Simply put

How much should you tip?

By Brenda Spiering, Editor,

Comments (210)

I find tipping a tad stressful mainly because there are no hard and fast rules about when to tip and how much. Sure, we all know that you should tip your waiter or waitress 15% but what if the service was excellent? Or poor? And what if you’re just getting takeout?

Image of a woman in a restaurant deciding how much to tip for the service.To help navigate the tricky field of tipping, I turned to Toronto etiquette consultant Lisa Wright of The Etiquette Advantage. The first thing she told me was I’m not alone in my confusion over tipping — it’s actually pretty common. “People do get anxious about tipping,” she said. “We’d love to tip everyone but if we did we’d be broke.”

This is where understanding the nuances of tipping come in handy. When deciding whether to tip or how much, Wright recommends you consider both the level of service you received and the particular situation. (You also need to consider local cultural norms.)

In a business context — at least in North America — Wright says the way you tip (or don’t tip) can make or break your relationship with clients or colleagues. “Not tipping when you’re in front of business contacts is a mark against you,” she says, adding that over-tipping in front of clients or colleagues is also a bad sign. “It could show them that you spend their money too freely.”

Another rule of thumb when it comes to tipping — be discreet. Don’t wave big wads of cash around to impress your friends or staff. Subtlety is key. And even when you receive poor service, you should tip something, even if it’s only a small amount.

Who should you tip and how much?

Wright offers the following examples of acceptable tipping in Canada:

Restaurant servers: 15% (or up to 20% if it’s a business-related meal). Getting takeout? No tip required.

Hair cutter: 10% to 15% (if it’s the salon owner, you do not have to tip, but if you get excellent service a tip is still a good way to show you’re pleased).

Hotel staff: Consider tipping housekeeping staff $1 a day. However, says Wright, put it in an envelope that is clearly marked “housekeeping” or “maid service,” otherwise they won’t be able to hold onto it (hotel rules!).

Taxi driver: 10% to 15% — if they handle your bags, add another $1 a bag.

The Emily Post Institute has even more examples on its website. For example, the Post folks say it’s okay to tip on the pre-tax amount on the bill (and in provinces like Ontario that has the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) that can save you big time!).

After talking to Wright, I definitely feel better about my tipping habits — at least I’m on the right track. How about you? Are you a big tipper or have you sometimes not tipped when you experienced bad service? I invite you to share your stories below.

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cornelius bergen on

typping is a leftover from slavery days which makes some people feel good and superior than the ones serving. I don,t go where typing is expected..

banu on

how would I tip at a spa for say services costing between $100-$200 ? also shld the tip % be calculated after tax?

Ivellios on

To be perfectly honest if the kitchen staff don’t get tipped out then I don’t tip at all

jaynesbooks on

Tips should be earned, not expected from a customer and even then it should be what the customer can afford. I know that some of you are going to say that if I can’t afford whatever the standard rate for tipping, that I shouldn’t go out then and if I do out, I should relegate myself to the fast food joints, which really don’t offer a lot of options. But honestly it should be up to what the customer (a) can afford and (b) feel that the server deserves. Just because somebody gives you a 10-15% tip doesn’t mean that they are a bad person, its probably because that is what they have budgeted for. If you don’t expect a tip, the tip that do you receive, no matter what the amount is, will be that much more appreciated.

Geoff Marcy on

When I was a server back in 2000, the industry standard used to be 10% for competent service, 15% for good service and 18-20% for amazing. I was making minimum wage back then ($5/hr). I never understood why servers feel entitled to a big tip.

Jessica on

I’ve never tipped housekeeping in a hotel:/ or a taxi driver, I tip waiters if we eat there and no matter how much the meal costs I usually do between $0-$2.

    thatladyisold on

    Stay at home Jessica. You can’t afford to go out.

      Bonnie on

      No wonder you don’t use your name thatladyisold. I would too if I was posting such a comment. Go out as much as you want Jessica. It’s your money and your choice on how you spend it. If someone is offended that you don’t tip them enough, they are clearly ignorant of the fact that tipping is a choice. It’s pretty obvious that thatladyisold is one of those people that thinks it’s an obligation. She is clearly not worth your time of day, never mind your money. But hey, it’s said ignorance is bliss, so she’s clearly in her happy space.

      armsbill on

      Tipping is optional. Some people tip too much, some tip little or not at all. Telling people to stay home doesn’t help matters. It still generates business. On average, I suspect servers do quite well with the tips and taking it out on individuals doesn’t help anyone. Your remark makes others not want to tip in case you want to know.

