Berlin restaurants have begun scamming customers

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im a firm believer that the establishment should pay the wage. I have just come back from america and i know they have a tipping culture but, i don't like being told "now service isn't included in that honey" (in pizza hut). I felt like telling her to fuck right off. Also when going to get a beer from a bar there was a bucket with one dollar "bills" in it...i guess the tips...so i paid and then the guy waited for what seemed like an hour before he finally gave me my change! I went to the bar and got the bloody drink!!!I'm not tipping one dollar for a drink I got!

 

If we keep tipping then the establishment wins, right?

 

However if the i see the bar\wait person has gone out of there way i would leave a tip...if not told to do so.

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I think I remember getting a bill like that somewhere a while ago. I just can't remember at all where it was. For all I know it might have been in the States (where as far as I know this is normal). Hmmm ...

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This is despicable, outrageous and just plain criminal.

 

Should this happen to you or your visiting friends, whom you have, of course, informed of this scam, burst out laughing and ask the waiter/waitress where the candid camera is.

"Guter Scherz, wo ist die versteckte Kamera?"

Then ask for the boss and mention the good old "Gewerbeaufsicht" (commercial control authority).

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The company-listed hotel in the Duesseldorf area that we "have to" use when there has the bad habit of printing the credit card slip with the amount for the overnight stay and then under this a line entitled TIP and another Summe. Damned cheeky - with the risk that if people just sign the slip anyone could add in a "tip" afterwards. I just put a line through TIP and repeat the amount under Summe but its annoying...

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it's not just berlin.

 

had this on a bill in a cafe in the frankfurt airport by the ICE lines just last week!

 

also at a schnitzel restaurant in triberg. it was listed in the english menu, but not the german menu and then was written on the bill.

 

it's ridiculous. but the places can get away with it - tourists don't know better. when we saw it, my friends visiting from the usa started to feel guilty about not tipping 15 to 20%. i said "it's your money do what you want. i'll round off my part, because service is included by law." that got rid of the guilt very quickly.

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Laws governing the hospitality and catering sector stipulate that all prices include both tax and service.

 

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Crap! 5 months in Berlin and I've been tipping 'American style' (20%) the whole time! Why didn't you expats tell me these things? It's yer job, right? ;)

 

 

It's worse in Prague where some waiters bring your bill with a small handheld calculator on top showing "the real total" with a 15-20% tip added on! This happened in a restaurant I really like and I've never felt the saame about the place.

Yup, I lived in Prague for 8 years. It is a veritable den of petty thieves. You have to count each and every item you order each and every time you go out. They like to 'add things' to the bill when you're drinking, thinking you're too drunk to notice. In American fast food joints in Prague they even charge 50cents for each packet of ketchup or mustard!!! Cheeky monkeys!!!

 

 

Good to know Mister Pink is alive and well:

 

 

What Mr. Buscemi said. B)

 

From now on, I will tip solely on the only service factor worth tipping: breast size.

 

db

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I have been to some places where the tip is added as an item on the bill...that is just daylight robbery. Off course, I never go back to these places, so they lose out.

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if they do a good job, I will tip.

if she is cute, I will tip even if the food is not too good!

Um, chances are, if "she" is waiting on your table, "she" is not the cook.

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if she is cute, I will tip even if the food is not too good!

Why are you tipping based on what the food is like? The tips go to the waiters/waitresses and are for service, not quality of food. You know that the chef is not the waiter/waitress, right? Do you discriminate if the food is really bad but the service is good?

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If we keep tipping then the establishment wins, right?

Actually if you keep tipping the workers and the establishment win because the former gets far more than he would from a base salary (if he is competent) and the later keeps their costs down. Actually the customer wins too because if they want to be tightwads they have the option, as opposed to if the establishment had to pay waiters more and then built that into their menus.

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I worked in the hospitality industry for over 13 years (starting at Walt Disney World of all places) and thanks to tips (Disney paid 2.25/hr) I paid my way through university and grad school. Working for Mickey Mouse allowed me to observe the tipping habits of many people of all nationalities. As was company policy, each check book was presented with a tip guideline, translated into 6 languages, stated, "It is customary in the United States to add 15-20% when you have received satisfactory service." The Japanese would pull out their calculators and would add exactly 17.5% to the penny. Germans and Canadians gave 10% with little exception. Brazilians ignored the advice completely and, on more than one occasion, kids in large tour groups from Sao Paulo or Rio would swipe the money left on the table (not to mention them pulling on my clothing or whistling and snapping their fingers to get my attention). I could even breakdown the habits of Americans depending on where in the States they reside but I digress. I have worked in restaurants in 4 different countries with varying tipping policies and the trend to me seems to be tipping and the quality of service are proportionally related. Who out there has travelled a bit and would disagree with my statement that the United States sets the gold standard when it comes to hospitality and service?

Point is...

