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Gratuitites #124250
03/15/2017 12:55 PM
03/15/2017 12:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 12
Florida
E
edhouk Offline OP
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edhouk  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2016
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Florida
My understanding is that many restaurants on the Dutch side will add a service charge. What is customary on the French side, at a restaurant in Grand Case would you tip as you would in the US? Thanks.

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Re: Gratuitites [Re: edhouk] #124251
03/15/2017 01:00 PM
03/15/2017 01:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 535
norwalk, ct
D
Dansc Offline
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 535
norwalk, ct
depends. Check the menu, the check and ask before tipping. The french side is france where tips service charges are customary.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: edhouk] #124252
03/15/2017 01:07 PM
03/15/2017 01:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,451
Staten Island
Bobcat Offline
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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 if there is a service charge it is added as a line item to the check . Not all restaurants include a service charge.


[Linked Image]
Re: Gratuitites [Re: Bobcat] #124253
03/15/2017 01:23 PM
03/15/2017 01:23 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,698
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Auburn, WA
"Recall that the service of 15% is included already in the total so the service plus additional tip will have come up to 30%!"
Actually it would amount to a few % points more as you are tipping on the already included tip/sc.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: edhouk] #124254
03/15/2017 01:28 PM
03/15/2017 01:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 884
Cobourg Ontario Canada
J
jeepers Offline
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Cobourg Ontario Canada
We do 10% all round unless it says it's included.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: edhouk] #124255
03/15/2017 01:34 PM
03/15/2017 01:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,655
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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5% to no more than 10% but that is up to you. Service charge (15%) is built into the menu price. I guarantee, IF you ask if anything is included, the answer will be "NO".


J.D.
Re: Gratuitites [Re: edhouk] #124256
03/15/2017 01:42 PM
03/15/2017 01:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 310
Carib_Ian Offline
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And always in cash. You cannot add a tip on your total bill if you are paying by credit card!

Re: Gratuitites [Re: edhouk] #124257
03/15/2017 01:44 PM
03/15/2017 01:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,854
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Brookfield, CT.
edhouk,

There is a law/rule somewhere which says French waitstaff must be paid a reasonable living wage and French restaurants must include 'service' in their menu pricing to cover this living wage. This way the waitstaff is NOT dependent on 'tips' as in the USA.

The problem, as already stated is when we Americans ask them about a tip, and since the canny French waitstaff knows exactly what we're asking - in most cases, they say no - because there is no 'tip' in France. Ergo, the unwitting American puts another 15 to 20 percent on the bill, in essence double tipping.

Do yourself a huge favor and don't ask in the first place and there will be no confusion. If the service was exceptional you may want to leave a few dollars more but you don't absolutely have to and you shouldn't feel you as though you must.

On the Dutch side this shouldn't be an issue if you look at your dinner check. If there is an unaccounted line item amount on the bill, generally 15% of the check, whatever they call it, no additional tip is required unless you choose to leave one. Again, if you ask if the tip is included, the staff may say either, "No, " or "Yes, the tip is included but we don't get it," hoping you will tip them additionally. Believe that or not as you see fit.

As you can probably tell, the whole tipping scam on the island is out of control. I get it but I don't particularly like it. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by pat; 03/15/2017 02:01 PM.

Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Gratuitites [Re: pat] #124258
03/15/2017 02:33 PM
03/15/2017 02:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,698
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Posts: 12,698
Auburn, WA
Then there are some like jimbos that add the 5% tot in addition to the 15% to the bill. Look out for those that do that.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: SXMScubaman] #124259
03/15/2017 02:46 PM
03/15/2017 02:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,854
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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Brookfield, CT.
Oh, do you mean that 5% (used to be 3%) tot that was supposed to be paid by the merchant and NOT the end consumer? And who did they think they were kidding when that was passed.

Once upon a time, many years ago - SXM was known as a tax-free duty-free island....... and then they started adding on 'fees' as in departure fee right up to what we have today. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Gratuitites [Re: SXMScubaman] #124260
03/15/2017 02:49 PM
03/15/2017 02:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 124
kdsdance Offline
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Pretty sure it is illegal to add the turnover tax.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: kdsdance] #124261
03/15/2017 02:58 PM
03/15/2017 02:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,698
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Posts: 12,698
Auburn, WA
Just because it is illegal doesn't stop some places. Last year the waitperson in Pineapple Pete told me the 15% added was broken down as 10% gratuity and 5% TOT and that I should leave 5% more for the gratuity to make it a 15% gratuity. I just paid what was on the bill and told him to have a nice day.
Jimbos is just open with the fact that the TOT is added as a separate line item.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: kdsdance] #124262
03/15/2017 03:20 PM
03/15/2017 03:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,655
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Ohio
Quote
kdsdance said:
Pretty sure it is illegal to add the turnover tax.


