The cheeky, cheeky French... (Or; strategies to screw the tourists over and over).
I haven't been writing much about the customs of France, despite having technically lived here for a bit over three years now. I might return to my French experiences in future blog postings.
First of all, I really like a lot of things about France and the French; I really do. But if you're just a visitor, and especially if you know no French, be aware that the French restauranteurs/taxi-drivers/shop-owners/etc will all do their best to screw you. Sorry, but it's just a fact. At least here in the south.
Visiting the film festival with friends over the weekend, we got to see yet another clever strategy someone has come up with to squeeze more money out of the tourists:
As far as I know; by law all French restaurant bills include 15% tip. Unless your check says "Service non compris", there's 15% in it for the waiters/staff already. The French embassy-website in the US says:
The bill in restaurants and cafés often includes a 15 percent tip. It is referred to "service compris." However, it is customary to leave small change unless you are dissatisfied. If the service is not included in the price, "service non compris," a 15 percent tip is customary. However, in chic restaurants, leave a generous tip.Relying on American tourists' notorious uncertainty when it comes to tipping percentage, some enterprising restauranteurs dodge the rule: While including the compulsory French "Sce compris" on the bill (== tips already included), they also added: "TIPS NO INCLUDED" in English, hinting to foreigners that a solid 10+% additional tip is expected. How cheeky is that?
Tipping in France is not compulsory but recommended.
Anders Jacobsen |