The topic of tipping in Germany can often lead to insecurities. How much is normal? On the credit card as in other countries or 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. Nonetheless, it is customary to round up prices to the nearest euro, to leave few euro or give some 10% when in restaurants. This depends truly on quality of service.
Normally, a tip is given to the waiter or waitress when paying the bill but leaving it on the table before departing has become well known as the custom of foreigner visitors, so also accepted. Bartenders prefer 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, unless more high scale. It is also quite widespread in Germany to leave a small tip of around one euro 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 assistance.