Some places have been known to add it.


J.D.
Re: Gratuitites [Re: edhouk] #124263
03/15/2017 03:42 PM
03/15/2017 03:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,438
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
The service is included on the French side. The tip is not. They are two different things, and you will be told that the tip isn't included and must be left in cash. That's completely true, but the tip is a much smaller amount than you would leave in the US.
Here's a guideline for how to tip on the French side.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: GaKaye] #124264
03/15/2017 05:30 PM
03/15/2017 05:30 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,580
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Rhode Island
We bring a "ton" of $2.oo bills and merit them out according to service, a pour bore (tip) or as they say in New Orleans Langnappi.

Worth the surprise look on faces. Some we've tipped in the past even ask if we have some when we visit again.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: RonDon] #124265
03/15/2017 05:50 PM
03/15/2017 05:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 709
Chicago area & St-Martin
ChiTownHarry Offline
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ChiTownHarry  Offline
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Chicago area & St-Martin
Saw a new one on our last trip. Went to the Tree Top Lounge at Lotterie Farm. The bill said, "tip non compris" and "tip not included".


--ChiTownHarry
Re: Gratuitites [Re: GaKaye] #124266
03/15/2017 06:30 PM
03/15/2017 06:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,844
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
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Portland, OR
Thanks for that link, Georgia. I hadn't seen that page before.


[Linked Image]
Re: Gratuitites [Re: ChiTownHarry] #124267
03/15/2017 11:28 PM
03/15/2017 11:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 169
Columbia, SC, USA
DandM29212 Offline
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Posts: 169
Columbia, SC, USA
It's disappointing that we all love the food on the island to an extreme, but hate that paying at the end is so confusing and painful to all but the most seasoned SXM'ers. If only the rules were consistent! French side should be straight forward as Service being included, but then again as just one example of inconsistency, Club O's menu shows: Gratuity not included/Service non compris. Grrr!



[Linked Image]
Re: Gratuitites [Re: edhouk] #124268
03/16/2017 12:12 AM
03/16/2017 12:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 188
FL
B
bksm Offline
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FL
When I'm in the USA, I tip as I'm in the USA. When I'm in France, I tip as I'm in France. In France, service is included in the menu price and the waiters are paid a living wage plus benefits.

Tipping is a personal decision and you should decide what your policy is going to be prior to dining. As has been stated, don't ask at the restaurant about tipping. I avoid restaurants that are what I consider to be deceptive towards North Americans by stating service/tip/gratuity is not included (or something similar) on the menu. These include Sol E Luna, the Lotterie Farm, Friar's Bay Beach Café, Le Ti Bouchon, and Papagayo.

My preference for French St. Martin dining is to tip around 5% if the service was good. Some posters here tip nothing while others tip 20% or more. You should tip what you feel is right after learning basic French customs. Also, if I'm presented a bill that has a hand written note or rubber stamp that service/tip/gratuity is not included, I tip nothing as I feel that is deceptive and it's probably not done to European patrons.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: bksm] #124269
03/16/2017 06:57 AM
03/16/2017 06:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,020
Louisiana
o2bnsxm Offline
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Louisiana
Just to avoid missing anything that may or may not be included, I always leave a tip regardless of what is charged on the bill.

Last edited by o2bnsxm; 03/16/2017 06:58 AM.
Re: Gratuitites [Re: Bobcat] #124270
03/16/2017 07:34 AM
03/16/2017 07:34 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,294
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Posts: 1,294
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Thank you for a concise explanation of the SXM tipping issue. This topic has appeared on ttol almost as often as the "my car rental is better than your car rental" thread.
I think that all of us gain when we know the rules that apply and can appropriately reward good food and service. I have long had a problem with the automatically added 15% that assumes everything was fine. No rebate when the food was cold and or the service was lacking without the embarrassment of involving management.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: edhouk] #124271
03/16/2017 07:49 AM
03/16/2017 07:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,244
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Connecticut
French side---around 5%

Dutch side---15% usually added to bill--it will be a separate
item with food total.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: SXMScubaman] #124272
03/16/2017 08:05 AM
03/16/2017 08:05 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,451
Staten Island
Bobcat Offline
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Bobcat  Offline
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Staten Island
True, in theory, but of course that would be taken into account to keep it at 30% something neither you or I would do in the first place as 15% to 20% is more than enough. .


