Do You Tip in Frankfurt? Understanding Gratuity Etiquette in Germany

Written by Jim Belt in How Much To Tip

The culture of tipping in Frankfurt reflects the larger tipping culture in Germany, which is quite different from some other countries. This guide explains tipping etiquette in Frankfurt and shows when and how much to tip.

In Frankfurt, tipping is customary but not mandatory. It's typical to add a 5-10% tip or round up the bill in restaurants and cafes for good service. Taxi drivers also appreciate rounding up the fare. Small tips for hotel staff, such as porters, are common as well.

Tipping Customs

Tippping is customary


  • Tipping in restaurants is customary but generally less than in some other countries.
  • For services like taxis and hotel staff, tipping is appreciated but not compulsory.
  • Understanding the tipping culture in Frankfurt can enhance your experience and interactions with service staff.

Understanding Tipping in Frankfurt

When visiting Frankfurt, you'll want to be mindful of the local tipping customs. This section will guide you through the typical expectations for showing gratitude through tips in this vibrant German city.

Where Tipping Is Expected

Service Industry Suggested Tip Additional Information
Restaurants 5-10% of the bill For good service, 2-5 euros on a 50 euro bill
Bars 1-2 euros per drink or round up Show gratitude for service
Taxis Round up the fare Small tip appreciated

Tipping in Frankfurt is common in various service industries. In restaurants, rounding up the bill or adding 5-10% is a typical way to tip if you've enjoyed your experience. For instance, on a 50 euro bill, a 2-5 euro tip is customary. At bars, rounding up or giving 1-2 euros per drink can show your gratitude. Taxi drivers also appreciate a small tip by rounding up the fare. Remember, your tips are always at your discretion, based on the quality of the service you received.

Tipping in Restaurants

When you dine out in Frankfurt, it's customary to reward good service with a tip. While tipping isn’t mandatory, it’s seen as a polite gesture to show appreciation to your waiter.

Tipping Etiquette in Frankfurt Restaurants

Dining Experience Suggested Tip Additional Information
General 5-10% of the bill For good service
Specific Example Round up to the nearest euro For example, from 45 to 50 euros

How Much to Tip Waitstaff

In Frankfurt, if you're pleased with the service, aim to tip your food servers between 5% and 10% of the bill. Exceptional service might warrant a tip closer to 10%, but even rounding up to the nearest euro is appreciated. For example, if your meal costs 45 euros, rounding up to 50 euros is a generous tip.

Tipping on Card vs. Cash

It's recommended to tip in cash, even if you're paying the bill with a credit card. Handing the tip directly to your waiter ensures that it goes to the person who provided you with service. Keep some euros in your wallet for this purpose. If you’re tipping on a card, explicitly mention it to your waiter, as card tips may not always reach them directly.

Tipping in Bars and Pubs

When you're enjoying a night out in Frankfurt's bars and pubs, understanding the local tipping etiquette is important to show appreciation for good service.

Payment Method Suggested Tip Additional Information
Cash Round up or add extra For example, from €3.50 to €4 or €5
Card 5% to 10% of the bill Tell the staff the tip amount before processing
General Not obligatory, but appreciated Gesture of goodwill for good service

Bar Staff Tipping Guide

In many Frankfurt bars, it's customary to give Trinkgeld, which means "tip" in German, to the bar staff. When paying in cash, it's common to round up to the nearest euro, or add a little extra for good service. For example, if your bill is €3.50, rounding up to €4 or €5 is a generous way to tip.

If you're paying with a card, you might need to tell the staff how much you wish to tip before they process the transaction, as it's often not possible to add a tip once the card has been charged. Tipping around 5% to 10% of your total bill is considered polite, but not obligatory.

Keep in mind that tipping in bars and pubs is seen as a gesture of goodwill in Germany, and while it's appreciated, it's not as rigidly expected as in some other countries. If you receive exceptional service or have developed a rapport with the staff, you may feel inclined to tip a little more. Always ensure you have some change on you for such moments, as this small act can make a big difference to the bar staff.

Hotel Tipping Etiquette

Navigating tipping etiquette in Frankfurt's hotels can ensure your stay is as gracious and smooth as possible. Whether you’re interacting with the concierge, housekeepers, or other attendants, tipping is a recognized way to show appreciation for good service.

Service Type Suggested Tip Additional Information
Concierge €5-€15 For services beyond basic assistance
Housekeepers €1-€3 per night Leave on the pillow or in a marked envelope
Porters €1-€3 per bag For luggage assistance
Attendants €1-€3 For valet parking or similar services

Tips for Concierge and Housekeepers

Concierge: When you receive help from the hotel concierge that goes beyond answering simple questions—such as securing reservations or tickets—it's nice to tip. The amount can be between €5-€15 depending on the complexity of the request.

Housekeepers: Cleaning your room is a daily task that often goes unseen, and a small tip can be a thoughtful gesture of gratitude. An appropriate tip for housekeepers is usually around €1-€3 per night, and it's best left on the pillow or in a clearly marked envelope.

