How to avoid a serious tipping mistake

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decide how much you want to tip (can be up to 10%, or just rounded up a euro or two ...)

... or nothing at all, if the service was ordinary.

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I don't tip when possible. Yes I'm stingy. No I don't care about good karma.

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Personally, I round up the bill to the next euro, add 10%, and then round it up to the next euro again. The two rounding-ups make the 10% calculation a lot simpler (not that it's difficult, but it's even easier if there's no cents involved). If I wasn't impressed at all, both "roundings" would be down rather than up.

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That sounds easier than my method. I round up to the next Euro, subtract 5% of the 19% tax, round up to the next Euro again, multiply the total by 3, take 22.7% of that and then just give up, hand them a twenty and say, "keep the change".

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Nice one, jay! I also sometimes like a bit of fun..if the bill is, for example , 40 euros, I hand over 30 and say " stimmt so " ( keep the change!). A couple of times I´ve " got away with it " because so many people don´t LISTEN!! ( I always correct the situation, though , after my " bit of fun! " ) :D

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Hi TT tippers,

 

Got a question for you (tho' I admit I haven't taken the time to read through here): I am organizing a big weekend event for about 40 people this weekend. Have negotiated fixed menus etc. at three different restaurants. When the venues quoted their fees, I entirely forgot to think about a tip. Now, I do NOT want to be a cheapskate, but I forgot to budget this into the per-person cost for each participant. I'm expecting meal costs of approx. €1000 for lunch, €1800 for dinner, and €1100 for brunch. I think I could tip €100, €200, and €50, respectively, for the three meals (brunch is less, 'cause they only have to get the drinks, after all).

 

How do you suppose the locals would handle this? We are Americans, so I'd like to live up to our reputation of generosity, at least somewhat.

 

Try not thinking of it as one individual bill for each meal. Imagine if everyone was paying for their own as if they split the bill. Each would give their own tip and you'd guess an average amongst all of them would be 10%. So there's no real difference then if you were to do a flat 10% tip on the combined bills too. That way, at the end of the day, those staff sharing the tips will see it as being no different to a normal night. Just my humble opinion, and having no experience of settling the bill on an event like that.

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Actually, I stopped by one of my venues this evening and asked the head waiter what he thought I should do. He said that in his school (there is a school for waiting tables?), they were taught that 10% was the norm, but that one rarely gets that these days. I had the feeling he wouldn't be surprised if my tip were zero, as I'm sure he's seen it before. That said, I have no intention of walking away without leaving a tip, unless the waitstaff insults us or flings food at us. One of the rare good qualities of my ex was that he was a good tipper: he taught me to be less stingy. I've been wallowing in good karma ever since.

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I did the "danke" faux pas when we first arrived, the waitress never queried it but made a hasty exit from our table.

 

She hasn't had a tip from us since as she is still earning it from the note we gave her back then! :lol:

 

Easy mistake to make, and not one easily forgotten.

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Actually, I stopped by one of my venues this evening and asked the head waiter what he thought I should do. He said that in his school (there is a school for waiting tables?), they were taught that 10% was the norm, but that one rarely gets that these days. I had the feeling he wouldn't be surprised if my tip were zero, as I'm sure he's seen it before. That said, I have no intention of walking away without a tip, unless the waitstaff insults us or flings food at us. One of the rare good qualities of my ex was that he was a good tipper: he taught me to be less stingy. I've been wallowing in good karma ever since.

 

I would consider asking everyone to throw some money into a hat towards the tip(s), or they leave their own tips. It's an option.

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I've worked in a few restaurants here. Yes, you can get an education in waiting tables, it's a respectable career choice and you can't work at really nice restaurants without the degree :). Tipping isn't mandatory here the way it is back in the states, but that being said: if your waiter/waitress made an effort to be extra nice and attentive, didn't forget anything/mess up your order, etc., show your appreciation with 8-10%. Waitstaff aren't paid here as badly in the US, but in exchange they generally get very few working hours because most restaurants can't afford to have any employees earning more than below the 400€ tax line here. And they have to put up with a lot of cold, unfriendly people (and behavior that would get you kicked out of a restaurant in the states.) If there's just 2 of you and you ordered lobster or something and ended up with a 60€ bill, 4 or 5 euros would be enough, since they didn't have to work too hard. But if you're at a restaurant with a big group and everything turned out great, definitely make sure that you give them a full 10% for their hard work :)

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Thanks, peanutbuttery! Sorry for my cheap joke. Actually, I admit I already knew that you can get an education in waiting tables. I lived in France for 12 years, and believe me, they take their table-waiting very seriously there!

