In Germany, tipping is optional. There are no rules and everyone tips differently. This guide explains how people usually tip.
Tipping in restaurants
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.
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
Tipping is optional. People often tip 0.50€ to 2€.9 When the weather is really bad, people sometimes give more.
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
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
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