I want to report something that happened in the past week at the recommended Altes Hackerhaus restaurant in Munich. It is a very cute place inside and out with good German food, with an excellent location near the Marienplatz. BUT after our meal, the waitress brought the bill, which we rounded up as is customary. She got ANGRY and said we weren't in America, where bills INCLUDE the tip, but in Germany, where they are not. Anyone who can read German can clearly see that there is ALREADY 19% tip added to the bill. She was wrong on both counts. Unfortunately after a very fun evening at the restaurant, we were really upset by her very angry attitude. I hope she doesn't convince travelers that they are dumb Americans who don't understand restaurant bills. We have travelled in Europe extensively, and I can assure you this was THE most unmpleasant experience we have EVER had in a European restaurant.
That 19% is the sales tax, not the tip. No place in Germany would add a tip, unless it was a large party and already agreed upon. The Service Charge is also not a tip, this is a charge that goes to the restaurant itself and not the server. Both of these items are already included in the price of your menu items, just like they would be in any store, but your bill will show them separated out, so that people who are claiming meals on their taxes can see how much the tax is. If you have the receipt, take a look at it again. Why didn't you speak to the manager, where they could have cleared this up for you?
Jo--thank you for posting such a clear response...that will help us in our travels next year