American Restaurants – WHAT TOURISTS NEED TO KNOW


Hey everyone, Dana here! It’s a restaurant…they serve food. Can’t be that different in Germany and the
U.S., right? Well, actually… I already made a video about the restaurant experience in Germany, so now I’m going
to look at the restaurant experience in the U.S., and you quickly arrive at the first
big difference as soon as you walk through the door. In Germany I’ve noticed that, at least at
restaurants that aren’t so fancy, you’re often allowed to choose your own table from
any of the tables that don’t already have a little reserved sign on them. Not in the U.S. In the U.S. you usually need to wait at the
front of the restaurant for the host or hostess to bring you to your table. Why? Because in the U.S. there are strict server
sections. Each server has a particular section for their
shift. Good customer service is a part of the restaurant
experience in the U.S., so they don’t want one server to get overwhelmed with too many
tables all at once, and then not be able to give each table that customer service, which
might very well happen if the patrons were just allowed to sit at whichever table they
want. And also servers make most of their money
from tips in the U.S., so the job of the host or the hostess at the front of the restaurant
is to spread the people out around the restaurant so that all the servers get a table and an
opportunity to make some tips. So if you show up at a restaurant and you
see empty tables but you’re told you’re told you can’t sit there or you’re told that there’s
a wait for a table, that would be why. Either the server just got a table and so
that server cannot take on another table at the moment. Or maybe for that particular shift, there’s
no server at the restaurant for that section of tables. If there’s a wait at the restaurant, then
you’ll often be offered to put your name on a waiting list. You give them your name and then you can go
wait at the bar sometimes if there’s a bar, or maybe walk around nearby for a few minutes,
or sit in the waiting area. Sometimes they will even give you a little
buzzer that goes off and lets you know when your table is ready. And this in particular is something that I
have never experienced in Germany. I have never gotten a little buzzer. Actually I’ve never waited for a table in
Germany. They just tell me, like, no I’m sorry, all
the tables are full. Goodbye. Once you’re seated at your table in the
U.S., you order drinks first and then after that you place your food order. And just a heads up, tap water is usually
free, and fountain sodas usually have free refills. But: fountain sodas. Not sodas that are brought to your table in
a can. If the soda comes in the can, then you do
have to pay for each can that you get. And unless you specify otherwise, the cold
beverages will usually come with lots and lots of ice cubes in them. So if you don’t want the ice cubes in your
drink, be sure to say so when you order it. Alright, so, you’ve got your drinks…now
you need your food. In Germany people often say “Guten Appetit”
before eating, but in the U.S. not so much. Sometimes someone will sporadically decide
to say “bon appetit” or, like, looks good, let’s eat. But it’s definitely not “a thing” that
has to happen in the U.S. for the meal to start. Okay, so dig into your food. Time to eat…with your hands? Yes, that’s right. I have noticed that in the U.S. it’s a lot
more common to eat certain things with your fingers, rather than with a knife and fork. Pizza, french fries, chicken wings; in English
these things are in the category called finger foods for a reason, after all. We eat them with our fingers. Somewhere between around your first and fourth
bite, your server will probably swing back around just to quickly check up on you, make
sure that everything is okay with your food, you need any other sauces or napkins or another
drink or a refill of your drink or anything else with your meal. So often you’ll end up, like, with the food
in your mouth like, uh-huhmmm! If you need to get the attention of your server
for whatever reason during your meal, it is considered impolite in the U.S. to shout across
the room at them or snap your finger at them. No, no, no, don’t do that. Just make eye contact with them across the
room, maybe a little, like, head nod, you know? Just pretty subtle. You know, it’s their job. So as soon as they just, you make eye contact
with them, they pretty much know you need something and they’ll come to see what you
need as soon as they can. Once you’re done eating, if you haven’t
finished everything, you are more than welcome to ask to take your leftovers with you. Now, at some places, the server will take
your plate and go into the back and pack your food away and then bring the box back to you
with your food in it. Whereas at other places, the server will actually
bring you a box, and then you have to pack away your own food. Then the server will usually ask you if you
saved any room for dessert and coffee. If you don’t want any dessert then they’ll
bring you the check, usually hidden away in a small black folder. They leave it on the table saying something
like, “I’ll take this whenever you’re ready.” And then you’re pretty much supposed to
pay and go at that point. They’re not rushing you…but, yeah, they’re
rushing you. Like I said, servers get paid in tips, and
restaurants make more money if they can seat another group at your table, and sometimes
there’s a waiting list. So there’s a lot of talk in the restaurant
business in the U.S. about turning tables quickly, getting people in and out, and then
a new group in. And yeah, I do miss some of my favorite foods
in the restaurants in the U.S., but I gotta say, I absolutely love and appreciate the
more laid-back restaurant style here in Germany. There’s no rush! No rush to get you in, get you out here in
Germany. And, yeah, I just, I really do appreciate
that. But I do miss some of my favorite foods in
the U.S. Mmm. Okay, so, now it’s time to pay. Unlike in Germany, it’s not usually very
convenient to split the bill in the U.S. That’s actually another thing that I really
like about eating out in Germany, super easy to split the bill. But unlike in Germany where sometimes you
can’t pay with a credit card. At some restaurants they’ve told me no, in the U.S. you can almost
always pay with credit or cash. Either way though, you put the cash or the
credit card in that little black folder thing, hand it back to the server. And then they bring it back to you with either
your change or the credit card and credit card slip for to go ahead and sign. Reading up online for this video, I found
that tipping is still often listed at 15 to 20 percent of the bill. But I’ve heard some people saying that it’s
actually shifted up a little bit to more like 18 to 22 percent. So I would love to hear from people working
in U.S. restaurants: What would you say is now the standard tip range? You can add the tip to the credit card slip
or make a line through that section and then leave cash if you want. But whatever you do, don’t forget to tip
your servers. Like I said, that’s most of their wage in
the U.S. so it’s really, really important not to forget. Gotta leave a tip. Sometimes restaurants will automatically add
the tip to the bill, for example if it’s a larger table, and then from what I’ve seen
it usually says on the menu that gratuity will be added for example, for parties of
8 or more. And then of course that is listed on the bill
there, and you know, okay, the tip has already been included. Um, I’ve often seen 18 percent. And so then you know, like, you don’t have
to give more. Of course you can if you’d like to. I’m sure the server won’t mind at all. But it does say there on the bill if the gratuity
has already been added. So my question for you is: What’s been your
experience at restaurants in the U.S. And for people who have worked in restaurants
in the U.S., as servers or any other position, what would you like people to know before
eating out in the U.S.? Please let me know in the comments below. Thank you so much for watching. I really hope that you enjoyed this video. And also a really big thank you so much to
our patrons on Patreon, who help makes these videos possible. Thank you so much for your support. If you’d like to check out our Patreon page,
you can find a link to that down in the description box below. Until next time, auf Wiedersehen! Wait. Wait, wait, wait. I can’t even snap. My snap sucks. It’s completely… Snap is, oh I snapped! Snapped when I didn’t even need it. This video’s making me hungry! For the host or hostest…hostess. The hostest… Host or hostess. Testing, testing. Testing, testing. Getestet.

