French waiter accused of double-dipping tips ahead of Paris Olympics

This is scandalous. Parisians have accused cafes of double tipping tourists.Photo/Getty Images

Waiters and hospitality companies in France have been accused of cheating tourists out of euros by introducing a sleazy second tip fee. Cordon bleu!

Tourists on the boulevard near the Olympic Village in Paris report that cafes take tips of 10 to 20 percent. This is a condition even though the French menu price already includes tip.

Under French labor law, a 15 percent tip is automatically added to services in restaurants and cafes. This is one reason why France is not known for its tipping culture. However, it looks like the 2024 Olympics will bring an influx of international tourists and this may change.

With 15 million tourists expected to arrive at the end of July, the hospitality industry is hoping for a healthy decline in the tourism boom. However, local residents have accused waiters of scamming cafe patrons who don't know the tipping laws.

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“I've been shocked in the past to see waiters asking foreigners for tips. They were just taking advantage of them,” said Françoise, 55, from Paris. . times. “It's scandalous that they're doing the same thing to us.”

The phrase “le pourboire” (“drink money”) is not uncommon in France, where generous-minded patrons choose to leave some of their change behind. But the tipping mandate has infuriated local residents who were presented with card readers to refill their chips.

French broadcaster BFMTV found this to be the cause of Gaulish anger among Parisians.

Professor Olivier Babeau told the broadcaster he expected the additional tipping requirement to be due in part to the influx of Olympic tourists.

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The French have gained a reputation as mean tippers in cultures like the United States, where tips are used to pay the wages of service staff. But Babeau said this could soon change.

“I can only imagine that this is a way to get French people to leave big tips, or to get foreigners to tip as much as they would in their own country,” said the Bordeaux University professor. .

French hospitality is one of the country's proud exports. In March, to commemorate the start of the Olympic cultural calendar, Paris held an innovative race for hospitality workers, “La Course des Cafés'', in which they had to run 2km carrying a tray of breakfast menus on their shoulders. Ta.

Waiter Thierry Petit, 60, one of the more than 200 participants who has been waiting tables in the French capital for more than 40 years, said waiting is a matter of French pride.

“The pride of the French people is that they don't want to be trampled on in such a small profession,” he told The Associated Press.

If a tourist discovers that a waiter is double-paying Le Croissant Ootidien, the profession's reputation may be forever tarnished.

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