Tipping Porters and Attendants

Porters: If someone assists you with your luggage, a standard tip of €1-€3 per bag is customary in Frankfurt's hotels, rewarding the porters for their effort and care with your items.

Attendants: For various other attendants, such as those who might assist you with valet parking or in other similar roles, a tip within the range of €1-€3 is also appreciated for their service.

Tipping for Transportation Services

When you're traveling through Frankfurt, knowing how to tip your taxi driver or Uber driver can enhance your travel experience.

Taxi and Uber Tipping Practices

In Frankfurt, it's customary to tip your taxi driver. Even though it's not mandatory, a tip is appreciated as a gesture of satisfaction with the service provided. For a smooth ride from point A to point B, rounding up the fare to the nearest euro is a common practice. For instance, if your fare comes to €18.50, you might want to round up and pay €20, giving a €1.50 tip.

When it comes to Uber, since payment is processed digitally, tipping isn't as expected, but you're always welcome to leave a tip through the app. Tipping in cash is unusual for Uber rides. If you received help with luggage or enjoyed a particularly good conversation or comfortable ride, you could consider tipping a few euros through the app to your Uber driver. Generally, a tip of 5-10% of the total fare or a round-up is seen as generous.

Tipping Tour Guides and Service Staff

When you're visiting Frankfurt and engaging in various tours or enjoying services like spas and salons, understanding local tipping customs is key. Here's how to show your appreciation through tipping in a way that aligns with regional practices.

Gratuity for Tour Guides

Tour Guides: It is customary to tip your tour guide as a sign of appreciation for their expertise and service. While not strictly mandatory, a tip around 10% of the cost of the tour is a standard gesture of gratitude if you found the tour enjoyable and informative. Keep in mind that this applies to both private and group tours - your tour guide often relies on these tips, especially because the minimum wage may not always reflect their effort and knowledge.

For free tours, which are quite popular in Frankfurt, a tip is very much appreciated as the only compensation for the guide's effort. When the service is excellent, €5 to €10 per person can be a generous tip for such tours.

Tipping at Spas, Salons, and Free Tours

Spas and Salons: Service staff in these establishments usually anticipate a tip for their services. It's a sign that you're satisfied with the experience they provided. A suggestion is 5%-10% of the bill or a few euros if there’s no bill, which is fairly standard and considered polite.

_Free Tours: These experiences are particularly unique because the guides are often locals sharing their personal insight. Since there's no upfront cost, your gratuity is the guide's reward. After a free walking tour, it’s a kind gesture to tip what you believe the tour was worth, commonly between €5 and €15**. Your tip serves as a direct reflection of your appreciation.

By adhering to these tipping practices, you ensure that those who've helped make your experience memorable are fairly compensated and feel valued for their service.

Understanding Service Charges

When dining out in Frankfurt, you'll encounter both service charges and tips, and it's important to understand how each impacts your restaurant experience.

Difference Between Tip and Service Charge

A service charge in Frankfurt restaurants is generally a fixed amount added to your bill, meant to cover the staff's service. This fee is not optional and reflects a mandatory cost associated with your meal. However, the service charge does not always directly go to the service staff, as it's part of the restaurant's revenue.

Tipping, on the other hand, is voluntary and directly rewards the staff for the quality of service you received. It is an amount of money you can choose to leave in addition to the bill; the size of the tip often reflects your satisfaction with the service provided. It's a personal way to say "thank you" to the waiting staff.

While a service charge is more clear-cut, the amount you tip is at your discretion and can reflect the level of attentiveness and care you felt during your meal. Remember, when you tip, you're directly appreciating the individuals who worked to make your dining experience enjoyable.

Tipping Norms for Other Services

When visiting Frankfurt, not only at restaurants are you expected to tip, but there are also etiquette rules for other services you might use. Understanding these can make your interactions smoother and show your appreciation for the service you've received.

Tipping at Hairdressers and Movers

Hairdressers: In Germany, it's a kind gesture to give your hairdresser a tip. Aim for around 10% of the total bill; if you've had a more complex service or feel particularly pleased with the work, a little more is a nice way to express your satisfaction.

Movers: If you're using movers, tipping isn't a standard practice in Germany, but it's welcome if you're happy with the service. A reasonable tip might be €5 to €10 per mover, especially if they've handled your belongings with care or helped during difficult weather conditions.

How to Tip in Salons and Pub Environments

Salons: Similar to hairdressers, in salons, a token of gratitude is valued if you're pleased with the service. Whether you've received a manicure or a facial, consider tipping up to 10% of the service cost.

Pub Environments: When ordering at a bar or pub, although not mandatory, rounding up the bill or adding an extra euro for good table service is a polite way to tip. This applies even if you're just grabbing a quick drink. For instance, if your beer costs €3.50, giving €4 and saying "Stimmt so" (keep the change) is a good practice.

Published: 31-01-2024

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