100 thoughts on “American Restaurants – WHAT TOURISTS NEED TO KNOW

  1. Hey everyone!! ☀️ 😃 🌸 Hope this video is helpful for anyone going to the US!
    What’s been your experience at restaurants in the US? People who have worked in the restaurant business: what would you like people to know before eating out in America??

  2. To me it always seems like USA has some issues with the pricing. The grocerie stores don't put taxes on their prices and to me that looks almost like tipping. It is a price you have to pay, but it is not included in the price. I suppose it works like that everywhere in the US. As a Finn I find it super confusing. Here in Finland the prices that are listed are always the final price of any product. All taxes, service fees and such are always included. You can certainly leave tip in Finland too, but it is never compulsory. And as a Finn I cannot understand why wouldn't you as a restaurant owner pay more to their staff so they wouldn't have to rely on tips. That seems to me to be an obvious benefit for the place and I would definitely always eat in a place where I know the staff is treated well.

  3. I usually don't tip at all whether UK or Germany because the waiters are paid and I'm a broke student, the food itself is expensive enough. If the food in the US is the same price while it is expected that I tip I wouldn't appreciate that. But in London they also try to get you out but we just stay XD

  4. When I lived in the US (I'm Austrian) I was never sure how much i should tip, so I once asked a server at IHOP (who I already knew for a couple of months) and she said she always doubles the tax. And if the service was exceptionally great she triples it. I think that sounds reasonable. The only thing I hate about restaurants in the US is the "you can't split your check" thing. We always got food in large groups (6-10 people) so it was kinda annoying when one person had to pay everything and then everyone else had to give him cash back… also I hate the "let everyone pay the exact same amount" thing. My food was usually the cheapest (vegetarian/vegan) and I still had to pay ~5-10$ more each time

  5. that's absolutly stupid! why have the guests pay the waiters and not their Boss? I pay for food and a little bit for the Service but im not responsable for the income. 20%??? would never do that!

  6. some states in the use have laws that mandate colect all the tips for a shift and tey are equally dived between all servers .

  7. When I was in California and Hawaii I was very surprised about getting a refill each time the waiter walked by… I didnt get my glas empty 😀
    Another thing was that there was a lot of conversation/smalltalk with the waiter which I found very unusual.
    20% tip is pretty much. so you tip your waiter 10 usd when you have to pay 50usd? I wouldnt do that here.

  8. Hey Dana! Restaurant manager here. I would definitely say that the general expectation on tips is 18-20% these days. A diner might be able to get away with 15% if you're in a more casual restaurant (Ruby Tuesday's, Applebee's, etc) or in a less "in demand" area of the country, but I'm just outside of DC and I know that a good number of our staff sometimes struggle to make rent because the cost of living is so high. I love your videos!

