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New tipping/gratuity policy....SXM !
Posted by: BIGDENX (
Date: April 01, 2010 04:08AM

Hey !

NEW tipping policy on SXM !

It’s official! The SMHTA ( St. Maarten/Martin Hotel and Travel Association ) has published on their virtual website a few guidelines for gratuities. Rather than quote, I’ll give an overview. The guidelines are geared towards tourists and local residents alike.

On the French side a tip of 15% is included in all bills even if it was not on the menu in bold print. This is because restaurant owners pay their staff exceptionally well and themselves even better, take long trips and support their favorite casino on a regular basis.

Local law allows any explanation of where the tip goes and who gets how much. The Association awards a stunning crystal lemon trophy each year for the most creative explanation.

You should not leave any gratuity on the French side EXCEPT in these cases:

Waitperson smiles and attempts English,,,,,,,,,,additional 3.5 %
Waitperson does not snicker when you attempt to order in French……2.75 %
Combination of both above ….4.35%
Orient Restaurant allows you to eat topless……..2.75%
Orient Restaurant allows you to eat fully nude…..5%
Orient Restaurant provides towel to sit on while dining…..4%
Restaurant owner actually acknowledges you upon entry……3%
Waitpersons leave the bar and discontinue chatting with friends while proceeding to look for menus and turning down the music.

Conclusion….be careful; a really accommodating place can cost you 25% more for all of the above, but it’s worth it since you can go home and say you had the duck at your new best friend Gaston’s while fully nude,

On the Dutch side:

A tip of 15 % may or may not be included in the bill. If you don’t see it listed thus on the menu ask to see a rough draft of the menu which will be printed after your trip. That’s the new catch and it’s legal according to the experts on many travel forums with sponsors.

A 3 % tax may or may not be included in the final bill. Dutch side owners are allowed to collect because this policy is now in court at the Hague and just might happen!

The 3 % will be included after the 15% is calculated. ( some exceptions may apply…bring a calculator)

IF the 15% is not included you may tip what you like…this is usually determined by the length of time you have to wait for your bill while the staff talk on their cells to the kitchen checking if items are in stock or if Soggy Dollar has Industry Night after closing.

Others reasons for tipping up to 25% are as follows:

Providing paper cups for “roadsters”

Giving you the whole can if you order soda instead of a glass of ice and 2 ounces of Diet Coke.

Passing you a drink any other way than by gripping the lip of the glass between thumb and forefinger right after they have wiped the chairs at the next table with a moist grey bar cloth.

Not being fired, deported or quitting between the time you order and the time your food is delivered.

Coming back to the table to see if you need another drink.

Smiling more than once.

Telling you an item is not available before they serve the other 5 in your party.

Avoiding serving soup, salad, appetizers and the main course at the same time.

In the new rules a paragraph explains some unusual policy:

OVERTIP if you get to know the owner a little and can call him or her by name in a trip report.

OVERTIP if the owner provides a 15 cent shooter of bad rum and mango juice free before or after your meal.

OVERTIP if you get new clean cutlery for all courses and a spoon to stir your coffee.

OVERTIP if you’re seated on anything better than $8.98 plastic lawn chair or a wooden stool.

REMEMER …Dining is an experience on SXM that you won’t find anyplace else in the world. Restaurant owners have the challenge of serving shrink wrapped or frozen beef, chicken, pork and fish products (all from the same sources) in over 2000 different recipes….and that’s before the MSG !

These new rules are effective April 1st. 2010…..Happy April Fools Day !


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Re: New tipping/gratuity policy....SXM !
Posted by: annie (
Date: April 01, 2010 08:12AM

LOL Happy April Fools Day to you, too, Den!

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Re: New tipping/gratuity policy....SXM !
Posted by: GaKaye (
Date: April 01, 2010 08:23AM

Great one Denis!! No jet lag for you.....

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Re: New tipping/gratuity policy....SXM !
Posted by: Tabba Khady (Moderator)
Date: April 01, 2010 08:42AM

Funny, but a "sad" description (or impression) of the restaurant industry...It's not all that bad in reality! It's only about 150 recipes and since everyone is copying the otherone due o total lack oforiginality and creativity, it makes it more easy for us...LOL Guess it had to be taken at the second or third degree smoking smiley

Kind Regards,


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Re: New tipping/gratuity policy....SXM !
Posted by: BIGDENX (
Date: April 01, 2010 04:11PM


Philippe...don't take this seriously...have a laugh !


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Re: New tipping/gratuity policy....SXM !
Posted by: Ita (
Date: April 01, 2010 06:35PM

OH denis
you are such a trip!
Luving it! ROFL

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/2010 06:35PM by Ita.

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Re: New tipping/gratuity policy....SXM !
Posted by: bobastor (
Date: April 04, 2010 07:31PM

Glad to see that posters to this site have a sense of humor. Terrific post.

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Re: New tipping/gratuity policy....SXM !
Posted by: Isidorei07 (103.239.235.---)
Date: December 11, 2018 06:34AM

Oh! Good to know about these new gratuity rules here. I am going to share this post with my dad right away. He is planning to take an early retirement and I am helping him get all information possible. Good to come across this post.

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