As we are already on the topic of cultural differences, I would like to bring up another difference we noticed.
For the past few days we had a friend from the US stay with us and we explored with him the beautiful landscapes of southern Germany. During our trip we went to a few smaller restaurants as we were looking for traditional German food. We got a taste of a Bavarian breakfast with Weisswurst and Brezel and sampled many other local foods, such as bread dumplings, flavorful Obazda and Leberkaese.
As amazing as the food was, the service wasn’t.
In the US service is everything, in Germany we noticed it’s a bit less. One specific example would be the service at a restaurant. When going out to restaurants waitresses in Germany seem less attentive at first.
Where in the US you may already have a refill on your drink, the waitress in Germany may just come around to give you the menu. Service is slower. I noticed this surprised our friend, and I remember how my husband was surprised about this at first as well.
See it from the bright side, it may take a bit till you have the menu or place your order, but this gives you time to look around to notice the many small details in the decorations many German restaurants have. Or use the time to chat with the people you are having dinner with. Isn’t that what makes a dinner more enjoyable? The conversation and not feeling rushed?
After finishing your meal you are welcome to stay, browsing the menu or not, nobody will rush you. For me that makes dinners more enjoyable and relaxed. I can actually enjoy my food and a nice conversation without feeling rushed!
And when I am ready to pay I will ask for the check. As different to US customs the waitress won’t bring it unless you ask for it.
So just as an advise take your time when going to a restaurant and just accept the slower pace of service, though the tasteful food.