  9. Thats why I dont like to eat in american restaurants. The tipping is'nt the problem. The pushy waiters are annoying!

  10. Where I come from (Romania) you don't have to tip if the service is bad. If the service is good, you usually tip between 5 %-20%. However, unless it's a fast food place or a coffee shop, you'll have to wait to be seated by a host. It is very rude to just go inside a restaurant and sit wherever you want and I can't even remember the last time I saw someone do that.

  11. As an American I tip 15%-20% if ai enjoyed my service, which is most of the time. The few times that I have had bad service I left a dollar or two to show my disappointment and dissatisfaction with their poor server skills.

  12. tips should be higher now, because minimum wages (including waiter minimum wage) hasn't been raised in 20 years and the republicans just blocked its increase again.

  13. I really liked the US dining out experience. I tried as much variety as I could from fine dining in a suit to roadside diner breakfast and staff were always friendly, food was always great, places were nice and clean. As for tipping I love the tipping culture the US has. I always like to tip big I think it makes everyone feel good.

  14. In the US you can get bad service and they still expect a tip, more so in chain restaurants. Anyone visiting the US should visit small owner run restaurants, the food might be a little more expensive, it might not, but it will probably be better quality and the service will be much much better and friendlier.

  15. Maybe the amount of restaurant tips in the US have increased because of the tax increase. To determine the amount of the tip, many people pay double the pre-calculated tax. In my state the tax is about 9%, so I'd be tipping roughly18%.

  16. Who can't be arsed to wait 5 minutes for a table at a busy restaurant? Does seating really matter beyond "booth or chairs"? Splitting a bill is as simple as just putting in your share and walking away (or paying back the person who uses their card, say by buying them a couple of pints later). Estimating your total bill is as easy as price of food + bit for tax (you should always carry more that you need anyway). Tips are completely optional (ethical debate aside). Not so complicated. Every country does things a bit different, but at the end of the day it's just exchanging money for food. Be polite, in the general sense, and you'll be fine. 😉

  17. Some of my BRitish friends have been asked if there was a problem when they left the standard British tip of 10% in an American restaurant. Tipping is considered to be a comment on the uality of food and service, so if you do plan to go under the standard range, you may want to have a reason.

  18. Snapping fingers is also very impolite in Germany too. Exceptions may be Bavarian (or other) beer halls. And yes we adopted the "everything is fine?" question in the restaurant (at least here in North Germany).

  19. When I was in Canada last year we went to a place called "Bierhaus" (our local friends chose it XD) and to make it easier my boyfriend payed for our drinks.
    1. I tought it was rude of the waitress that she came in the middle of our stay and said her shift was ending and she wanted for us to pay for the drinks she brought us (but it was ok). we got a new waitress afterwards.
    2. When I saw the receipt after payment it said "you owe" and then the amount – I thought that it sounded kinda rude, but ok.
    3. Then I noticed that what we "owed" was much larger than the cost of our drinks. after calculating it was about 25%.

    ARE THEY CRAZY??

    When I read online before the trip i learned that 15% tips was the norm – which I think is pretty high already. but i also read about how the waiters depend on that money.
    BUT to put it on the bill saying we "owe* them tips and then just adding wathever they want is awfully rude!!! I decide if and what to tip depending on the food and service… grrr.

    That was the only negative exprience I had in Canada – so in no way did I want to make bad publicity – it was an amazing holyday.

    And sorry that for me Canada and America sometimes seem to be the same. I did not want to speak bad of any of them when I say somehing I think is true for both of them.
    But when I'm already on the topic: can somebody native tell me, are the Canadians and the Americans similar? or not?

  20. Hey Dana ! In 2014 we visited Hawaii. Two times we eat in Bubba Gump. First time we ordered Soup and a main course. Ich schreibe mal in deutsch weiter … Die Bedienung fragte uns, ob wir zuerst die Suppe möchten und dann den Hauptgang. Wir sagten ja, so macht man das ja auch. Beim 2. Mal bestellten wir irgendwelches Fingerfood aus der Rubrik Starters und einen Hauptgang. Wir waren mehr als erstaunt, das dann alles zusammen kam. Wir versuchten dann der Bedienung klarzumachen, daß wir den Hauptgang nach den Starters haben möchten. Gelang uns nicht so gut. Dann sahen wir uns ein wenig auf den Nachbartischen um und stellten fest, das dort tatsächlich Starters und Hauptgänge zusammen gegessen wurden. Wieso läßt man sich so viel auf einmal bringen ? Irgendetwas wird doch kalt ? Außerdem suggeriert doch der Begriff "Starter", dass dies der Beginn der Mahlzeit sein soll oder ?????

  21. As a german I think it is odd that you "have to" give a tip in the first place. In my opinion it is the job of the waiter to serve us food, be kind and respectful, just as I have to be during my work. It should be an option is you think that the person deserves it or that the restaurant was extraordinarily good. Also I'm a poor student, Fuck me right?

