Letter: France is top for tips

Click to follow
Sir: Why is it that the British find the service charge so difficult to accept? Staff in restaurants work extremely hard; they are on their feet for three, four, five or more hours between tables and kitchen; their remuneration is below the wages 'norm'; they are the 'front line' of complaints from customers, and are generally treated as some lower form of life.

In France, 'tipping' in restaurants is a thing of the past. Fifteen per cent is included in the price for everything, including a cup of coffee at the counter in a cafe bar, and this sum is attributed to the staff of the establishment, from chef to doorman and hat-check staff.

The British attitude is coloured by the 'if the service is poor, why do I have to leave a tip' syndrome. In France, if the service is poor the restaurant gets the message very quickly by finding it is serving fewer customers.

Yours faithfully,


Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France

19 January