The topic of tipping in Germany can often lead to insecurities. How much is normal? Add to a credit card as in other countries or give in cash? At the table or on the way out, left separately or handed to the waitress or waiter?
In the US many employees in the service sector are heavily reliant on a relatively high tip to earn their living. In Germany staff are normally paid a wage. Service charges are included in all restaurant and eatery bills across the Ruhr Metropolis. Nonetheless, it is customary to round up prices to the nearest Euro and to leave a tip of some 10% when in restaurants. This depends truly on quality of service and can be higher.
Normally, a tip is given to the waiter or waitress when paying the bill but leaving it on the table before departing is well known as the custom of foreigner visitors, so also fairly normal. Bartenders generally prefer a small tip rather than the offer of a free drink.
In hotels, service charges on the invoice is sufficient for most tips, though to tip bellhops, porters and room service about one Euro per bag for service is customary or more for high-end stays. It is also quite widespread in Germany to leave a small tip of around one or two Euros per night in the room for cleaning staff. Whether a tip is given to the desk clerk depends on whether he or she could help with any special service.
Taxi drivers often receive tips of up to five or even ten percent of the metre charge. It is recommended to give more if the passenger has particularly cumbersome or heavy luggage, especially if they receive kind assistance.