How to tip in Germany

In Germany, tipping is optional. There are no rules and everyone tips differently. This guide explains how people usually tip.

Tip jar

Tipping in restaurants

Most people tip in restaurants, but it’s okay if you don’t.1 The waiter won’t be rude to you if you don’t tip. German waiters don’t need tips to survive, but it’s a big part of their income.2

Restaurants with table service

Most people round up by 1 or 2.3 For example, if your bill is 16.30€, you give 17€ or 18€ in total. You don’t have to tip more if the bill is higher.

Other people tip around 10% of the bill.4 For larger bills, they usually tip less – around 5%.5 18% of Germans don’t tip at all.18

When you pay by card, you should also leave a tip.6 If possible, tip in cash.21

Restaurants without table service

In restaurants without table service, tipping is less common. If you want, you can round up your bill. For example, if the bill is 5.50€, you can leave 6€.7

People rarely tip in fast food restaurants like McDonalds or Burger King.17

Where does your tip go?

This depends on the restaurant. Sometimes, it goes directly to your waiter. Sometimes, it’s shared between waiters and kitchen staff. The restaurant owner can’t keep the tip; it belongs to the staff.8

When the tip goes directly to the employee, it’s not taxed. If it’s shared between employees, it’s taxed. If you tip the owner, it’s taxed.23

Tipping in cafés and bars

Tipping in cafés and bars works like in restaurants. You can tip if you are happy with the service, but it’s optional.

When there is table service, you can round up your bill, or tip 10%. For example, if a beer costs 4.50€, you can give 5€.

When there is no table service, tipping is not expected.24

Tipping delivery drivers

Food delivery

Tipping is optional. People often tip 0.50€ to 2.9 When the weather is really bad, people sometimes give more.

Tip the driver directly, in cash.10 When you tip in the delivery app, the money sometimes goes to the restaurant. Some restaurants don’t give the tips to their drivers.11

Mail and packages

People rarely tip postal workers.12 Some people tip on Christmas or New Year, but it’s not common. Others also leave sweets for postal workers on special days.

Tipping taxi drivers

Half of Germans tip in taxis.19 You can round the amount up or give 10%, like in restaurants.20

Tipping barbers and hairdressers

Tipping is optional. Around half of customers tip. If you are happy with your haircut, you can tip 5% to 10% of the amount.13

Tipping in hotels

People rarely leave a tip in hotel rooms. It’s not expected. You can leave a few Euros in your room for the cleaning staff, if you choose to.14

When you order room service, you can tip 1€ or 2€.22

Other services

At the cloak room (coat check), tipping is optional. You can give 0.50€ to 1.25

How to leave a tip

When you pay with cash

If you want to leave a tip, you say the total amount (bill + tip) when you give the money.

Example: The bill is 16.30€. You say “18” and give a 20€ bill. The employee gives you 2€ back. They 1.70€ in tip.15

If you want the waiter to keep the change, give the money and say “stimmt so”.16

Example: The bill is 18€. You give 20€. You say “stimmt so”. The employee keeps the extra 2€.

When you pay by card

German credit card machines don’t have a button for tip. When it’s time to pay, you say how much you want to give (bill + tip) in advance.

Example: The bill is 16.30€. You say “18” and give your card. The credit card machine charges you 18€. The waiter gets a 1.70€ tip.

It’s better if you pay by card, but tip in cash.21

Sources and footnotes
  1. Wikipedia, ZHAW study (2022) 












  13.,,, Santiago Lobo at Renasanz Salon 


  15. Wikipedia,,, 




  19. (2022)