If you are traveling to Paris, you may be wondering do I have to tip in Paris or what is the proper tipping etiquette in the city. The short answer is tipping in Paris is not necessary, however it is a kind gesture to leave a couple Euros if you had a great experience.
How much to tip at a restaurant in Paris
If you're running in and out of a casual restaurant very quickly, and paying with a credit card I won’t leave a tip. When I pay in cash, then I will leave a bit of change that I received. For reference, I won’t tip more than 1 – 2 Euros.
If you go to a fancy restaurant in Paris and you had a wonderful experience, I recommend tipping 2–5 Euros per person. The waiters and waitresses won't expect you to leave a 15% to 25% tip like you would in the US. On most bills you won’t even see a place to leave a tip.
How much to tip at a coffee shop in Paris
If you are traveling to Paris, you’ll likely find yourself at a coffee shop or enjoying fresh macarons. Typically, at a coffee shop, when I pay in cash I round up for my tip, for example, if the bill comes out to 3.60 Euros I will leave .40 Euros. If I get a takeaway coffee, I will not leave a tip.
How much do you tip at a bar in Paris?
When you go out to a bar in Paris, you're not expected to tip at all. I've been to it several bars over the years anywhere from an extremely fancy bar to a dive bar and it is rare to see someone tip the bartender. I always tell people if you had an incredible experience or you want to leave something special to your bartender, then definitely feel free to tip a few euros.
How is tipping different in Paris vs the US?
Tipping in Paris compared to the US is very different. In Paris the waiters and waitresses receive a normal salary and sometimes you will see a service charge built into the price. Because of these things, Europeans don't rely on tips to make up for their salary, they receive fair wages.
In the US, the salaries for a waiter or waitress at a restaurant or bar is extremely low and they rely on tips to make up for the income. Which is why you are expected to pay an additional tip amount between 15 and 25%.
Should you tip with card or cash?
There are two main reasons to tip in Paris was cash as opposed to card. The first one is that several reason places won’t allow you to add a tip via machine. The second is because when they add the tip it to the total bill, there is no guarantee it will get to the server. I recommend carrying a few euros with you in case you would like to leave a tip.
Will the waiter get insulted if you don’t tip?
No, the waiter will not get insulted if you don’t tip. They will get excited if you do leave a couple euros and I will make their day.
Final thoughts on Tipping in Paris
If you are grabbing a drink or dinner in a tourist area and are speaking English, I’ve seen the waiter ask directly for a tip, this isn’t common behavior but something to be aware of. Remember, don’t feel pressured to tip, do what makes you feel comfortable.
Sincerely Petite in Paris,