[Linked Image]
Re: Gratuitites [Re: The_Lurker] #124273
03/16/2017 08:58 AM
03/16/2017 08:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 355
S
sasasal Offline
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 355
Have to agree!!! When a service charge is added to your bill, and then on top of that you feel the need to tip? I belive this is a personal choice not an obligation. You can be sure most Europeans either do not tip, or give little... I know that for fact. So this is really an American thing. We are generous people and resturants know that. We will give what we feel, or if the service was so outstanding. But that's my opinion. People do what they want.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: sasasal] #124274
03/16/2017 12:39 PM
03/16/2017 12:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 13
Maine
golda1 Offline
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golda1  Offline
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Maine
It seems there is an expectation that restaurants on the French side routinely include a 15% service charge built into their prices. However, this is apparently not always true - an example being Auberge Gourmande in Grand Case who clearly state on their website that a 15% service charge is not included. When we have inquired about "service charges" being included at other Grande Case restaurants, the answer is typically no. It does get confusing to know how to best approach this without ending up leaving 30+% "tip" whenever we dine out.



[Linked Image]
Re: Gratuitites [Re: golda1] #124275
03/16/2017 01:09 PM
03/16/2017 01:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,655
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 15,655
Ohio
I don't think it is as much an "expectation" that 15% is included as it is customary, standard practice and basically how it is done in France.

To me, the best approach is do NOT ask. Leave a few $$ or euros (perhaps 5%-10% or whatever you are comfortable with) and be on your way.


J.D.
Re: Gratuitites [Re: golda1] #124276
03/16/2017 02:24 PM
03/16/2017 02:24 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,522
Manhattan
W
weeks5051 Offline
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Manhattan
It's my understanding that on the French side the service charge is not added to the bill because the waiter gets paid a regular salary by the restaurant. You don't tip a sales clerk in Macy's because her salary is built into the price of the item you purchased. It's the same idea on the French side.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: golda1] #124277
03/16/2017 02:26 PM
03/16/2017 02:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 188
FL
B
bksm Offline
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FL
L' Auberge Gourmande is another restaurant that I will add to my list to avoid as I feel their statement is deliberately made to cause confusion among North Americans and entice them to tip 15% more. I understand service to be the cost of the wait staff which is included in France. Unlike France, servers in the US are usually paid less than minimum wage and receive little to no benefits. They depend on American style tips for their wages.

For the restaurants that add the service/gratuity statements to their menus, do you think European guests dining there tip 15% because of the statement? Do you think that restaurant's prices are 15% lower than their peers for similar items to account for them not adding the service charge?

Re: Gratuitites [Re: bksm] #124278
03/16/2017 03:15 PM
03/16/2017 03:15 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 291
Chicago, IL
M
Mbrott Offline
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Posts: 291
Chicago, IL
Quote
bksm said:
L' Auberge Gourmande is another restaurant that I will add to my list to avoid as I feel their statement is deliberately made to cause confusion among North Americans and entice them to tip 15% more. I understand service to be the cost of the wait staff which is included in France. Unlike France, servers in the US are usually paid less than minimum wage and receive little to no benefits. They depend on American style tips for their wages.

For the restaurants that add the service/gratuity statements to their menus, do you think European guests dining there tip 15% because of the statement? Do you think that restaurant's prices are 15% lower than their peers for similar items to account for them not adding the service charge?


While I agree about L' Auberge Gourmande specifically saying it on there website and menu which bothers me at least it's specifically mentioned and not just printed on the receipt or stamped on the bill.

We ate there Monday night and it was FABULOUS!!! This was after meals at Piazza Pascal and Le Peminent.

Yes, the tipping this is aggravating and that 15% is probably meant for the US customers as the prices are the same as comparable restaurants that have the 15% added.

Tonight is either LaVilla or Ocean82. We usually do go the crepe truck for desserts!

Trip report after the trip.

