
• Here, the waiters have wages around 20,000 Euros, hence it’s not required to pay hefty tips.
• Also, the service will be shy of lack-luster and you may even suffer poor service sometimes.
• Eye rolling in disappointment, not-up to-the mark kind of service, forgotten orders by waiters are a usual phenomenon here. Which will make you feel that you shouldn’t pay the tip, but that’s completely normal.
• If you are thinking that the waiter will give you the bill after you have finished your meal, you are mistaken. The Germans have a habit of drinking coffees after a meal or dessert as they are more leisure loving. If you want your bill, just wave the waiter and ask for the bill, otherwise, you may end up waiting till eternity.
• You have to say “Die Rechnung, bitte” to the waiter if he doesn’t comprehend English. The phrase means that you are asking for the bill.
• Most importantly the tip must be paid in cash. Avoid using debit cards or any other means for tipping. If your bill comes about 10-15 Euros don’t give 50 Euros or higher denominations and ask for change. They may get annoyed.
• Normally you should pay 5-10 % of the total order amount as a tip to the service rendered by the waiter. In case of very exceptional service, you can pay up to 15% of the total amount as a tip.
• In homey pensions, you are not expected to pay any tip. As the bill has service charges included.
• Basically, in Germany tip is not expected where there is counter service or self-service. As an example, you don’t have to pay any tip in McD’s or Subways.
• Credit cards are not readily accepted in german restaurants. You must either pay by cash or by the means of debit cards or “Electronic Cards” as they say. They simply refuse credit cards.
• Avoid paying by even traveler cheques as they may carry a substantial amount of “service charge” for converting them into cash.
• If you wish to split the bill, it is fine. The waiter will make a personal bill for everyone and asks about this after the meal.
• Generally, if your bill comes about, say 13.50 Euros you can opt to pay for 15 Euros having 1.5 Euros as a tip.
• The waiters generally carry a “change purse” with them so don’t hesitate. They can give you the change and you can say “keep the change”.
• If you keep the change on the table as a tip for the waiter it is considered bad according to their customs. You have to hand it to the waiter, otherwise, he may feel bad. He will be standing for ample time, so don’t be in a hurry.

Some Tips for dining in a restaurant in Germany:

  • Smoking is prohibited in Restaurants/Cafes in Germany.
  • You are on your own to find your seating table as the waiters will be busy with other chores.
  • Water, Ice water is not free in german restaurants. It may be free in other countries but here you are expected to pay for that.
  • Here, the same meal can taste a bit different than what you eat at your home. The condiments differ a bit in taste.
  • It’s totally fine even if you ask for a coffee or a dessert after you have finished your meal.
  • Don’t go to any restaurant where the bar is given more attention than the dining area.
  • If a table has “Stammtisch” labeled on it, then these tables are reserved for the restaurant’s regular customers. Please clarify with any of the waiters before getting seated on them.
    The bar staff here don’t expect any kind of tips.
  • In Germany, you are expected to pay for the hairdressers, bellhops too. Even if you are using a public bathroom, you are expected to tip the bathroom attendant.
    Don’t panic in any situation. You may ask for help from your nearby people.

So your dilemma about how much to tip or whether to tip or not has been solved. Next time you go to any restaurant in Germany, you wouldn’t be perplexed anymore. Just pay as per the quality of the service you received. It’s your personal choice. Your Tipping 101 is here for your rescue.