top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

How you tip is important

Economists warn that thoughtless and excessive tipping can distort the free market and even cause inflation.

The giving of gratuities for services rendered (tipping) is a curiously complex procedure with no precise rules. Most of us tip to avoid embarrassment or – we tell ourselves – to reward some smiling individual who we think has done a good job. Fortunately France has a fairly healthy attitude to tipping: you do it in moderation, if it feels right and never because you feel obliged to.

Economists, however, warn that thoughtless and excessive tipping can distort the free market and even cause inflation.

We may believe strategic tipping encourages good service but most studies show we are unconsciously suckers for the appearance of the person who serves us and their superficial friendliness rather than their efficiency and dedication. Sociologists, meanwhile, see tipping as an easy way to replace a sincere human relationship with a mercenary transaction. A tip has even been described as the price one person pays to demonstrate his superiority over another – who will pocket the cash but despise the giver for the implication. If you are going to tip in France, how you do it is important. Always make sure you exchange a few personal words with the receiver so that you are not merely exerting status. Everyone who works hard appreciates (and deserves) a little extra but not at the expense of human warmth.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now