Mbrott



[Linked Image]
Re: Gratuitites [Re: Mbrott] #124279
03/16/2017 03:22 PM
03/16/2017 03:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,168
North NJ, 1720 miles from Para...
Kathleen Offline
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Kathleen  Offline
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Posts: 1,168
North NJ, 1720 miles from Para...
Where is the crepe truck and is it there all the time (in shoulder season and high season)?


That's why I wander and follow La Vie Dansante, that's all I want, La Vie Dansante (JB)
Re: Gratuitites [Re: Kathleen] #124280
03/16/2017 04:42 PM
03/16/2017 04:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 181
pl3 Offline
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pl3  Offline
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Posts: 181
It's at the parking lot opposite Calmos

Re: Gratuitites [Re: The_Lurker] #124281
03/16/2017 04:45 PM
03/16/2017 04:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,244
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Posts: 2,244
Connecticut
Quote
The_Lurker said:
French side---around 5%

Dutch side---15% usually added to bill--it will be a separate
item with food total.


I was trying to keep it quick and simple, but it will never work....<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Laugh.gif" alt="" />

Just ran into someone born and raised overseas. He brought up the subject of tipping. He said that when he came to the U.S. he left up to 10% thinking it was an enormous tip. He then found out how waiters rely on tips here for income.
He also said in foreign countries, with a decent salary and benefits, a small tip is just a little extra that isn't expected, but appreciated. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />

Re: Gratuitites [Re: The_Lurker] #124282
03/16/2017 05:07 PM
03/16/2017 05:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,467
MIA
I
irina Offline
Traveler
irina  Offline
Traveler
I
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,467
MIA
No tipping on the French side. Just leave the change if it's small. Forget about service. Doesn't concern us.
It has nothing to do with Americans being generous people.
Think about it. It's about being uptight and worried people will think you are cheap.
You have a check and it's 19 Euro, give 20 euro and walk away.
cheers
i

Re: Gratuitites [Re: irina] #124283
03/16/2017 05:17 PM
03/16/2017 05:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,244
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Posts: 2,244
Connecticut
Quote
irina said:
No tipping on the French side. Just leave the change if it's small. Forget about service. Doesn't concern us.
It has nothing to do with Americans being generous people.
Think about it. It's about being uptight and worried people will think you are cheap.
You have a check and it's 19 Euro, give 20 euro and walk away.
cheers
i


Right!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Gratuitites [Re: The_Lurker] #124284
03/16/2017 05:44 PM
03/16/2017 05:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,854
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 12,854
Brookfield, CT.
Ayup!! This whole tipping thing is insane! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Gratuitites [Re: pat] #124285
03/16/2017 06:09 PM
03/16/2017 06:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 562
Maine
SXMbeacher Offline
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SXMbeacher  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 562
Maine
<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Yikes.gif" alt="" /> I'm just going to go to McDonald's for every meal! LOL <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />



[Linked Image]


Re: Gratuitites [Re: SXMbeacher] #124286
03/16/2017 06:25 PM
03/16/2017 06:25 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 492
New York, New York
G
gracie105 Offline
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gracie105  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 492
New York, New York
I really don't care about the service charge, if the service was great I always leave 20 percent or more, even if the service charge is included.I am a bartender in the states, so I live on my tips. I always appreciate when I am left a great tip.

Re: Gratuitites [Re: gracie105] #124287
03/16/2017 07:15 PM
03/16/2017 07:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 230
D
DarkDiggler Offline
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DarkDiggler  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 230
Quote
gracie105 said:
I really don't care about the service charge, if the service was great I always leave 20 percent or more, even if the service charge is included.I am a bartender in the states, so I live on my tips. I always appreciate when I am left a great tip.



Yes, I think most of us would consider approximately a 40% tip a great tip...

Re: Gratuitites [Re: gracie105] #124288
03/16/2017 09:52 PM
03/16/2017 09:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,467
MIA
I
irina Offline
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irina  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,467
MIA
What don't you understand? Don't give me that bartender in NY stuff. I was a GM in NY and I have traveled all around Europe.
No TIP! You think of TIP as tip. It is not the same thing.
Stop it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plus I lived there. In SXM.
Regretfully and not Cheers
irina

Re: Gratuitites [Re: irina] #124289
03/16/2017 11:44 PM
03/16/2017 11:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,045
COMMACK, NY
L
LONGISLANDSHARON Offline
Traveler
LONGISLANDSHARON  Offline
Traveler
L
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,045
COMMACK, NY
I was a bartender in NY for 32 years. I sure do wish all my tips were 40%.

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