  22. Splitting bills among friends is not consistent across the US. In South Florida, I have found that splitting the bill is much less common than in other places where I've had servers even split an appetizer's prices among friends who are sharing it. So, it sometimes just depends on where you are.

  23. My exeprience of restaurants in the US: mountains and mountains of food. I always left 20 kilos heavier. Or I had to give up halfway, which is just as difficult, because it does taste good and I didn't want to waste any.

  24. the restaurant in our indoor playground close to munich has those buzzers, that inform you when you can pick up your food ^^

  25. On Saturday my family met at Friday's for my birthday. There was 18 of us there. Our waitress was awesome. She was very attentive and quick with refills and other requests. I'm a Stripes member (you earn points for each dollar you spend) The waitress gave me all of the points for the whole table. 266 points. That's enough for several free meals. so when it came time to tip her, I was very generous. I gave her $20 on a $50 bill. I was also making up for family members who are rotten tippers. I rarely get bad service in places that I go to on a regular basis.

  26. Eating in a US restaurants sounds awful. Should I ever visit the US I probably try to avoid restaurants.

  27. +Wanted Adventure ,I'm also from
    So. Florida & am Married to my German Hubby. July 24, 2017 will be our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. My German Hubby I met on Twitter in 2010. He was the one who flew to So. Florida To Surprise Me in Person. I still have my Home and Car in So. Florida. My ex-Husband Helps with taking care of my Home and Car! After living in Germany for 2 & 1/2 years, I still don't find the food appetizing. I don't like that the Malls close at 8:00pm and are closed all day on Sunday!
    Why is it hard to find a Great Steak here in Germany? Why are the quantities of food so limited? Why do you have to pass an A-1 Test if your German Hubby speaks English, as a 2nd Language, German being his first.
    Why isn't modesty provided while at Dr.s Offices? I have Lupus and the German Winters are brutally Freezing and not good for my Lupus, here in Germany. I Love ❤️ my German Hubby, Castles, Architecture, Festivals, Medical Care…(except for the lack of Privacy involving Medical Situations, here in Germany), if you're modest, forget about it and get over it, because it doesn't exist here in Germany!
    So basically I dislike the Food in Germany. I'm a Nurse registered in Florida. In Germany my Hubby works.
    I'm literally so torn. So. Florida is so laid back and chill! While I do agree with you saying that Restaurant's here in Germany don't bother you or make you feel rushed, I rarely find food that I enjoy. I miss being able to go to basically anywhere at anytime in
    So. Florida. Before I Married my German Hubby, I said I'll say I Do, only if I can pick where We will live? He agreed and He even signed a Contract agreeing to My one request. This is my 2nd Marriage and German Hubby's first Marriage. His Mother said, Please don't take my Son away. I agreed to stay for 18 months. We applied for a Spouse VISA for him, next week is the last part of obtaining the Spouse VISA at the American Consulate. We filled out all the paperwork, and more paperwork, which included lots of Euros! He passed the Medical and did get the Vaccinations that were required. We've also been back to So. Florida on 2 Holiday Visits and in February of this year for my Son's Funeral. He was found dead on the Floor where he lived with my ex-Husband and my ex-Husbands live-in Girlfriend. My Son was of legal age, cause of Death has not been determined. It's still under investigation, though as a Nurse while viewing him in the Casket, I noticed that he had a massive head injury to his right temple. A Dr would call that Blunt Force Trauma. Well that was a terrible trip and I miss my Son so very much! My German Hubby and my Son were extremely close, making it just as hard on him as well as myself. We're dealing with the situation as Best as possible. Supporting each other! My German Hubby's Mother is not well Health-wise & he hasn't told her about moving to So. Florida?! As I stated previously, having Lupus and continued Flare-Ups has been quite difficult for Me living in Germany. I have all the underhosens and multiple layers of clothing, which is extremely hard to get used to, when in
    So. Florida I can wear Scrubs to work and casual clothes mainly on a daily basis, dressing up for certain occasions and going out. I Love the Family closeness that I have with my German Hubby's Family and Relatives. On the flip side food is a necessity of Life! If I haven't adjusted to finding hardly anything, that I enjoyed from the States, after 2 & 1/2 years, I doubt that I ever will? Where's the beef? I'm not a pork eater, except for bacon. Even then, where are the thick sliced bacon? I Loved cooking and baking in So. Florida. In Germany I struggle to find ingredients I need. We've ordered many things via Amazon, brought certain things back in our luggage. Idk, I have a legal pad with a line down the middle with the Pros and Cons of staying in Germany! It always has more Benefits that make sense for us to live in So.Florida. Then there's the part of Me, who will miss his Family. Also her, my New Mother In Law, possibly despising Me for taking German Hubby away?! Also having to take into consideration that Germany causes more Lupus Flare-Ups than living in So. Florida! I do believe that the Medical Care is much better in Germany than in So. Florida or, any part of Florida. So Germany gets a Plus for Medical Care.
    I've been watching you since I've been here. Also watching Get Germanized, who I also follow on Snapchat. Finally the Snapchat Spectacles are coming to Germany! I'm so torn and would appreciate your advice? So. Florida's Weather is a plus! I would give up, going outside in the Winter and live in Germany. I can always keep myself busy in our home in Germany. That's not a Problem for Me. We don't live in Munich. We're in West Germany, the Darmstadt, Bensheim, Heidelberg area. Is it possible that if We were to move to another part of Germany, that I would be able to find a better selection of food? My Hubby worries that I don't eat enough. I'm not underweight, I'm also not overweight. Eventually I will become underweight. My German Hubby also has seen that I cook and bake all the time when We've been to, now our home in So. Florida?
    You seem to have adjusted well living here in Germany? I would Love To be able to adjust here, if possible?
    I know that it's a lot to ask you for your opinion and advice! I have Great admiration for you! I remember my Hubby and I waiting, and finally getting to see your Mr. German Man! Btw, I do agree with you about German TV. It's hard for me to try to watch an American TV show, when the over dubb sounds nothing like the American actor! I watch YouTube via Chromecast, BBC News on cable and watch DVD Movies or Movies purchased at Media Mart or online.
    I'd be ever so Grateful for your thoughts, opinion, any advice!
    Danke 🙏🏼 ✌🏼

