Thursday, October 12, 2017
In preparation for our trip to Paris my wife and I read up on tipping. Luckily this is simple because by law a service charge is already covered, built into the bill in both Paris and all of France. Whew! So it's straightforward, we do not tip at all. Great.
Ha. Not so fast bucko. They always start out telling you how simple it is and then the gobbledygook begins. This is some of what I have learned:
You only have to tip for great service, and there is no great service in Paris, but the waiters are really good at their jobs and work really hard so you should notice just how great their service is. Nevertheless you don't need to feel guilty for not tipping because waiters in Paris are very well compensated, like people here who work in shops or Bakeries. So don't tip anything, nothing at all, just leave the change, or a few euros.
It's okay to tip a little if you want though. For instance, it is customary to round up so that, say, on a bill of 17.80, you leave an extra euro. At a nicer expensive restaurant leave five percent, but if it's really fancy leave ten percent because you're just burning through money anyway at this point, so why not share? Give the waiter your $4,000 watch while you're at it you bloated glutton!
If you're not sure what to tip in a given situation watch what the Parisians do. Look for a table of beret wearing French speakers, and wait patiently for them to finish their three hour meal. Then ask if you can poke around in their little payment dish.
It's all very confusing and strange. But I think I have it all down, and I'm not inclined to complain. In brief:
Tipping in France is just like it is here in America, but using less money.