We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Tip vs. 15% service charge

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
190 posts
35 reviews
Save Topic
Tip vs. 15% service charge

On another travel board, which I am having trouble logging onto, there is a discussion about a restaurant adding a 15% service charge and whether that service charge goes to the waitstaff as a 15% TIP or goes to the establishment as an extra 15% charge. I had always thought that the 15% was a waitstaff tip and always thought it was a shame that people would only leave 15% even when the service called for 20%. Have we been unknowingly "stiffing" the waiters by not leaving a tip on top of the service charge? No wonder a waitress ran after us at an Dawn Beach restaurant claiming that we had taken her pen?

Staten Island, New...
Level Contributor
14,144 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Tip vs. 15% service charge

Tipping can be a bit tricky to tourists. That's because there is nothing called "tipping" in France. It is called "service". And service is included usually in your hotel rate and in your restaurant prices.

In regards to restaurants, if the service is included the menu will have clearly written on it "Service compris" meaning that service is included and it's usually 15% of the tab. But local custom is that if you are very satisfied with your waiter's service then you may leave a few spare change in addition.

The tricky part is when a patron asks the waiter if the tip is included in the total and the waiter will say "no". That's because it's true, there is no tip so he will say "no". Then upon hearing that the patron will leave a tip of 15%.

Recall that the service of 15% is included already in the total so the service plus additional tip will have come up to 30%!

So don't ask if the "tip" is included-ask instead if "service" is included. If yes, then no need to leave anything unless you are very happy and satisified with your server; in that case leave some loose change or so in addition.

Over on the Dutch side the service charge is added as a line item to the check.

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
311 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Tip vs. 15% service charge

you have watch for sure which rest add the charge and which ones don not. we got burned on that many years ago when we had no idea they were already adding the 15%.

Cedar Point, North...
Level Contributor
1,246 posts
123 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Tip vs. 15% service charge

Great explanation Bobcat!

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
190 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Tip vs. 15% service charge

Thank you very much. If the service is good, we always leave enough to make it 20%. Excellent explanation.

5. Re: Tip vs. 15% service charge

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 March 2014, 05:16