Berlin restaurants have begun scamming customers

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Never encountered this in Frankfurt, but if I ever do I will make it a known fact that the tip I WOULD HAVE GIVEN is not happening and that I would never return.

If the food is good, the place is clean and the service is good I dont have a problem leaving a tip but if someone tried to screw me ... HAHA ferk them and the place!!!

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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?

i am confused as well

 

i know in the UK, some places have "service is not included", i assume they meant "please tip cause we do not include a service charge, so i tip if the service was worth it

 

other places if do they do add a service charge, in teeny tiny print on the bottom of the menu it says "a discretionary/optional service charge of 20% will be added to your bill". i typically tell those fuckers to take it off, not because i dont tip, cause i tip very well. but you are being presumptious, assuming that i will be pleased with the service you offer. take it off and let me decide what i want to give.

also 20% is really steep, unless i get a lap dance with my sandwich.

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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.

she woulda got a good ole american-style cussing out is what woulda happened if I'd been there. FFS.

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To no one in particular:

 

I really don't understand the vehemence I'm seeing about people's not wanting to tip. I mean I get it, people are trying to make you feel like assholes for not tipping, but if you're really so secure in your beliefs that tipping is extortion why not just shrug it off? Are you truly offended?

 

To me, tipping for good service is a courtesy somewhat comparable to making room for someone on a crowded train, or saying hello/please/thank you a shop assistant, or calling your mom who bore you for ten months inside her body on Mother's Day and then raised your ungrateful little ass to adulthood--people with half a conscience and a little bit of decency do it; people who can't be bothered to acknowledge the presence of others around them don't.

 

You don't have to tip. I know you sometimes feel like a dick for not doing it because everyone else does it and you don't feel like doing it. But look at it this way... you can make someone's day a whole lot better by leaving what to you is a small amount of money, or you can not. You see what I mean? It's such a small thing, such a non-matter, almost, that I wonder why anyone would protest so loudly against it. OK fine don't tip, but you can also STFU about it.

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"calling your mom who bore you for ten months inside her body on Mother's Day and then raised your ungrateful little ass to adulthood"

 

i mangled that sentence oops

 

"calling your mom who bore you for ten months inside her body and then raised your ungrateful little ass to adulthood, on Mother's Day"

 

how embarrassing.

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As a United States citizen who spent most of her life as a server in the United States and depended on tips for an income, I have no problem tipping if the service is prompt and my beverage glass kept filled. I have found service to be very slow in Germany and was told it was because the tip was included.

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In London, where I currently live, many restaurants add a service charge of 12.5% on the bill. Unless something was particularly good (I'll leave a bit more cash) or bad (I'll ask them to take it off and pay less), I pay it.

 

If no service charge is added and it's not included, I'll tip around 10%.

 

In Germany, I round up.

 

In the US, I pay around 15-20% unless the service is very bad, which I've yet to experience.

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I have found service to be very slow in Germany and was told it was because the tip was included.

I doubt if thats the case/reason.

 

@AL: in other words when in Rome...

 

It will be a bad thing if the US-style is imposed here (and on top of the already existing service included. WIll just lead to fewer restaurant visits - I have to feed a family of 4 and we have basically stopped eating out (except possibly connected with a birthday) as its just too expensive - the famous doubling of prices with the Euro introduction was K/O for us...

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I don't swallow this idea that the US system where servers are dependant on tips for a living income somehow automatically results in better service. Having some perky student arrive at my table to announce 'Hi, my name is xxx and I will be your server today' just makes me cringe. Give me a surly european waiter anyday, who will let me eat without interrupting me the whole time. Nor do I need my beverages to be constantly refilled, firstly because I'm not in the habit of drinking litres of sugared water with my meal, and secondly, because I'm quite capable of asking for something when I need it. And finally I don't want my server thrusting the bill at me and hovering around the table as soon as I've finished my last mouthful of pudding, because they need to keep turnover high to get more tips - I want to be able to hang around and relax amongst bored looking waiters who are quite happy to ignore me.

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The reason that the U.S. service sector is the way it is is because because of motivation. If you have low hourly pay--as waitstaff typically do, you live on tips; the faster you are, the more smiley you are. Also, the restaurant wants high seat turnover. They instruct the staff to work the tables until nobody orders anything else, then mention if they would like desert and/or the bill. The more asses in the seat per day, the higher the company profit.

 

I agree with your point about enjoying Euroservers leaving us alone. On a trip to the U.S. after a 5 year absence, I was shocked at how the waitress hovered like vultures and interrupted our conversation every 2.5 minutes. 'Anything else? Anything else?' Finally I put my drink down and said "yes. I would like something. I haven't seen my mother in 5 years and we would just like to talk. So we would like you to leave us with our food and drinks until we call you. She put on the fake smile notoriously used in dealing with 'asshole customers' and said 'Great! no problem sir!' She was back in 10 minutes. I wanted to tell her to put down the bag of crank. And back away.

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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.

Eurovol,

You are much too predictable. I knew that was the one sentence you were going to pick at. Well look, bad servers are fired so they don't figure into this equation. What I should have said was a good server, on a bad day when she/he is swamped after being triple sat and problems in the kitchen or things otherwise out of his/her control cause some guests to leave little to no tip, will still walk with 10% of sales in their pocket.

 

 

To me, tipping for good service is a courtesy somewhat comparable to making room for someone on a crowded train, or saying hello/please/thank you a shop assistant, ...people with half a conscience and a little bit of decency do it; people who can't be bothered to acknowledge the presence of others around them don't.

Nicely said Dessa.

