How much should you tip in a restaurant?


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from: Anna Heyers

After a meal is often before tea. But how much do you give and are there any conditions? Fortunately, this is where a rule of thumb comes in handy.

Well-known situation: You are sitting in a restaurant, the food was good, the service was pleasant and the bill was ordered. Now one or the other starts A restaurant guest wonders: how much to tip? Do I even have to tip? And if so, as appropriate – after all, I don’t want to be called stingy, but I also don’t want to be thought of as a waste of time.

Tipping in restaurants: how much is reasonable?

First of all, it must be said: tipping is usually voluntary and each guest has the right to give this small bonus or not. There is no right to receive a tip. But many will Service workers, full-time or part-time, the hospitality industry still pays minimum wage, so they enjoy fringe benefits — and sometimes even using a trick or two.

Easily calculate tips

If you count in ten percent, it’s especially easy to calculate tips. Eg: Total bill 100 euros, you want a 10% tip. Ten percent of 100 euros is ten euros, including tip, which you pay 110 euros. Total bill 20 euros, that would be 22 euros with tip.

How much to pay is not specified. Therefore, each guest can determine the amount of the tip himself. In Germany, the rule is for smaller amounts (such as for coffee) to be rounded up, and for larger amounts, five to ten percent of the invoice amount.

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Tip: Here’s why you should give it a go

A visit to a restaurant is rarely cheap. Therefore, some people think that the tip is already included in the bill. However, there are several reasons why the advice would be appropriate:

  • If you’re unhappy with your meal, there’s rarely anything the wait staff can do. However, if the employee was friendly, competent and on the ball, this should be rewarded.
  • Waiters are often not well paid. Therefore, tips can help you get an hourly wage that you can use to cover your living expenses.
  • Tipping is a sign of appreciation. The staff is active when you are free and is still there long after you have returned home.

However, the topic of tipping is also repeatedly debated. For example, some people insist that the tip be included in the bill, as is often done in the United States, for example.

regulations in the hospitality industry

However, to ensure that employers do not rely solely on voluntary payments from guests, there is a clause in the trade regulations.

Regular wages cannot be withheld in cases where an employee receives tips from a third party for their work. A tip is an amount of money paid by a third party without legal obligation to the employee, with no benefit to the employer.

Who owns the tip?

In many restaurants, it is customary for the service staff to put the received tips in a pot, which is distributed proportionally to all the staff at the end of the working day. Otherwise, tipping would only benefit people who interact directly with customers, although other people would also be involved, such as food. Employees are also allowed to keep money received from guests. Demanding to give it to your manager is not legal.

Are tips taxable?

When it comes to work done by employees, tips are always tax-free in Germany. But only as a voluntary service – that is, as an expression of satisfaction.

If they are automatically added as service charges, the landlord receives them first and is therefore charged.

A group of people order together in a restaurant.
Dedicated waiter, delicious food, great atmosphere – if these basic points are followed, guests are usually happy to tip well, © Galdric Penarroja/Imago

Contactless payment – is tipping allowed here?

Paying without cash has become even more popular in recent years. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean the advice ends. Because even when paying by card, you can indicate a different amount. It is then placed into the card reader by the service staff…

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