      Bonnie on

      You stay at home. There is no reason to tip unless a customer wants to out of the goodness of their heart. If they choose not to tip, they should still get quality service. That’s why you get a pay check. No matter what the wage, you are hired to do a job. You are not forced to take that job, you accept the job. If you feel you deserve better pay, take it up with your employer, not the customer. Your employer will then decide your worth based on your service. Believe me, every employer or manager knows if you’re worth keeping or not. Employers do not want to loose valuable employees. The time and expense to train new employees all the time is a huge pain and can eat into profits. If your employer tells you no raise or you’re free to leave, take the hint and do something about it. Not everyone is worth what they think they are. Your mama may have loved you and said you were the best, but not everyone will give you the same evaluation. Telling people to stay home, they can’t afford to go out is insulting and shows what kind of person you are, and believe me, it’s not a pretty picture.

helen on

I dont see why I have to be responsible to pay for part of anyone elses wages, that is the employers responsibilty not mine. I have to work hard and earn my money, I dont own a business , so I dont have to pay ANYONE a wage. Like I said, NOT my responsibilty. People have a sense of entitlement and think that they have to received a tip, well news flash, go talk to your employer, because it is their responsiblity to pay you, not mine

ella on

I own a business in Canada. I have done deliveries and have setup decor for weddings, graduations, etc. In 15 years I have been given 1 tip, which I politely refused as I was always told before that if you are the owner, you don’t deserve a tip. I never expect a tip though it did irk me when a mom of the bride tipped the music guy who came late to set up during the reception and ended the music early while I didn’t receive any for my early morning setup and tear down at the end of the reception. Sometimes you have to wonder. I don’t tip when its take out. I tip before the taxes, sorry, I am not going to tip 15% on top of the total that includes HST of 12%. Its bad enough the 12% tax but to expect me to pay an extra 27% on top of the subtotal is ridiculous. There should not be a button on the interac/credit card machine with the %, only $. I tip for good service, but I do reduce it if the service was extremely bad. There should not be a mandatory 18% – 20% for large parties. If you want more people to go out and dine, take off that tip % button and maybe give excellent service. In one restaurant in town I tip very well to one of the servers, one of her co-workers always seen the amount we gave BUT when our normal server was not working and the co-worker was there, she didn’t come back to our table until we were done our meal to ask if everything was okay and then dropped off the bill, no drink at all during the meal either. hmmm.. did she wonder when I didn’t leave a tip for her. You should not expect someone to help pay for your lack of wages, if it isn’t enough, get a different job or go back to school.

Marcus on

Look, why can’t we just all settle down and allow that tipping occurs. Let’s find a balance. Those who don’t tip, consider tipping given the comments here. Those who are tipping over 10% dial it down and on the pre-tax total. 10% is easy to calculate. If any of you feel like it’s too little, then feel free to increase it but not to 15% which is a 50% increase on 10%!! Just round up to the nearest dollar for goodness sake. If a movement to tip exactly 10% with some sort of rallying slogan to simply do a standard 10% the industry will adjust–menu prices will increase modestly, payouts will decrease, wages will increase, etc. It will all balance out. But a movement that the restaurant industry is aware of is needed and that it be written on each bill to signal that we patrons won’t tip excessively out of guilt anymore. How’s “NO SHAME” as a slogan. Put that on each bill when you tip 10% exactly on the pre-tax and be done with it.

And for the love of god, try to tip in cash as using machines cuts into the tip as debit, visa, m/c all take a chunk with amex taking the largest (ever wonder why so few merchants accept amex and why some only accept debit (debit is a fixed amount per transaction, I believe $.15-$.40. Visa, mc and amex take varying percentages of the transaction total), not to mention the restaurant owners hold all the “tips” meant for the servers and who knows if they give it all back to the servers.

Do not feel guilty about tipping 10% and then simply rounding up to the nearest dollar people. It is standard in all parts of the world where tipping is customary. It’s only in the US, the “richest country in the world” where the divide between the rich and the poor is so gross that the poor are paid less than minimum wage so that they have justified expecting patrons to pay 15, 20, 25%!

Let’s not become like the Americans. Dial it down Canada. 10% Pre-tax already! “NO SHAME!”

RS on

As a child I was taught to work hard and do the job right. When I tip, it is because of the service I am provided that I see as above and beyond the “requirement”. At a local restaurant that my family and I go to often, I do not tip just because they bring me food, that is expected to happen at a restaurant. Nor do I tip because it arrived it a timely fashion, also expected. I tip because the staff provide excellent service. I do not feel bad for not leaving a tip if I do not feel it was warranted, and I feel that if I left a tip for everyone it would just solidify that as a society we are willing to acknowledge and celebrate actions that are at times merely mediocre.