 

Also I agree with others that tipping should not be automatic. On the rare occasion where I felt I was not able to provide the best service to a table I made sure to apologize and would actually feel guilty if they left me a decent tip. Being a former server I am probably more apt to withhold tips if I feel the service is not up to par.

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If you have low hourly pay--as waitstaff typically do, you live on tips; the faster you are, the more smiley you are. Also, the restaurant wants high seat turnover. They instruct the staff to work the tables until nobody orders anything else, then mention if they would like desert and/or the bill. The more asses in the seat per day, the higher the company profit.

Bingo!

 

Rounding a bill up from € 7.20 to € 7.50 is hardly overly scabby.

What has the waiter done for that as a TIP? Carried two drinks across the room.

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Man, i think you are all out to lunch on this one...

 

Please, forget what anyone is telling you the custom in these parts is this: Tip something like 50 cents to one euro or 2 or whatever. Tip something, unless it is horrendous. This is not america, where you have to pay 10% tip or more! So if you can't come up with a measly tip amount just for the hell of it, you should just stay home or go elsewhere.

 

Service in germany generally sucks anyway, and they in general get poorly tipped. Maybe if that was increased, maybe the service gets better? and then the wallet gets lighter...? Pick your poison my friends.

 

In our place, the worst tippers are actually the scandinavians (because they assume it's included, but they dont ask--i think they dont tip in scandinavia), and german retirees. We generally like the americans (most of the time) because they are the ones being the most polite and the most easy to deal with...

 

PAY SOMETHING UNLESS THE SERVICES TOTALLY SUCKS. That's the unspoken rule.

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If the service sucks then yeah, no tip.

But also no tip if there is NO service.

 

Carrying drinks across the room is not service.

A smile, a chat, a bit of interaction is service.

 

Getting your own drinks at the bar?

NO tip.

Unless you are sat at the bar and get the service of chat with the barman, then sure.

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I don't swallow this idea that the US system where servers are dependant on tips for a living income somehow automatically results in better service. Having some perky student arrive at my table to announce 'Hi, my name is xxx and I will be your server today' just makes me cringe. Give me a surly european waiter anyday, who will let me eat without interrupting me the whole time. Nor do I need my beverages to be constantly refilled, firstly because I'm not in the habit of drinking litres of sugared water with my meal, and secondly, because I'm quite capable of asking for something when I need it. And finally I don't want my server thrusting the bill at me and hovering around the table as soon as I've finished my last mouthful of pudding, because they need to keep turnover high to get more tips - I want to be able to hang around and relax amongst bored looking waiters who are quite happy to ignore me.

I will agree that in many restaurants the servers are predatory. Nice the the point of obsequiousness to your face until you've finished, then shoving a bill at you while you're enjoying the company of your party and letting your food settle. I hate that, and it detracts from the tip they thought they were going to get-- this single act can turn the 20% I intended to leave into a 10%. And I do also appreciate that in general, unless a place is packed, here in Berlin you can sit for a nice long while in a place without someone trying to upsell you or get you the hell out.

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Having some perky student arrive at my table to announce 'Hi, my name is xxx and I will be your server today' just makes me cringe. Give me a surly european waiter anyday, who will let me eat without interrupting me the whole time. Nor do I need my beverages to be constantly refilled, firstly because I'm not in the habit of drinking litres of sugared water with my meal, and secondly, because I'm quite capable of asking for something when I need it. And finally I don't want my server thrusting the bill at me and hovering around the table as soon as I've finished my last mouthful of pudding, because they need to keep turnover high to get more tips - I want to be able to hang around and relax amongst bored looking waiters who are quite happy to ignore me.

This description mirrors exactly the scene when I went (on my own) to eat in a restaurant near the hotel I was staying on my last evening...

 

Ah well - I'll get more of the same as in a week I'll be flying out to Denver area on a 6-day visit...

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I don't swallow this idea that the US system where servers are dependant on tips for a living income somehow automatically results in better service.

Here in Heidelberg, in most of the downtown (tourist area) cafes and bars the servers' income does depend on both tips and commission for sold food/drinks.

I know quite a couple places that only pay their staff fixed salaries of between 4 and 6 Euro per hour, topped up with a split of all tips collected by anyone, and say a 5% commission on all sales by that person. If the bar's full, you can make 10-12 Euro per hour that way. If it's empty, you're stuck with the 4-6. And you only get e.g. a quarter of "your" tips too.

I know at least one cafe in Heidelberg where the staff gets next to no fixed salary too.

 

I only tip in (better) restaurants as a rule in Germany. And 10% maximum, for very good service. Usually just rounding up to the next 5, next 10 euro etc depending on the bill.

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I'm a good tipper in the US for good service, but here I don't feel so bad about just rounding up to the nearest Euro. They way I figure it, in the States, nearly all restaurants automatically give you a glass of water, then keep you glass full during the whole meal. Water is good for you and trying to eat a meal when you're thirsty sucks. Here a bottle of water in a restaurant is usually at least 2 euros, and if you drink a couple of bottles (the bottles are so tiny here), that is already adding at least 20% to the total of the bill for something that in the States would be considered part of standard service. So there you go.

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I was wondering if you might be interested in a German person's opinion on this? Here it is: The practice described above is rude and if I were presented such a bill I wouldn't tip on a matter of principle. But reading through this comments made me realize what might be a factor causing this kind of behaviour. When I am abroad I always try to adapt my behaviour to the local customs. I understand this as a matter of respect for the host culture. But from many of the comments above I get the impression that some of you are dissatisfied with how "service" is dealt with here and try to make up for it by trying to "educate" servers by refusing to tip them for a variety of reasons that don't apply in this country.

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@ Kato, I know there are issues involved but has that situaion been fed (sic) into the NGG union?

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