Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris

Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris
Relax with a glass of wine at Cafe Marly overlooking the pyramid entrance to the Louvre.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tips on tipping in France.

The most frequent question I am asked about dining in France is "What about tipping?"

Here are the basics:

You are not required to tip. A 15% service fee is automatically included in all bars,  cafés, and restaurantsServers in France do not live off of tips. They get paid vacations, health care, and living wages.

A service charge is almost always added to your bill. Depending on the service, it’s sometimes appropriate to leave an additional 5 to 10%. The menu will usually note that service is included (service compris). Sometimes this is abbreviated with the letters s.c. The letters s.n.c. stand for service non compris; this means that the service is not included in the price, and you must leave a tip. You’ll sometimes find couvert or cover charge on your menu (a small charge just for placing your butt at the table). 

Don’t ever call the waiter “garçon.” Though sometimes in bars a Parisian will use this word, travelers should never use it.

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