It is evident that the number of tips drops year after year. It's becoming a more common trend. Sophie, who has been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years, observed the same thing as colleagues in other establishments in Valence-prefecture of Drome on Wednesday morning. "Regulars leave 50c, one euro. But lately, we've noticed that this is becoming less common for customers. It's worse for tourists: you don't have anything with contactless payments!
This observation is not exclusive to Valencia. Many professionals in the sector noticed a shift in customer behavior that is exacerbated by a decline in purchasing power.
Christophe Deuwille from Molans-sur-Ouveze in the south of Drome is a member of the Union of trades and industries of hotel industry (Umih). He explains that employees tipped 30 euros last month instead of the usual 45-47 euros per employee, which amounts to a 20% loss. This is a significant decrease that can be seen over the entire season.
One observation that is right on the mark is "For years customers have been paying more by credit cards and having less cash. So the drop in tips has not stopped." A solution that many professionals also want to see implemented is his suggestion: "As some companies have the opportunity for associations, it might be desirable that customers paying by credit card round up to the higher euro, and that any surplus be used for tips for employees. Even though it's not an essential requirement for job interviews, those who work in the catering sector appreciate ..."..
Worse, customers are changing their preferences in restaurants based on their economic status. "Tipping is an essential element: it has become less important over the years. It is not a problem for seasonal workers to rely on it. ", Raymond Laffond (president of Umih Ardeche) who also owns Le Panoramique, a restaurant in Ozon in the Rhone Valley.
He continued, "On the other side, and this is a constant whenever you have a drop in your purchasing power, there will be certain categories of people who eat at restaurants that tend to downgrade. At home, I have clients who are used to eating at gastronomic restaurants. This summer, it could be a trend that is also felt. It is possible that tourists will be less likely to eat at restaurants during peak season. We know they will pay more attention to their expenses. We can also fear that those who have been going to the most expensive places will stop going to restaurants afterwards.
The professional should also be concerned about the loss of revenue. "Restaurants shouldn't turn to readymade products because they lack staff. For example, we have a great start with local products and we must not abandon this trend!"
There are many factors that don't make Umih president lose his optimism. "The true assessment can only be made at the end of this summer. Perhaps, in fact, the French may choose to holiday at local places like the Ardeche this summer, and we might be pleasantly surprised by our establishments. This is what the Covid crisis taught us: While we were concerned about significant losses from the lack of foreign tourists, they have mostly compensated with their presence. ".