Whether it’s the fault of their infamous grumpy waiters or an unwillingness to shell out extra cash in hard times, the French are becoming increasingly less likely to tip, a TripAdvisor survey has revealed.
Indeed, 16 percent of the 1,978 French people questioned in the survey said they never tipped at all when they went to restaurants and cafés.
The figures show a sharp jump over the results of last year's edition of the survey in which only seven percent of French people admitted to paying the bill and leaving nothing extra for the service, according to Le Parisien.
Just 15 percent of French people said they “always” tip for service while on vacation and one third of respondents confessed to leaving less in 2014 than in previous year.
TripAdvisor spokeswoman Artiné Mackertichian told Le Parisien the figures are a symptom of the financial crisis in France coupled with an increased awareness of tipping tendencies around the world, which makes them less likely to tip at home.
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“Perhaps it’s also because the French, who are travelling more and more, realize that in some countries tips are used to pay for service, whereas in France waiters, taxi drivers or hairdressers have a salary," she said.
The increased use of credit cards is also to blame, Mackertichian said.
“The credit card came in and, all of a sudden, we lost the reflex for leaving a tip.”
In the survey, which also looked at the tipping habits of American, British, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian, Russian and German travellers, Americans were by far the most generous, with 60 percent saying they would “always” leave a tip.
This tendency was noted by Michel Tschann, president of the hotel union UNIH in the Côte d’Azur.
“The Americans are by far the most generous,” he told Le Parisien. “The Russians, who are very numerous in the French Riviera are also [generous].”
Germans were the second most likely to leave a tip, at 49 percent. The apparent stinginess of the French was only outdone by their Italian neighbours, with only 11 percent of Italians saying they always left a tip.