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Video: Is tipping dying out in French café culture?

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-08-02

Leaving a tip has long been the done thing in restaurants and bars, but today it's a dying tradition at the terrace cafés of Paris. A recent study showed that the number of patrons who never leave a tip has more than doubled since last year.

"I've just started my shift but I don't think I'll get more than 10 or 15 euros in tips," says a young French waitress. "It's going down."

It seems French café-goers are becoming more and more stingy.

A male customer says, "I'll tip when I'm happy with the service. But if I'm not satisfied I won't leave anything."

A 2014 TripAdvisor study notes that 16 percent of the French public never give a cent more than they have to. That's more than double the number last year, when only 7 percent admitted to never leaving a tip.

Relying ever more on credit cards, people tend to have less small change in their pockets. But that's just one reason for penny-pinching.

"Everyone, or almost everyone, is paid a salary. So they're asking themselves, 'Why should I tip a waiter, valet or hairdresser, when no one tips me for my work? I just have a salary and that's it'," says a second café customer.

Tourists are commonly more generous, especially Americans, who are used to waiters relying on tips to make a living, which is not the case in France. Some 60 percent of Americans say they dip into their pockets to leave a little extra every time they dine out.

 

Date created : 2014-08-01

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