“Do You Tip in Germany Restaurants? Absolutely! And Here’s How to Avoid Becoming the Schnitzel Scrooge!”

By John Goldsmith •  Updated: 11/03/23 •  4 min read

Do You Tip in Germany Restaurants? Absolutely! And Here’s How to Avoid Becoming the Schnitzel Scrooge!


Tipping etiquette varies from country to country, and it is essential to understand the cultural norms when dining out abroad. In Germany, tipping is considered customary and plays a significant role in servers’ income. This blog post aims to guide you through the world of tipping in German restaurants, ensuring that you show your appreciation without coming across as stingy.

Why Tipping Matters in Germany

Tipping is an integral part of German culture and serves as a way to appreciate good service. Unlike some countries where tipping is solely based on satisfaction, Germans view it as an obligation rather than a reward. Servers rely on tips as part of their income, with lower base wages compared to their counterparts in other countries. By tipping generously, you are contributing directly to the livelihoods of these hardworking individuals.

Understanding Tipping Customs in Germany

In German restaurants, it is customary to leave a gratuity for good service. The general range for tipping typically falls between 5% and 10% of the total bill. However, regional variations may exist, so it’s always helpful to acquaint yourself with local customs when traveling within Germany.

When and Whom to Tip

Knowing when and whom to tip can prevent any awkward moments during your dining experience. In most cases, it is appropriate to tip at the end of your meal. Whether you choose cash or include it in your credit card payment is entirely up to you.

When considering whom to tip, restaurant servers are usually at the top of the list. However, bartenders who go above and beyond should also be acknowledged with a small gratuity. Additionally, coat check attendants should be tipped around €1 or €2 per item checked.

It’s worth noting that there are exceptions where tipping might not be expected or necessary. For instance, if service charges are already included in your bill, additional tipping is not required. Likewise, fast-food establishments and self-service cafes typically do not require tipping.

How Much to Tip in Germany Restaurants

To avoid becoming the Schnitzel Scrooge, it’s essential to know how much to tip in different scenarios. In casual dining settings, a 5% to 10% tip is generally acceptable. However, if you’re dining at a high-end or fine dining establishment, a tip of up to 15% is appropriate.

When calculating the exact amount, rounding up the bill is customary. For example, if your bill comes to €47.50, rounding up to €50 would be appreciated. This gesture shows recognition for good service while keeping the process simple for both you and the server.

Tips for a Smooth Tipping Experience

Navigating the payment process can sometimes be daunting when it comes to leaving a tip. To ensure a smooth experience:

1. Familiarize yourself with local currency: Have some cash on hand for tips as some establishments may not accept credit cards specifically for gratuities.

2. Communicate with your server: If you are unsure about tipping customs or are unfamiliar with local practices, don’t hesitate to ask your server discreetly for guidance.

3. Say “Danke”: When leaving your tip on the table or handing it directly to your server, always remember to say “Danke” (Thank you) as a sign of gratitude and respect.

Alternative Ways to Show Appreciation

If traditional tipping practices make you uncomfortable or you prefer alternative ways of showing appreciation, there are still ways to leave positive impressions:

1. Leave positive reviews: Take advantage of review platforms like TripAdvisor or Yelp and leave glowing reviews about exceptional service received during your visit.

2. Compliment staff members: A genuine compliment goes a long way in making someone’s day brighter. Verbally acknowledge outstanding service and express your gratitude directly to the staff.


Tipping in German restaurants is an essential cultural aspect that should be respected and understood by travelers. By following these guidelines, you can navigate tipping customs confidently and ensure a positive experience for both yourself and the hardworking servers. Approach each dining experience with gratitude and an open mind, appreciating the cultural differences that make traveling so enriching. Danke!

John Goldsmith