You want a rule for giving tips? If you would recommend an establishment, whether it is a restaurant, a taxi, a salon, or even a trade required in your home, based on the service provided, then tip that service. As for the amount to tip? Well, that is a different matter. It all depends on what you can afford, what you think is an appropriate amount, and just how good you feel the service was.

    Bonnie on

    Amen to that RS

SB on

WOW!! A lot of cheap people on here who have no idea how the industry works!

Here’s how it works: the prices of the menu items you consume at these restaurants are lower than they would otherwise be if the base wage for servers and bartenders was higher. This works in everyone’s favour – the owners’, the patrons’ and the servers’. How?

The restaurant is able to sell more items because they are able to sell them at a lower cost.

The patron is able to decide how much the pay their server, based on the service they received. This provides incentive to servers to do a better job and to go above and beyond. It provides incentive for servers who are bad at their jobs to look for something else, because serving isn’t cutting it.

The server makes more money the better they are at their job.

This is a fair system and I don’t understand why people are so angry about it. Tipping is expected here, it is not expected in other cultures. In those cultures, however, servers are paid a higher base wage. It all evens out. You might even say this system is MORE fair for the patron, as you have the freedom to decide whether or not a server is worth the added cost of leaving a generous tip. Where the base wage is higher, this is merely reflected in menu prices and passed on to you, whether you received good service or not.

I worked as a server throughout university and I can’t tell you how awful it is when people like you come in and leave nothing. As many others have mentioned here, most places require their servers to tip out a certain percentage of their sales, on the assumption that they are receiving a minimum of 10% on the bill as a tip. Where I worked, the tip out was 4%, which is actually pretty low by industry standards. There were times that cheapskates like you folks came in and despite my excellent service and friendly attitude, left me nothing for a tip – meaning that, essentially, I just paid to serve YOU.

If you receive absolutely horrendous service, sure, but if you receive mediocre service leave 5-10%, if it meets your standards leave 15% and if it exceeds your standards leave 20-25%.

    Neil McCubbin on

    We see lots of appeals from recipients of tips for generosity here. Just like the hosts of people (particularly unionised) who constantly complain they are overworked and underpaid. When I look at examples I know of first hand VERY few of the whiners are really working hard, whether for wages or tips. Those with a real work ethic get on with it and enjoy life, instead of whining.
    When my 16 year old came home with more money (partly tax-free) for working 6 hours in a restaurent than his mother, a highly qualified nurse in a top level Intensive Care Unit of a major hospital got for her 12 hour shift that night, I cut back on tipping.
    Working in a restaurant, bar or other job with tips is a free choice. It is only hard work for occasional short periods, and is rarely hot, dirty or dangerous relative to many jobs in the productive sector of the economy.
    Lots of people put up with the frustrations of dealing with the public without whining for tips (Store clerks, school teachers, bus drivers, call-center workers etc)
    I see VERY few tip-paying establishments advertising for staff, so they must be seen as good places to work by most employees. Thus, they are clearly not underpaid relative to other workers.

      SB on

      I wasn’t “whining” for tips – I was explaining how the industry works and why.

      When I was a server I made decent money too – but I sure wasn’t coming home with more money from a 6 hours shift than an RN would… I dunno where your 16 your old was working, but I’m curious as to how she managed to make so much $$…..

      I worked hard as a server and maintained a friendly and helpful persona throughout my shifts – even when dealing with drunks, rude customers, massive rush times, etc. I deserved every tip I earned and I knew it. There were others working in the same bar as me that made next to nothing – and whined about it. I never felt sorry for them.

      I have no qualms about people not tipping or tipping poorly for bad service – that’s the whole point in tipping, to pay the person what they’ve earned. What I DO have qualms about is the several people on here saying they outright refuse to tip on principle. They are taking their disdain for how the industry works out on the wrong people.

      bsenka on


      Tipped serving personnel bringing home several hundred dollars in cash per shift just in tips alone is very common. I know more than one professional who quit to go work at Olive Garden because the tips a lone exceeded their regular salary.

