This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
" I fancy all the good waiters leave Berlin, and that none but poor ones stay be hind. One meets with excellent German waiters in middle-class English houses, and never, as far as my experience goes, in Berlin. On the other hand, in the first-class hotels and restaurants in Berlin the waiters are models of attentive politeness and intelligence. I think the -way it works is this: Smart men intending to adopt the profession of the serviette, do an apprenticeship in Berlin, and then start on a grand tour through the capitals of Europe, learning languages and perfecting themselves in the difficult art of serving and satisfying all sorts and conditions of men. When they have acquired these qualifications, they return home and get good places at once in first-class houses. I had a chat on this subject with the head waiter at the Prince Heinrich Hotel in the Dorotheen-strasse, and he told me he had been .to Naples, Rome, London, and Paris. He could speak all these languages perfectly. One thing he told me which I found of interest, and which was that it is nowadays a matter of almost absolute impossibility for a German waiter to get a berth in Paris, and that he left because his French colleagues-made his life Intolerable for being what they were pleased to call 'un sale Prussien!' "There seems, it is true, but very little inducement to a good waiter to remain in a Berlin catering house, unless as Zahl-kcllner (cashier who receives all tips and divides them), or at a good hotel, where distinguished foreigners and distinguished tips are the order of the day.
I interviewed a waiter at a representative establishment, and he told me his wages came, after all deductions for breakage, washing, etc., to less than $4 a month, and that his tips never exceeded $20 a month at the most. He said the food he was supplied with was so bad and scanty (soup at breakfast, a plate of meat and vegetables for dinner, coffee at four, and Aufschnitt, or bread laid over with sausage or cheese, for supper), that he had often to buy food outside. All the beer he took from the establishment he had to pay for. Twenty or twenty-five dollars a month, at the outside, including board, seems to be the average lot of the German waiter in Berlin, and a very poor lot it is".