  28. As a german i dont see why it is my problem that the restaurant owners dont pay a normal wage. i am not responsible for the waiters income, his employer is. Just pay them a normal wage, that shouldnt be so hard.

  29. i absolutely hate the american tipping "system".. i wan't to know what a meal is gonna cost be before sitting down.. and i don't wanna sit there and judge how much my server deserves!.. it ruins the experience having to analyse the whole thing!

  30. 20% for standard service
    25-30% for excellent service
    15% for poor service
    10% for truly bad or rude servers, which hardly ever happens

  31. I must admit I actually like it very much not to be bothered by the waiters when I eat at restaurants. But I guess it'd be the other way round had I been born in the US.
    But there's something I find pretty annoying in Germany: After a waiter hands over the menu cards to new customers and goes away, they often come back soon to ask what we like to order. BUT they come around when we are still visibly studying the card, thinking about what we like to eat. I personally was brought up to close the card as soon as I know what I'd like to order so the waiter sees it and consequently thought this to be common here :D. Is it? Or is it in the US?

  32. in New York City we tip between 20-25% because the cost of living is so high. For me 20% is standard and then I add or lower depending on the service. My friends will double the tax and that is about 16% for a tip. Also topping in cash is better for the server. When you add the tip on the credit card some establishments will not pay that server until several days later once the transaction goes through and is verified. Also some company's stiff the servers their tip money. So it is better to tip in cash so you know the server gets the money.

  33. Oh and can you do a breakdown of the types of beer served in Germany? Here we have the larger companies ad then micro brews and there are about 5 on tap and about 5-20 in bottles. Is that similar in Germany? Is it mostly on tap? Is seasonal beer a big thing?

  34. In San Francisco I mainly go to the one of the numerous and wonderful I diners. So I normally have no issue with seats.

    The only place I ever had to wait for a table while several tables where still free was in the GDR when I was a child.

  35. I have been a pastor for 30 years. Most of my "office" work is done in restaurants, to be more visible in the community. My typical stay is about 2 hours, though sometimes it extends even to 3 hours. I try to be there during light-service times, such as for brunch or linner. If there during heavier times, I try to be mindful of the level of business and, if needed, I will cut my stay short. And, for tipping, I tailor it, not only to the cost of the bill, but also according to how long I stay. I have never had a problem with servers asking me to leave "before I'm ready." Thanks for your fun and interesting videos…

  36. You make really worthwhile videos and you explain America well for foreigners. Good Job! Where I come from in Florida 20% is pretty standard for tips.

  37. Before the great depression, it was actually considered un-American to tip. The feeling was that in a democracy everyone should get the same service whether you have money or not. But then during the great depression, it became trendy for people who still had enough money to go to a restaurant to give some extra cash to the struggling workers. Of course in the end all it really did was make the owners realize they didn't have to pay their staff as much as the rich people were just giving them money. So even today, owners don't want to actually pay their staff so now the patrons have to do it for them. And no, no one likes tipping — not even Americans. And yes you have to do it when you are in America anyway.

  38. They should just pay those waitress a decent salary, than you also don't need this tipping. Which as far as I know is totally voluntary to do, except it's consider very rude if you don't.

  39. My experience with restaurants in the US, compared to the information in this video, is that in the US, for one thing, the tip is extremely rarely added to the bill ahead of time. I think I've seen it maybe once or twice. Also, I am sure that the level of hardness of splitting the bill is different depending on restaurant, as some restaurants use different payment systems, and some systems I am sure make it easier than others to split the bill.

  40. You forgot portion sizes. The first time my wife ate and our foreign friends eat at an American restaurant, the look on their face when the plate is set down in front of them is priceless….. "All this for me????? It's effing HUGE!!!!!!!!!"

