Ask Karen: Tipping the Gardienne

Dear Alex: When moving into a building, it never hurts to tip the concierge 50 Euros as a gesture.   After that, the amount you tip depends on the service you receive or require.   For example, does the concierge water your plants while you’re away?   Do they do more for you than the necessary and/or assigned chores?   Our gardienne and her husband (who live in our building) have been so kind that I probably over tip as I have learned that the person who controls the keys can be a lifesaver and I’m so appreciative. Maria goes out of her way to be friendly and helpful.   Jean has been known to come to my rescue so many times.     I tip at Christmas (300 Euros) and when it’s not expected, such as when they are going on vacation.  In addition, I often bring them a present if I am traveling or some flowers or wine. The French generally do not tip gardiennes a lot.  However, I find that if people are REALLY helpful, they deserve extra compensation since their salaries are extremely low. Hope this helps. Best,  Karen
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