Are Germans stingy when it come to tipping?

The Local
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Are Germans stingy when it come to tipping?
Coins lie next to a coffee cup on a table in a cafe in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance / Sonja Marzoner/dpa | Sonja Marzoner

A recent survey shows that more than half of Germans don’t tip, or at most only 5 percent of the full amount.


In Germany, it's the norm to leave a tip (Trinkgeld) in bars and restaurants of between 5 and 10 percent, as service is usually not included in the bill. Tipping other service providers, like taxi drivers and hotel workers, is less common - unlike in other countries such as the US.

However, though tipping may be customary in Germany, it is certainly not compulsory and some Germans may not tip at all.


When The Local interviewed Dr. Christian Stegbauer, an academic at Frankfurt University who conducted a study into German tipping culture back in 2021, he told us that many people he spoke to during his research said they tended not to give tips at all.

READ ALSO: Trinkgeld: What you need to know about tipping culture in Germany

The results of a new survey carried out by the Norstat polling institute on behalf of Playboy magazine published this week, have revealed that more than half (57 percent) of Germans don’t tip or, at most, only five percent of the total amount, even when they’ve been happy with the service in the bar or restaurant.

The survey - which questioned a representative sample of 1,017 German men and women - found that 39 percent of those questioned only tip between three and five percent instead of the usual ten percent, and 18 percent tip service staff in restaurants between zero and three percent.

Conversely, 70 percent of those questioned in the survey said they considered themselves to be generous and found stinginess unattractive. It also seems that Germans are keen to appear generous on first dates as, according to the survey, 76 percent of men pick up the tab here, compared to 25 percent of women. 

Why the small tips?

The energy crisis and inflation in particular have exacerbated this stinginess among Germans, according to the poll: 63 percent of survey participants say they are currently living more frugally, and 74 percent are more worried about their financial future than they were before the crisis.

The things that Germans do not want to save on, even in difficult times, include first and foremost vacations (41 percent), visits to restaurants and bars (29 percent) and personal hobbies (28 percent).

But willingness to donate money to charitable causes seems to have suffered only slightly in recent times. A full 44 percent of those surveyed said they donate an undisclosed amount to those in need at least once a year.

READ ALSO: Eight unwritten rules that explain how Germany works


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