    I tell them to just wait till we eat at home. The portions are even bigger and never ending.

  41. I usually tip 20%. If they were great I bump it up to 25%, bad 15%, god awful 10%. I will also pay the check with a card, but tip in cash. If you tip on the card, it gets reported to the IRS as their income. When you tip in cash, they can report it if they want. People I know that have worked as waiters usually don't report it.

  42. In my country it is also almost mandatory to leave a tip for the service, but the amount in the US is much higher.
    Here we pay between 10-15%, so in the US it's basically twice as much. Not only that, but i just find extremely annoying how the taxes are not originally included, which makes you end up paying about 30% more than you had planned in the beginning of your meal!

  43. Hmm… I've worked in restaurants in Europe and we also always had sections, but the patrons could sit wherever they wanted. We knew our section, so it didn't really matter who sat in our section to us. It just doesn't really seem important. No waiting lists aswell. We also mostly did wrap up leftovers.

  44. I came to love the American system SO MUCH! When you get seated by a hostess, they already know you are there, so you don't have to wait until a server finally notices that you have taken a seat. Oftentimes, when you get seated, they immediately ask for your drink order, so you'll get drinks much faster than in Germany. Water (tap) is free with free refills, so if you are tight on money you won't have to spend anything on drinks. Ice teas are very low cost, sometimes as little as USD 1.25 for free refills. When you are done eating, they clear your plate. In Germany, often you sit in front of your knawed off bones until you are paying the bill – not very appetizing. I don't mind tipping for good service at all and feel that the need to earn a tip improves friendliness and service speed.

  45. WAITWAITWAITWAIT………..are we the only country with those little tiny ice cubes?? thats just not right, those are amazing!!

  46. There is a lot of resturants here in Connecticut where you can actually pick the table. They are usually pizza resturants or small diners you can actually pick your seat. I think it's more bigger or fancier resturants where you have to be seated or like the commercial line of restaurants like Ihop, Friendly's, Ruby Tuesdays, or Olive Garden, etc. They seat you in resturants, so it doesn't become chaotic for them to find you amongst everyone else and it's just easier for the servers to be able take your orders and such.

  47. I guess this is now a thing, but waitstaff CANNOT keep tips anymore, especially if there is a tip line on the receipt. it has to go in the system, be taxed, and then they get a small amount if that tip. and that is absolute bullshit

  48. I don't mind tipping at all. Depending on the type of restaurant, servers tend to me far more attentive and helpful, knowing that they'll be rewarded at the end of the meal. On the other hand, I found servers in non-tipping countries to be aloof and less than friendly, as if they are doing me a favor serving me.

    As for the tendancy of US restaurants to try and free up tables, often that is due to our system of allowing people ot make reservations. While I have never been ordered to vacate a table, If I know that people are waiting for a table, out of consideration, I will leave after paying If restaurant is quiet, we stay as long as we want.

    Also Americans don't like sitting around after finishing a meal unless they are part of group of friends. I think this is a cultural thing, with Europeans enjoying a lengthly meal following my coffee and drinks.

    What i found annoying in Europe, is people who order water or coffee , and sit around while slowly nursing their refreshment, while people are standing around waiting for a table.

  49. To be honest, I generally find American service levels to be overwhelming, stifling and intrusive and the concept of an expected and massively large tip shocked me.

  50. not every american understands your level how a restaurant functions. I wished they did. I work as a host and it gets frustrating when people ask to sit in a closed section, be put on a wait when we got tables open cause we are short staffed, ask for a booth after I showed them their table, don't like these chairs, noise, lighting ….I am so lucky I dont have to feed these people their meals

  51. There is one thing I'd like to add, as requested. To Europeans, food seems impossibly cheap in the US. This leads to erroneous ordering. One should not order the big portions because those are for families with children. E.g. a "whole pizza" in the US is about the size (surface) of two to four pizza's in Europe. A portion of spare ribs in a road restaurant would take me a day to eat and a week to digest. I ordered the too large a portions because of the prices. I figured, initially, that the price would be an indication of size. Not so in The Land of Plenty.

  52. I found service in stores and restaurants in the US very obnoxious as a European :p there is such a thing as overkill when it comes to service imo :p Constantly checking how the meal is, asking if I want something else, showing me merchandise in stores…I like being left alone when shopping or eating :p If I have a question or need something…I'll ask. My US friend found the service in my country lacking, store employees stand-offish by not approaching them.

