Tipping in Germany


May 28th, 2002, 08:23 AM
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Tipping in Germany

What is the acceptable amount for tipping in restaurants and taxi drivers while in Germany? Thanks for your help.
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May 28th, 2002, 08:37 AM
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The tip is already included in the restaurant bill in Germany and Austria. They appreciate it if you round up to the next higher number so they don't have to make coin change.
In the cabs we usually give 10 -20 % tip.
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May 28th, 2002, 08:39 AM
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General assumption in Germany is that 'service' is included in the price. I think it's a law there that quoted price must be inclusive, i.e. of VAT (MWSt) and Service (Bedienung). So tipping is, strictly speaking, not necessary. However, Germans routinely leave small change, or ask the waiter/driver etc to round up to the nearest mark or now euro. So if the bill comes to, say, 19 euro, you say to the waiter 'Please take 20'. Or hand over 20 euro note and say 'Stimmt so', meaning 'That's ok.' In an upscale place, you might round it up to the nearest 5 or 0.
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May 28th, 2002, 09:32 AM
Hans H
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Service and VAT is included which means that there is no legal right for the waiter to get more than the bill.

This doesn't mean that there is no tipping. I'm not sure about the differing regional customs in that regard and I would caution against giving too much tip in clearly rural villages where tips are probably less common. But here's what I do in the places I lived and what I would tip in any typical tourist place.

Below 5 Euro, round up to the next 50 cent or one Euro, with a tip between 5-15%
If you have higher bills, the same applies but rather go for 10 or even 5% than for 15%.
If you don't want to tip, it's okay, but at least in case of higher bills most Germans give tips.


2.10 or 2.30: both rounded up to 2.50

10.20 or 10.50 : 11.00
21.20: 23.00
49.00: 52.00 or 53.00

If you have a bill of 117.20 Euro and you round up to 118, the waiter certainly won't be happy but he might be offended. Rather give no tip at all than 0.5%

As for Taxi drivers, pretty much the same applies, but I tend to give lower tips than to waiters. I think that a lot of people don't tip taxi drivers.
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May 28th, 2002, 09:49 AM
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Presuming you are coming from the US(?) let me add my experience with the difference in restaurant tipping and paying the bill now that Hans has covered well the amount portion.

In Germany, when we asked for the bills at restaurant, the waiters did not just leave the bill on the table and come back later as in the US. After handing me the bill, they stood there while I checked the bill and pay them on the spot including the tip. I got the impression that one does not leave the tip in the table, but always hand the tip to the waiter at the time the bill is paid.

Experienced the same thing in Austria and in German speaking part of Switzerland.
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