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Tipping in Germany

Tipping In Germany

The tipping culture in Germany is deeply entrenched. Thus, this article explains the most actual tipping habits: how much Germans favour waiters; and what expectations waiters have; So, read the article to avoid any possible misunderstandings and unnecessary blushing

The information is based on a study, made by Dr. Christian Stegbauer, who is an academic at the Frankfurt University. 

So, many people all around the world would use rational logic when tipping: if they like the services and food, they will tip the staff accordingly. Meanwhile, Germans have their own standards that aren’t based on a typical “calculations”.

German tipping habits

Tipping is known as “trinkgeld” (“drink money”) in the country. Interestingly, Germans are known as generous restaurant-goers, even though the tip is actually added in the price of the food there and the service staff earn minimum wage (at least).  The study revealed that there is a small amount of people who don’t tip for these reasons. But obviously, it is not at trend.

Commonly, people are tipping between five and ten percent on top of the actual bill despite the fact that sometimes the food or service was disappointing. Meanwhile the waiters are expecting to receive 10 percent, which is understood as an adequate amount.

However, the service stuff treats regular clientele differently compared to a one-time visit. In fact, most restaurants are pleased with steady clients and they don’t expect any gratuity from them. Since regular visits create some kind of friendship, it would be too awkward to involve money.

Tipping in the bars and pubs

Germans leave tips everywhere: in restaurants, pubs and bars. It comes from a general rule which is based on table service – giving tips when you are served.  

A delicate handover

Handing over a tip requires doing so in a considerate manner. Otherwise there is a danger of emphasizing one’s social status, which would be considered rude. General advice is simply to ask for a smaller amount of change when paying the bill. 

It is acceptable to leave instantly after leaving a tip however a waiter can consider it as an expression of food service dissatisfaction since it is expected to get the tips together with the bill. 

To avoid these kind of circumstances, some places have piggy bank that customers can drop some coins into when they leave. It helps avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings between staff and clientele. 


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