 

Tipping is a custom. As with all customs they do not make complete sense to outsiders. Nevertheless, when in Rome do as the Romans do. Simple as that.

 

One last thing...

 

 

Tipping is for suckers and it should be outlawed totally everywhere. I have worked enough in the gastronomy sector to know it is the biggest scam going.

 

For the US economy, it is one of the biggest unregulated money laundering schemes there is. I hope they fine the shit out of any restaurant caught doing this here.

I couldn't disagree with you more. A server's tips are tightly regulated. The way it works is that at the end of a shift the computer (nearly all restaurants these days work with POS systems) prints out the servers total sales for the night. The IRS assumes that even the worst server in the world can average 10% of sales in tips so that is what you have to declare. Furthermore all credit card receipts reveal the amount of tip you make and in the States 90% of all transactions are with plastic so there is always a paper trail. Lastly, Any tips that fit out of the average range show up red on the screen to gain the attention of the manager. This safeguard is how a Disney server was found to be doctoring the credit slips of foreign visitors (Turns out he embezzled more that 27,000 dollars in one year this way). I do know of individuals and entire establishments that have been caught and fined for improperly declaring tips but then corruption occurs in all industry and restaurants are not immune.

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I just have to add my 2 cents as a former bartender in the U.S. German service standards and food quality suck because of these tight wad attitudes. The reason people tip is because they know the owner probably doesn't give a rat's ass about his employees. They're replaceable monkeys in his eyes. Now being a good waiter/bartender is hard work and very exhausting. If I want someone working in this situation to do a good job I'm going to recognize that and help him or her out. If you want to be served by lackys because the job is paid at a level that only a desperate person would accept then by all mean don't tip. But if you prefer to enjoy an evening out and see going out as something more than a cover for your own inability to produce something in the kitchen then I suggest you do your part to circumvent one of the principle flaws of the system which is that often the people that are taking care of you are not he people profiting directly from the exchange. Rant out.

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Funny, I noticed this once in the past couple weeks, when I went to dinner with at least one non-German at the table. I don't remember which it was, either a Spanish place in Mitte right by the S-Bahn, or White Trash. Or Block House. I remember looking at it and vaguely thinking how weird it seemed, but it didn't compute, the conversation was too interesting, I suppose.

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I just have to add my 2 cents as a former bartender in the U.S. German service standards and food quality suck because of these tight wad attitudes. The reason people tip is because they know the owner probably doesn't give a rat's ass about his employees. They're replaceable monkeys in his eyes. Now being a good waiter/bartender is hard work and very exhausting. If I want someone working in this situation to do a good job I'm going to recognize that and help him or her out. If you want to be served by lackys because the job is paid at a level that only a desperate person would accept then by all mean don't tip. But if you prefer to enjoy an evening out and see going out as something more than a cover for your own inability to produce something in the kitchen then I suggest you do your part to circumvent one of the principle flaws of the system which is that often the people that are taking care of you are not he people profiting directly from the exchange. Rant out.

this is the smartest take on the subject I think I've ever heard.

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I don't know how related tipping is to quality of service. If they just plop my plate before me and or come by one time when my mouth is full or I am in the midst of a serious conversation with my dinner companion--that to me isn't service. If you go out of your way with a special order or if one of my party is incapacitated and the server goes out of his/her way to help--that's service. I actually haven't tipped a couple of times in the States recently, because it just felt like extortion. I wouldn't have minded rounding up, but that wasn't an option. Anyway, I'd like to tip for service that really stands out, if it has been enjoyable or there is some personal interaction.

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The IRS assumes that even the worst server in the world can average 10% of sales in tips so that is what you have to declare.

There you go. You just proved that even the IRS knows that tipping isn't exactly tied to actual good service if even sucky servers make that much. Thanks for proving my point even more.

 

I just have to add my 2 cents as a former bartender in the U.S. German service standards and food quality suck because of these tight wad attitudes.

How does tipping lead to better food quality? Seriously, I would like to know that. :blink:

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I'm slightly confused... The 20% service charge that appears seperately on some bills... I don't have to pay this?

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I don't know how related tipping is to quality of service.

I don't know how your comment is related to Germany in general or Berlin in particular. Do elaborate?

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There was a place here in Munich I was at with an international group. We were all speaking English, but out of the 5 or 6 of us, only 2 were Americans. Our waitress was terrible, 20 minutes to order our drinks, couldn't get her attention when we wanted her and when we wanted the bill it was another 20 minutes. We all paid separately, and agreed we wouldn't tip her before she got over to us. Finally, we all pay and all she made was a euro or so from people rounding up...then she announces to the table in English.."So it's not true about Americans...I thought they were good tippers, but it looks different here." Somebody made a comment about service, somebody made a comment about not even being American and I said we usually only tip based on service. We ruined her night. I hope she learned something though. The balls she must have had to say that.

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