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Re: Tipping ..especially on French side
Posted by: Rastaman (
Date: May 19, 2008 10:34AM

Thank You for the explanation Phillipe.

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Re: Tipping ..especially on French side
Posted by: AlanB (
Date: May 19, 2008 11:34AM

This may be oversimplified, but as I understand it, French St. Martin is considered to be part of France. From what we're told by knowledgeable travel experts, tipping, as we know it in the US, is not done in France. The standard 15-20% US style tip is simply not expected in Paris. If the service is exemplary one might throw down $5 or $10 depending on the amount of the bill, which might constitute 5% or so of the total bill amount, but that's it.

So I'm not sure exactly what the "service charge" has to do with it anyway.

Any clarification, particularly from Philippe, would be appreciated.

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Re: Tipping ..especially on French side
Posted by: kim (
Date: May 19, 2008 12:51PM

my understanding also - no need to put an additional 15-20% on the French side, you can add more if you'd like, maybe another 2-5%. Dutch side, if they are charging me 15% whatever they want to call it, thats the tip, and if it was great, I will add more. If they don't charge that amount on the Dutch side, then will tip like I do in the states. It just shouldn't be this confusing.

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Re: Tipping ..especially on French side
Posted by: irina (
Date: May 19, 2008 01:16PM

Right Kim,
And in France you just leave extra change in the tray. You do NOT tip 20% EVER.
Don't understand this explanation from Philippe if French side is a Collective or whatever. Still part of Mother France. And my first time in France I worked a little in our Paris office and they explained to me what to do.

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Re: Tipping ..especially on French side
Posted by: Barbara1 (Moderator)
Date: May 19, 2008 02:01PM

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 !!!"


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Re: Tipping ..especially on French side
Posted by: Tabba Khady (
Date: May 19, 2008 05:33PM

Barbara you don't need my permisson, no problem at all, plus it still on my website. You are also right: I was talking about the dutch side in my post here above since Captain Oliver's is on the Dutch side.
On my personal level, I beleive people cannot decently live with the kind of salary I mentioned, so I do tip on the Dutch side and do not considerate the service charge as a gratuity... 15 bucks won't kill me afterall on a $100 bill. But it's IMO.
I do tip also on the French side even though the fix salary is a little better than on the dutch side and since even if the service is included it is not redistribute fairly to the staff most of the time. But here also it is my choice. It is obvious that if I receive a terrible service I won't tip at all no matter what. But in all case I do not mix up "service Charge" and "tips" (gratuities). Plus you know Caribbean people have an excellent memory, and they remember their customers from time to time winking smiley, another reason why I beleive in tips.

Kind Regards,


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