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No tipping necessary in France? Is that really true?

No tipping necessary in France? Is that really true?

Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:26 PM
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No tipping necessary in France? Is that really true?

From what I have read in various guidebooks, tipping is not necessary. As an American so conditioned to tipping for everything, I find it so hard to believe that this custom is not practiced elsewhere. I may visit France next fall and I want to be sure if I should leave the server a gratuity or not. With the sorry state of the dollar, believe me, I would rather not have to spend any more than needed.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:42 PM
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It is perfectly acceptable not to leave a tip as service is included. If you ask them if service is included they will tell you so. If you ask them if TIP is included they will tell you it isn't. A tip is something extra you may want to give if a waiter has gone out of his way to make your evening special, but is certainly not required, unlike in the US.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:49 PM
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Thank you Patrick. I was reluctant to even ask this question . I did not want to come across as being stingy. I would not mind leaving a little extra especially if the waiter is charming. Don't you find Patrick, that tipping has gotten out of hand in this country? Sometimes it is very difficult to determine whether and how much to tip. I find that there is a jar on every counter in every store you go to. It has become somewhat annoying.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:49 PM
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Aggie--I am afraid Patty boy is a bit on the el cheapo side. Gives Americans a bad name, it does. I always throw in a coin or two for good measure and to express kindness and gratitude for good din din.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:57 PM
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Patrick, beware!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 06:02 PM
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If paying in cash you can leave the loose chane on the table. But when I asked my French friends, the general concensus was that tipping is unnecessary; they don't do it.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 06:03 PM
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that's loose <i>change</i>
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 06:04 PM
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Yes, it is sad when someone comes here just to bash other posters. It is also strange that this person is pretending I've said something I didn't. I didn't mention that I normally tip at least 10%, often more in France, as I generally feel most servers have spent more time than usual with my poor language skills and my asking specific questions about the meal. But that wasn't the question. I remain with my stand that tipping is not necessary. That was the question --not &quot;how much do YOU tip.&quot;

I guess fitzwillie is either unable to read, or unable to comprehend what he does read.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 06:06 PM
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But wouldn't we be regarded as somewhat foolish if we were to over tip in France? I somehow doubt that the French place jars on counters in stores for tips somehow. This must be a trully American thing.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 06:44 PM
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If &quot;fitz-willies&quot; ever makes it to Europe, it won't be the tipping that makes Americans look bad.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:06 PM
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all the posts seem to address tipping in restaurants; is the op asking for information beyond that, such as in hotels, taxis, and so on?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:07 PM
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Tipping is not necessary, that extra expense is usually included as the cover charge. However, if the service is above and beyond exceptional, then feel free to leave a couple additional euros. I have done so just once, but have never felt compelled to.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 01:15 AM
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I would like to know where in the US that tipping is REQUIRED??????? It is certainly customary but it is not required in any establishment I have ever stayed or eaten in with the exception of mandatory gratuities that are added by establishments for certain numbers of people eating, etc.

What is &quot;sad&quot; is when people feel they have to demonize others because someone has had the temerity to disagree with them.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 02:17 AM
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This is a bit of an aside but it brought something to mind. I was visiting a friend of mine in Brussels where she was living for a year and she pointed out that the locals were actually increasingly 'irritated' by tourists, predominantly American (nothing personal, just that your tipping culture is to my - and their - mind quite structured and excessive) who tipped everyone for everything. As a result it was starting to creep into the culture as a whole in Belgium. So beware!

I'm a very confident traveller but the tipping thing is the one thing I hate. I know that over here (London), we pretty much only tip cab drivers and hairdressers as a matter of course - and waiters if the service charge isn't added. Anyone else is entirely subjective.

But land me in Italy, France, America, Australia, Russia, India, Guatemala and no matter how many guide books I read, I know that I'm going to panic everytime I pay for anything or anyone tries to help me!!
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 02:58 AM
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Tallulah, your friends--were they also Brits?--are just cheap and want Americans to be their scapegoat. Many locals DO tip in Belgium, particularly in French-speaking Belgium (the Flemish and Dutch are well known for their &quot;crocodile arms&quot;--that is, their arms are too short to reach their wallets). I lived there for five years and saw many examples of locals tipping. Example: at my hair salon, which is on the upper floor of a building, doesn't take walkins, and is patronized 85% by Belgians (they don't speak English). The tip jar by the cash register is alway full when I get there for an afternoon appointment. The cafe we usually went to was WAY off the tourist radar and had few American customers except us. The locals usually tipped a few euros for a meal (this was an inexpensive place) and some loose change for drinks. At one of our favorite restaurants, Les Brasseries Georges, it would be the rare customer who did NOT tip around 10%. At The Kitchen, the hot new cafe in the Sablon, the Belgian patrons also seem to be leaving tips, usually in the 5 to 10% range. At the hip and in demand Lola restaurant (also on the Sablon), those who don't tip do so at their peril--one Dutch patron refused to tip and was followed out of the restaurant by the waiter and asked if their was a problem with the service.
People who don't want to tip will always find an excuse to do so. Tipping has its benefits. One of our favorite Italian restaurants is very busy and tables are hard to get without reservations. But as we were known as decent tippers, the waiters always found a way to squeeze us in, even when the place was packed. And we usually got a free glass of wine as well.

Re hotels, I always tip chambermaids on a daily basis, usually in the 1.5 to 2.5 euro range. A small price to pay for someone who cheerfully cleans toilets all day.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 03:12 AM
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BTilke: Whoa there!! My friend was just explaining to me what her Belgian friends had said to her and I was simply using that as an example of cultural difference. I wasn't intentionally trying to insult the Belgians - after all I later freely admitted that over here WE don't have a tipping culture.

And as for being cheap and wanting Americans to be our scapegoats, where the hell did you get that from??? I was only referring to the fact that tipping in endemic in the US and therefore those from the US tend to carry it with them when they travel. I made NO judgement as to one system being preferable to another.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 03:21 AM
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&quot;And as for being cheap and wanting Americans to be our scapegoats, where the hell did you get that from???&quot;

Actually, I got that from a very funny, detailed and pointed article in The Times on just that subject--British tight fists v. American open hands (in terms of tipping). And also from our experience living here in the UK v. living in Belgium (and living in the U.S. of course).
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 03:24 AM
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Yes but I wasn't trying to make scapegoats of the Americans - it did rather feel as though you were attacking me and my friend personally - and I think it rather bizarre to make such sweeping generalisations...
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 03:29 AM
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Well, we knew a few Belgians working in bars patronized by Brits and to a lesser extent Americans--they often sighed over how the Brit customers were a lot more &quot;work&quot; than Americans--they demanded more things, got drunker (and more loudly and obnoxiously drunk), and seldom left a tip despite their being among the customers deemed most &quot;high maintenance.&quot;
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 03:36 AM
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I tip everybody who gives me good service. bellmen , barber, waitresses, waiters, car rental lot person, newpaper carrier, starbucks counter, person etc. Most of these people are not paid that well and need the extra cash. I do it in the USA and also in Europe.
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