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Generally not, at least around here.

It's not expected, but nonetheless gratefully received if you do give something.

You have to remember that many places are family-run, so it's not a tip to an individual as such.

I'd say, 'do as you feel is appropriate according to what you've received'.  50% of the time, that = 0.  The rest, it = something (according to how good a lunch it was!!)  However, how do you ever know whether he / she sees the tip?

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My understanding was that at one time, waiting/bar staff in France were not paid a wage - the only money they received was from tips.  When I stayed with my penfriend in 1976, she was working at her aunt's bar/cafe (not really restaurant, but it was possible to get some food).  I remember that the tips went into a bucket, and at the end of the week, we all sat down at the table to count it all out and share it between her and the other member of staff.  Things have probably changed - laws have doubtless improved. 

But what about when you are taken on a guided tour of a castle or something?  I don't think those guides receive a wage either.  Yet how many people actually give tips?  My daughter was on an archeological dig in France last year and a member of the team was doing guided tours of part of the site and he didn't get paid.  I'm never really sure what to do on these occasions as it usually costs quite a bit to visit a castle, for example, so we feel we have paid enough - and of course there are volunteers at NT and English Heritage places and they don't get tipped either.  But guides in France tend to be students and in England the stewards are often retired (although there are students too).

It's difficult - when you don't know whether people are being paid, whether they expect/need payment, or whether they do it for the love of it.

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[quote user="chocccie"]

Do the French generally tip in restaurants?



In my experience no they don't.

A Fr. friend of ours is a rep for a medical sales firm and takes clients (mostly Doctors)  out for meals almost on a daily basis, he has told us that it is not done to tip in France. When we have been out for restaurant meals with Fr, friends I have noticed they do not tip the staff and it is not expected.

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