Leopold Brandmeyer, head waiter at the White Horse Inn »Weißes Rößl«, is in love with his boss, Ms Josepha Vogelhuber. She, however, has little patience for his passionate overtures, because, like every year, she is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the solicitor, Erich Siedler, for many years a regular guest at the inn on lake Wolfgang. Number 4, his favourite room, is already prepared. To keep his rival out of the house, Leopold lets room number 4 to Wilhelm Giesecke, textile manufacturer from Berlin, who has arrived with his daughter Ottilie. When Siedler arrives later, this leads to a predicable problem. Giesecke, already in a bad mood because of a patent dispute with Suelzheimer’s company, is not exactly enthusiastic to discover not only a rival for room number 4 but, to top it all, also the solicitor of the opposing party. Siedler, in turn, is very interested in Ottlile. In this relationship, Leopold sees his chance to rid himself of his rival. Meanwhile, Josepha continues to show disinterest in his advances.
After a quarrel, Leopold quits his job and takes a room as a guest in the White Horse Inn. Ottilie and Siedler continue to get to know each other better. Giesecke has also acclimatised himself. Together with Sigismund Sülzheimer, whom Siedler has appointed, Prof. Hinzelmann and his daughter Klärchen also arrive. Siedler convinces Giesecke to resolve the patent dispute by marriage and, in this connection, is given the task to prepare Ottilie to this end. The Emperor has announced his intention to attend the target shooting festival. Leopold – invited to attend a meeting of the town council instead of Josepha - manages to arrange that the Emperor shall stay at the White Horse Inn. He brings the news to Josepha, who cannot cope with running the hotel on her own. She asks him to help her, agreeing to follow his instructions. The situation comes to a head when Leopold, seeing Siedler and Josepha together during the arrival of the Emperor, reveals his true feelings in public.
Josepha explains her situation to the Emperor. He advises her to be content with what she has. The preparations for Siedler's wedding are in full swing. Meanwhile, Sülzheimer has won Klärchen over and is also planning to get married. Leopold goes to get his testimonials. But, instead of firing him, Josepha hires him - as her husband. Happy end all round.