  53. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/18/i-dare-you-to-read-this-and-still-feel-ok-about-tipping-in-the-united-states/?utm_term=.63b94b50882f

  54. I have one question about the drinks in restaurants. I sometimes like drinking only still water. Is it ok, not to order some, if the water, you already got for free, is enough for you? …it feels wrong not to order a beverage…luckily I have also been to restaurants where they served filtered water. It think it was always free, I can't remember paying for a can. It's a little confusing for me, I'm sorry! For being polite I always ordered something else to drink…
    And I can definitely not drink water with chlorine in it, can you because you are used to it? ….so mostly no ice for me 🙁

  55. there's a lot of people in the US that will not tip they need to tip their servers they think it's ignorant to believe a tip when I take them out I give tips I'm a big dipper

  56. I have to say… the service in the restaurants we went to (not too fancy, but nice places) wasn't worth the 20% tip. No difference really to German customer service. I don't count free refills and seating to the service. And much more "rush".

    I also noticed that the waiters get pissed if you don't order much… e.g. while waiting at the airport I went hungry, but my friend wasn't so we went to that pizza place and I ordered a pizza. The looks the waiter gave us were incredibly impolite.

  57. Maybe restaurants in Europe should just increase their prices with 5% so that people can have the convenience to pay with credit card

  58. i tip based on service. if it was horrible service i leave just $1 or nothing if it was the absolute worst. if it was really good ill leave 15%.

  59. I always hear people talk about eating with your hands, but I don't know what they're talking about. I only ever eat with my mouth.

  60. 15 to 20% is still the norm. Tend to be higher in more expensive urban areas and lower in rural America. 22% is ridiculous except for really wonderful service.

  61. Most places I have been to in the US if we want the bill split we tell the server when we order so they write it up separately to begin with.

  62. You get better service in America if the restaurant doesn't automatically include a 15%-20% tip to your meal cost. When I've experienced poor service, I leave no tip at all, so servers work harder at pleasing customers. If I eat at Buffets, which are very popular in Las Vegas with foreigners, I only leave a $1 or two on the table when we leave, many leave nothing since you are serving yourself. In general, if you are obtaining your food and bringing it back to your table, you do not tip in America. Some restaurants only bring you your beverages so leaving a small cash gratuity on the table when you leave is a nice gesture. If in a pub or bar, giving your bartender a small gratuity is a nice gesture too. Sometimes the bartender in return will give you a free drink or mix your alcohol concoctions stronger, VERY NICE.

  63. Many restaurants in the US employ "support staff" (bussers, bartenders, food runners, server assistants, etc.) who the server is required to "tip" with a portion of the gratuity they receive. Generally btwn 3-5% of the total sales b4 tax. Example: you've spent $100 (b4 tax) on your meal. No matter what u leave your server, the server is required to give $3-5 to support staff. If you attend a private function at a restaurant, the Banquet mngr also receives a portion of the service charge. So even when the restaurant includes 20% gratuity the server may only see 13% and that will be split by all servers working the event. Most US states pay "tip wage", so the restaurant is only required to pay "tipped" staff @ $5/hr.

  64. I'm Thai leaving in Thailand where 10% tipping are mostly included in a modest restaurant bill. But what I normally do is give an additional tipping in advance. I'll just ask a waiter or waitresse who is going to looking after me(our) table? Than I'll tip that person just by placing a reasonable amount of cash into her/his hand. By doing this that person can keep the tipping for his/her self right away without sharing. That way I always get the best service.

  65. If you use a calculator to tip, you're doing it wrong and you may be seen as cheap. I tip 20%, but I round up. On a $45 tab, 20% is $9, but I'll just leave ten.

    Also, bartenders get $1 a drink.

  66. As a former NYer please stay away from Time Square restaurants. Go off the tourist track and find a local restaurant. You'll have a better experience.

  67. sigh "they get most of their wage from tips" you say. But you are aware, that in all US states, without exception, the restaurant owner is legally required to make up the difference when an employee doesn't get enough tips to go home with the regular minimum wage on basic pay?

    I would continue to argue that tips are optional unless specified on the menu.

  68. Restaurant tipping is generally 20 percent now in the US, in a full service restaurant. In cities with a lot of foreign tourists, like Miami, the tip is often included in the bill, as foreigners aren't good at tipping. In New York, restaurant tipping is expected to be 25 percent now. The restaurants claim it's due to the expense of New York.

  69. How can it be at good customer service, to stand and wait around! When there is free tables, with the sole reason that the employer, doesn’t do what his (in my mind) obligated to pay a decent pay!

    And you never snap your fingers at a waiter, never. You raise you or get eye contact and act like you write ind your hand. But never ever snap your fingers, your are not trying to get the attention of a dog.

  70. I’ve heard that a standard tip rule of thumb would be double the tax. That’s often broken down. I often try to tip 25% great service 33% depending on size of my bill. One time I had a $100 bar tab and I tipped $50

  71. thing i noticed the most:

    1. everytime the waitress started to name all top dishes from the menu, which was fun the first time but started to annoy me fromoff the second time. and funny thing was that everytime they asked me: “do you want me to…”, i said “no”, which kinda shocked them and they automatically continued to tell me their daily specials, which in turn i said “stop, i dont want to hear it, i let you know when i want to order”… and that annoyed or shocked them as well… in time i began to do it on purpose just to see their reaction…

    2. a thing i never knew is that the usa etiquette is different. i saw a lot of people staring at me when i was using my fork and knife… me on the other hand stared at them as a lot cutted their food with their fork and knife, then layed down the knife and started to shovel their food into their mouths with their forks… for me this was very abnormal behaviour, i found it rude even…but i learned they thought the same about my eating habbits haha… so then i found out they eat differently..

