How Much Should I Tip in Paris?

How Much Should I Tip in Paris?

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Tipping in France

Tips are expected in America, but what about in France?

Given the frequency of this question we thought it would be helpful to breakdown a few scenarios you are likely to encounter while travelling. Contact us if you have any further questions or would like us to help plan your trip. AmericanConcierge.com has helped hundreds of people make the most of their time in Paris and we look forward to helping you as well.

Bon Voyage!

Restaurants

The service charge is included in the price; however, additional 10% should be given for excellent service.

Waiters in France are paid a living wage and this is done in part by having a service charge included on the bill. Even though you have no obligation to leave a tip, it is common for diners to tip 10%+ as a gesture of kindness and also based on service.

Cafés

It is common to leave the change.

After having a drink people often leave the change. A common example might be purchasing a latte and snack for 4.75€ then simply leaving the .25€. If, on the other hand, your bill comes to 2.30€, you can simply leave an extra .10€ -.20€. The rule of thumb is if you can’t make the amount whole when you include tip, then just leave an extra and take the change.

Bars

Similar to the US, tip per drink, not by total bill

Just like in the United States, when you’re visiting France it’s common to tip based on the number of drinks. In the US for example, most people follow the $1 per drink and it’s the same in France. Higher end establishments where the drinks are 15€ or 20€ you might consider 2€ tip per drink.

Taxi

Small tips (5%) are common but not expected; tips should be given for great service

Similar to how you will tip at restaurants, taxis expect tips around 10%+ when they give great service. Did the driver help you with your bags? Did they point and described historic sights? Did they share general local knowledge about the city or area where you are staying? These are all questions you can ask to determine where on the 10-15% scale you should tip. If the answer is “no” to all of these questions than 5% is more than enough.

Tour and Private Guides

Tips are not expected but a 5-10% tip is common

Group and private tours are the best way to explore the City of Lights. If you want to take it a step further, companies like AmericanConcierge.com provide a wide range of unique private experiences. For group tours tips are not expected but it is common to give the guide 5-10€ depending on the number of people in your party. For private tours it’s more common to give 5-10% which typically works out to 10-20€ per tour. If you’re a larger group, consider tipping more.

Coat Check

Coat check tips are customary in nice restaurants

Similar to the United States, a tip of 1€ per coat is generally expected. If there is not a designated coat check and the waiter helps you with your coat a tip isn’t necessary but this helpfulness should be considered when tipping at the end of your meal.

Porter

It is not expected but appreciated to tip 1-2€ per bag.

Doorman

It is not expected but appreciated to tip 1-2€ if they help you get a taxi or something similar.

American Concierge creates custom tours that help Americans immerse themselves in a Parisian experience. For more information visit AmericanConcierge.com.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Some of this so-called guidance is bogus and should be ignored. Check the menu on any Parisian restaurant. At the bottom appears, “Service Compris.” That means service is included in the price of the meal, no tip is expected nor needed. Adding another 10-20% accomplishes nothing but lightening your wallet and confirming the opinion that Americans are gullible marks, easily intimidated. Restaurant tipping is out of control in the US, let’s not start the same madness in Paris.
    Likewise, why tip at the bar? The bartender is a pro, compensated by the mangement for doing his job, you are paying through the price of the drinks. Even more ridiculous is the idea of doubling the tip when the drink is more expensive. It takes the same effort by the mixologist no matter what the retail price is.
    Stop the tipping insanity, let people do their job and draw their salary. Don’t import American nonsense to France.

    • I agree, and found this article to be appalling. In one breath they state, over and over in each category, that tipping isn’t necessary and then they recommend tipping! This is serious b.s. It is the last bit of American neo-feudal pre-worker-rights habit that Paris, or really anywhere else in the world, needs.
      Encouraging American tourists to tip is irresponsible and will only help destroy a lot of the reasons why people visit Paris.
      Please, all American visitors, DON’T TIP. It is not expected and is a representation of worker exploitation. Don’t be a part of it.You are just undermining worker’s conditions and inevitably making it both more difficult and more expensive for everyone. And if you feel that “service” (really “servitude”) is not up to your standards then please, just stay away. If you really just want everything the same as at home, then why bother coming?

      I also note that this article is anonymous; the author doesn’t even have the courage of their own convictions.

  2. The article finishes with:
    “American Concierge creates custom tours that help Americans immerse themselves in a Parisian experience.”

    It certainly is not doing that by trying to encourage them to continue with their toxic exploitative labor practices. No self-respecting American Francophile would use a service called American Concierge. Contrary to the fears about little defenceless Americans being in jeopardy in Paris or France, or that there are all kind of traps waiting on the naive American visitor, really Paris and France must be one of the easiest places on the planet for Americans or anyone to visit safely. Certainly better than London where, despite (or because of) the common language they will find themselves subject to high costs and terrible service (and I don’t mean people gratuitously offering you “have a nice day” but lousy food, drink and extremely expensive taxis, subway etc). All these things are heavily regulated–and importantly, enforced–in France so you can have high confidence in the vast majority of transactions and service.
    In France you get what you pay for. More than that, tipping is zero guarantee of better service, and in some cases will earn you the opposite, contempt (which frankly is deserved). American Concierge is not doing its clients any favours by telling them to bring their habits over here. Don’t forget that not only are the wages and conditions, including overtime and holidays etc, mandated but every single French person you come in contact (from boss to lowest-echelon employee) has equal access to the best healthcare in the world.

    There have been moves for years in New York City to change these poor counter-productive practices. Here is a recent article on this topic.

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/22/restaurant-tips-hospitality-included-menus-new-york
    No tip for you: restaurants move toward hospitality-included menus
    As the industry tries to make pay more fair, efforts to end the tipping habit have been complicated by the impending raises in minimum wage in many states
    Edward Helmore, 22 May 2017

    A little over 18 months ago, restaurateur Danny Meyer announced that the famed cafe, as well as other full-service restaurants in Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, would phase out tipping, ending a practice that Meyer said has roots in slavery. The news sparked a national discussion on tipping in a country where gratuities have embedded themselves in the national culture.

    ………………………
    Incidentally it has been pointed out that an extreme form of this toxic practice, and one which is undermining your democracy, is the form of tipping known as political patronage. In America, no one does anything simply for their basic pay (not least the rewards of public service) but apparently needs a bribe–in this case from big business–which is essentially delivering a differential “service” to those who bribe compared to the those who elect those representatives. No surprise why they aren’t really working for you the voter. Sometimes it might even be a Russian company, not even American.

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