France isn’t a country that has a clear, set-in-stone gratuity culture. Yet, being one of the most visited countries annually, we’re going to explore the basics of how to get by in a country that takes food and wine as seriously as the Brits take their cups of tea.
Tipping in Restaurants in France
Tipping in French restaurants can be a little confusing due to the ‘service compris’ normally being added to the final bill amount. So, should you tip on top of this or is the included service charge enough? To ensure the tip goes to the waiting staff it is best to tip on top of this in cash.
Tip only on the level of service you receive and not necessarily the final bill amount (unless the service compris isn’t included – in which case tipping 10-15% is acceptable). A suggested additional cash tip on top of the service compris is 5-10%.
Cafe and Bar Gratuity in France
In a café, it is considered a nice gesture to leave the change or round up the bill to the nearest Euro. This also applied when having a drink in a bar.
Tipping Taxis and bus drivers in France
If you’re taking a taxi ride in France tips are not expected, but rounding up the bill is always welcomed. If the taxi driver goes out of their way to help you with luggage you can tip 5% of the total fare.
Similarly, if the airport bus driver helps you with your luggage then you can tip €1-2 per bag. No tip is required otherwise.
How to tip Hotel Staff in France
When you’re at a hotel there are often a variety of different staff who merit a tip. If someone checks your coat in at the hotel restaurant (or any restaurant for that matter) you should tip €1. Doormen, porters or bellhops should be tipped €1-2 for each bag they help you with or if they hail you a taxi.
For the housekeeping service, you should tip depending on how clean the room is. €2 per day is an acceptable amount to tip the cleaner. If they are your regular cleaner then tip them at the end of the week for the total days stayed and put the tip in an envelope. If the staff change on a daily basis tip them every day.
If you have a concierge who is extremely helpful with reservations, directions, recommendations and other advice, it is generally considered that you should tip €10.
Tipping hairdressers in France
If you get your hair cut in a salon or barbers then a 10% tip is recommended on top of the final bill.