    3. i found it extremely strange and rude to see people complaining about the most silly things like “my food contains too much salt”, “my meat isnt baked right”, or “this isnt a medium rare”… and not once, but sometimes twice or even three times in a row without feeling ashamed… meanwhile the waitress just kept smiling and almost acted like a slave and brought in new food for free. Here in Holland you rarely see people complaining and if they do it will happen only once a meal in very rare circumstances… if you complain three times in a row and the last time is for the lack of salt or someth8ng like that you probably will be kicked out the restaurant…

    i guess in usa the waitres is forced to keep smiling due to the tipping culture. which is positive service wise in most cases but has some downsides as well. here in holland if ima waiter and i feel a customer is unreasonable or rude i can just say that to him or yell back if needed.. customer isnt king here if you dont show respect as a customer..

  72. Thank you for the explainations. I've never been to the states and I guess without your video I'd cause a lot of confusion there. I still have no idea how this would look like to stand in a restaurant and wait for a table. It is a good thing that you let us know. I habe heard about the USA being keen on the use of credit cards, which in Germany is of course not common.

    I can share experiences from Cyprus.

    Here in Limassol, where I live, there are several types of restaurants and each has different experiences.

    We got the big four fast food restaurants here (McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut) where the experience is as I know it from Germany. Same for Starbucks, which is also a big thing here.

    Then you got the restaurants that are like more modern style and technically more sophisticated. Some issue a small credit-card alike plastic card to you at the entrance. You have to scan that card before you order at the kitchen counter. They also use the buzzers for your orders and you can just choose any food or combination of it as available by the menue card. You won't have waiters / servers there, so you're supposed to pick up your food from the kitchen counter. You're free to pick any table and after meal you just leave your plates as they have a cleaning team. You can pay at the exit and it is up to you what you tip. Some restaurants would keep a small collection bix for tips at the casheer counter.

    Then you got the small snack bars, usually with traditional greek and lebanese food, but made like a fast food dish. The experience is similar to the Döner Kebap snack bars in Germany.

    Last on the list are traditional restaurants. They are usually run by families and serve home-made style greek and middle eastern food. You will see the kitchen counter and casheer counter is the same. Also, you can just point at things and select a custom combination of dishes and food. All in all, the experience can be combined with some smaller greek restaurants in Germany. You can tip small or big, it is up to you.

    What makes them different is the fact that you have occasionally live music from greek singers and bands. The greek speaking world is a narrow market, in Greece for example you got 60% of the total population living in Athens and also Cyprus has mainly the big four cities (Nicosia 480k, Limassol 180k, Larnaca 40k and Pafos 80k) and Ayia Napa, the tourist spot. Small villages are usually communities of up to 400 people. So naturally, artists are more down to earth and closer to their audience.

    Restaurants here keep fridges with cold beverage, which you will definitely frequent. The climate here is comparable to the area of Los Angeles amd San Diego. So very hot and in the coastal regions humid.

    Water is sold here in bottles and it is recommended to buy them. The water from the tap has a low quality. It is not recommended to order it. Cyprus is technologically inferior to Germany amd their waste water treatment system is not like in Germany. The water is ok for dish washing and house cleaning and you can drink it without suffering a severe health sdamage. However, you should refrain from drinking it regularily or from using it for tea or coffee.

  73. Much of the rushing guests in the U.S. does not apply in really upscale restaurants, especially at dinner. They only plan to turn each table once or at most twice a night, and the way they try to get better tips is by superlative service. But at lunch and in cheaper places, I have to say (even though I am an American): damn! I get tired of being rushed. And they espcially rush me since I usually am alone so there will only be a small bill at my table which often could seat 2 or even 4 people. But I would also add on the plus side that in the U.S., it is easy to find good food (NOT the fast food places), and the portions are typically larger than in Europe.

  74. One thing about tipping: everyone can do what they want, of course, but PLEASE: DO tip well for good service, but DO NOT tip well for lousy or non existent service. I ran restaurants for 3 1/2 years and I can tell you that when you get poor service, 95% of the time it is because of a lazy server. The other 5% is when a server has been assigned too many tables, or when the kitchen is slow. But I used to have guests who were wondering where their food was, why their drink had not been refilled, etc., so I would go looking for their waitress and she would be somewhere in the back, or even outside, on her cell phone. Too many people just tip a standard 20% or whatever and it gives servers no incentive to give good service.

  75. I often do'nt tip here in Germany, just because I think thats totally understandable If you go to school or just started to work. If I'm.suprised by fair prizes I will totally tip, but If i wonder about the really really expensive prizes at the particular restaurant I feel absolutely not like that i want to tip

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