In this guide we provide an overview of how to tip in Paris, including examples in different services and contexts. There are no hard rules however, only guidelines.
Tipping in restaurants
Tipping in France is not mandatory and is at the discretion of the customer entirely and their satisfaction with the service. In France, waiters are paid a minimum wage and do not rely on the tips of customers to make a living unlike other anglophone countries like the United States of America.
Restaurants with table service
In France, a service charge is usually included in the bill, so tipping is not mandatory in most day-to-day dining experiences. You will see at the bottom of the bill service included (“Service Compris”). However, if you receive exceptional service, or are dining at a high end restaurant it is customary to leave a small tip of around 5% of the total bill.
Restaurants without table service
In restaurants without table service, such as fast food or self-service restaurants, tipping is not expected.
Who does your tip go to?
In France, tips are usually shared among the staff. However, this may vary from one establishment to another. You can ask the waiter directly to find out if you are unsure.
Tipping in cafés and bars
In cafés and bars, it is customary to leave a small tip of around €1-2 if you receive good service. If you are sitting at a table, you can leave the tip on the table when you leave. If you are standing at the bar, you can leave the tip with the bartender when you pay. This is nearly always done in cash, not card.
Tipping delivery drivers
For food delivery, it is customary to tip the driver around €1-2 if you receive good service. You have the choice to either tip them on the app you used to order food, or with cash directly when you meet the delivery person.
Mail and packages
Tipping for mail and package delivery is not expected in France.
Tipping taxi drivers
For short journeys within the city it is not expected to leave a tip. However if you are taking a longer journey or have heavy bags, it is customary to round up the fare to the nearest euro or give loose change of €1-2.
Tipping barbers and hairdressers
In hair salons and barber shops, it is customary to leave a small tip of around €1-2 or round up to the nearest €5 or €10.
Tipping in hotels
In hotels, it is customary to leave a small tip for housekeeping staff (around €1-2 per day) and for bellhops (around €1-2 per bag). It is also customary to leave a small tip for room service (around 5-10% of the total bill).
Tipping the building ‘gardien’
In Paris, it is customary to tip the caretaker (“gardien”) of your apartment complex during the New Years holiday season. This tradition is known as the New Year’s Gifts (“étrennes”) and is considered a year-end bonus for the caretaker. The amount of the tip can vary, but some people suggest giving around 10% of your monthly rent. For example if your rent is €1500, a gift of approximately €150 would be adequate. The gift is normally handed in-person with cash inside a card.
It is important to note that this tradition is not mandatory, and you should not feel obligated to participate if you do not wish to do so.
For other services such as spa treatments or guided tours, it is customary to leave a small tip of around 5-10% if you receive good service.
How to leave a tip
When you pay with cash
If you are paying with cash, you can simply leave the tip on the table or hand it directly to the person providing the service.
When you pay by card
When paying by card, some establishments may have an option to add a tip when you sign the receipt or enter your PIN. If this option is not available, you can leave a cash tip instead.