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Personally, I round up the bill to the next euro, add 10%, and then round it up to the next euro again. The two rounding-ups make the 10% calculation a lot simpler (not that it's difficult, but it's even easier if there's no cents involved). If I wasn't impressed at all, both "roundings" would be down rather than up.

 

I'm glad that stupid people like you who can't do maths are taking the hit for me and keeping these people in business. Thanks a lot.

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thats true...fuckers taken too much money from me that way too...give them a 50 for a 38 euro bill n the bloke said a big danke n fucked off!!!

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Well, if you do make that mistake and don't want to give them a tip of 25% or whatever, you can just sit tight until you get your change and deny all knowledge of having told them keep the change because after all it was a misunderstanding. I had that happen when I was working in a bar in Finland one summer some decades ago. A customer showed up with all the change from his change jar. His bill was something over 20 and he wanted me to take all the change and a 20 and get 5 back but he didn't have enough change for that. Me not speaking any Finnish tried to tell him that but he's not budging so I took his 20 and enough coins for his bill and left the rest and the guy is pointing and telling me to take the rest of his change so I said thank you and took it and left. He then went to the manager and told him that I had cheated him a 5er :)

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By the way, no one has to feel stupid about speaking up if the waiter takes off with way too much change! Given..there have been times when someone's bill was 9,98 and they gave me a 10 and I thanked them, wished them a nice day, walked away..and they came up to me 5 minutes later with "yeah..uhh..I want the rest of my change." That's embarrassing for THEM, but if a waiter takes 50 euros for a 38 bill without saying something like "Really? that's so nice of you - thank you!" and giving you a chance to admit your mistake - AND take it with good humor - they're an idiot. Speak up!

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If you would like to add up years of German experiences???? since this seems to be rather important to you in your justifications for being stingy

 

I was married to a German man for 8 years, so have a German MIL, 2 German SIL's, 2 German BIL's, German FIL, and multiple German friends, plus I even have a grown daughter who is German. My restaurant experience is both here and in the US, so am familiar with both. I did not work as a server here, but as a manager. I am no longer in this business, so have no vested interest in promoting decent tipping, but know how absolutely stressy these jobs can be.

 

This has gotten way off topic, so this is my last post about this subject, and I wish you all a pleasant day.

 

My GF also reckons there's no need to tip 10%, just round up a bit if service was good. Loads of jobs are stressy, but see no tips (including ones with direct customer contact) so that's no reason in itself to tip.

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Part of my problem is I've a daughter who was wait staff at several places in the States. I used to tip 15%, then she shamed me into doing 20%. Coming to Germany last year, I had to recalibrate. My experience is the wait staff comes up to settle the bill, you get your change, then you hand them back the change or 10% unless they've been total jerks. If the change they want to hand you back is right for a tip, you can just raise your hand and say "Pass!". You usually then get a danke and a smile. They usually seem more appreciative than in the States, and so far I've never felt like I was being played for the tip. Unlike the States, you don't leave the tip on the table, you hand it to them (or "pass" and let them keep the change). I ran this by several of my German language teachers, and they all said this was right. I also know customs can be different in different areas of Germany.

 

We had guests from the States a few weeks ago. She took the daughters out to eat and forgot to leave a tip. The waiter followed her out, got in her face, and wanted to know what was wrong with the service (I've actually seen this before in my limited tenure in Germany). She apologized and gave him the tip.

 

Just another adjustments we Yanks have to make here to fit in.

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The waiter followed her out, got in her face, and wanted to know what was wrong with the service (I've actually seen this before in my limited tenure in Germany). She apologized and gave him the tip.

"Until now, nothing!" That would be a place I wouldn't return to.

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but if a waiter takes 50 euros for a 38 bill without saying something like "Really? that's so nice of you - thank you!"

I agree. I found a great barber in FFM, who was a bit of a perfectionist and did my hair exactly the way I wanted it, yet only charged 10 Euros. I gave him 15 Euros every time, and every time he acted surprised and made sure it wasn't a misunderstanding. Judging by the greeting and service I kept getting after the first time, he already knew it was no misunderstanding, he was simply showing me that he didn't take it for granted.

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I agree. I found a great barber in FFM, who was a bit of a perfectionist and did my hair exactly the way I wanted it, yet only charged 10 Euros. I gave him 15 Euros every time, and every time he acted surprised and made sure it wasn't a misunderstanding. Judging by the greeting and service I kept getting after the first time, he already knew it was no misunderstanding, he was simply showing me that he didn't take it for granted.

 

Woah, spooky. I was going to post an identical post to this. My local barber is the same and only charges 12 Euros and looks equally surprised every time I give him 15 and say Danke. Also great service every time and not taken for granted.

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