Philippe was talking about the Dutch side. He did a very detailed explanation about french side tipping some time ago on the other board.
So,without Philippe's permission
, here is what he said about French tipping:
"The French side is France and under French Law. Restaurantor are not and should not be exempt to respect it. More and more of them , unscrupuleous and dishonest toward our touristic clientele, are adding service charge on the top of the Bill and this is totally outlawed. You want it or not... Netherless, they add the service charge only to the American tourists taking advantage of their lack of knowledge in the topic or their use and habits. Realise that they will certainly NOT try to add it to the bill of French or European Tourist or residents... I am sorry but this very unfair and calling some of the tourist stupid ! Greed, At the end, can only hurt our already very fragile economy
The law says
There is NO governement tax on the French side concerning the patrons.
Prices in the French side are net, which means that if there is a "service charge" as well as taxes, it is already included in the price.
The restaurantor has the right to include or not the service charge in his price on the menu, but if he choose not to include the 15% in the labelled prices, he has absolutly no right to add it afterward to the total of the patron's bill.
However Now, why sometime, when you ask to the waiter "does the service included?.." his answer will be : "yes, the service is included but not the Tips"... Here below is the understanding :
The "pourboire", or "tips" in English, is a certain amount of money given or left by the patron as a reward to an employee for his attention, kindness, and/or professionalism. It is alway optional and let to the discretion and appreciation of the customer. It cannot be demanded, required or requested in any case by the waiter or the restaurantor.
The service is a percentage perceived on the price by the restaurantor to cover part of the fix salary of his employees. If it exist it must be obligatory included in the price. The prices labeled on the menu are the prices payed by the customers. If the service is included, the menu must have the mention "Service compris" (service included) followed by the exact percentage. But again, remember that if the service is not included, it can be mentioned "service not included" BUT it cannot be charged to you afterward on your bill !!!"