    Bonnie on

    SB, what you are not getting is that people don’t care how the industry works. They care about going out, having a good meal and good service. It is a break from the everyday hustle and bustle at home and work. Why should anyone tip for mediocre or bad service. All service should be at the very minimum good service. That’s what you get paid for. If my son doesn’t clean his room right, he doesn’t get his allowance. If my daughter does not do her job right and to the very best of her ability, someone could die. So, yeah who cares how the industry works, if the service is lousy, the food mediocre and the atmosphere is uncomfortable, no tip, period! And to be quite honest, I can cook and serve better meals than 90% of these places that call themselves restaurants nowadays. I can also set a table better. It is not up to the patrons to understand how the industry works, it is up to you and other employees to change it if you have to rely on tips.

    Sue on

    SB, it goes back to what I said before “I didn’t expect anything from anyone”. You’re the only one that controls what you’re doing to make money and how much. Btw, servers are not necessarily paid a higher wage elsewhere.
    I really don’t care how servers tip out because it’s irrelevant to me. If you had an “excellent and friendly attitude”, well good for you, here’s a pat on the back. Nurses and Doctors also have “excellent and friendly attitudes, plus they save lives” do you tip them???? Because I think they’re under paid, especially nurses. And no I’m not a nurse….
    Again, if you’re not happy with what you’re getting paid then do something about it, don’t point fingers at the public and tell them that they owe you…because guess what “we don’t owe you anything”. You want a tip, here’s a tip: take what you’re getting paid add 25%, so that when you find the motivation to go looking for another job that is obviously more to your standards, that’s the number you tell them you want. Problem solved. The world is better place now, no more tipping.

      SolitaireSally on

      Sue – thank you for that – I could not have said it better myself. I would love for tipping to stop completely and the people who work in the bars, restaurants and that sort of thing, get paid a fair wage in the first place. Perhaps those in government who set the wage guidelines should re-think the wage issue for servers, then tipping would not even be something that we need to discuss.

      Bonnie on

      Bravo Sue! And SB, maybe it’s just that attitude that gets you no tips. Without customers you have no job period. Never mind tips. Minimum wage beats unemployment any day. That sense of entitlement is why people hate tipping. Tips are a gift not a must. Apparently you missed one of life’s lessons. It’s called gratitude.

Kellie on

It’s frustrating for certain industries to tip and others to not. As a former cashier who bagged groceries as well at a local loblaws, I don’t understand how it’s any different than a waitress. I made sure the eggs were protected, the bananas weren’t squashed, the bags weren’t too heavy, breakables wrapped and always ensured the customer had everything they came for, and all the bags picked up at the end of the order. I certainly don’t get that experience myself shopping at most grocery stores, and it would have been nice to have been rewarded for that experience. I also didn’t make over minumum wage (Which I know is more than servers, cab drivers make but less than other industries that also take tips). There’s a difference between throwing all of your vegetables in a bag versus carefully placing and re-ordering them in a way that won’t damage the others. I know we weren’t allowed to take it but still. Anyone that goes over and above their job I think should be tipped if we are tipping as a society. If we aren’t tipping then no one should be tipped and industry pay standards should be raised.

Also, I normally tip 20% as that extra $1 or $2, is not going to make a difference to me whereas I know overall to the person I’m tipping it makes a big difference. I tipped 11% once and felt horrible even though it was a result of the restaurant serving shark fin soup (not on the menu) and the fact that I am an animal activist and look for these things before eating out really made me mad, and even though I was mad, I know its not the servers fault which is why I felt bad about taking it out on him. He wasn’t the greatest either and it was 11% on tax included (which I’m a dummy and always tip on even though I shouldn’t). So it was probably the 15%. I also know people who never tip on services such as RMT and I’m saddenned . It’s one thing to not tip based upon experience, its another to not tip for being cheap. My hair stylist I always tip $20 which works out to be from 10%-20% of my bill, depending on what I’m getting done. RMT, usually $10.

On the other hand, some restaurants we have found that the wait staff is not allowed to keep any tip. My brother in law and his wife frequently pull the staff aside to ask them if they get to keep any of it, and in quite a few more ethnic restaurants, the servers admit to us that the managers take it all and they get none. It’s sad to see managers taking advantage of more recent immigrants who might be on a workers visa or don’t know our customs. This is in Toronto.

njoy on

I worked as a server during my younger years but was never very good at it (the job requires a lot of focus, believe me). Still, I was friendly and got decent tips which I appreciated very much. Waiting tables is VERY hard work in a busy place and housekeeping in a hotel is truly exhausting. Later, I got an education and made a great deal more money doing jobs that were usually a) easier, and b) required less intelligence. A good waiter is considerably smarter imo than the average teacher or social worker.

Personally, I almost always tip because I appreciate the hard work and focus that goes into the job.

Crocodile Dondii on

These comments are evidently written by people whose expenses are being paid by their company, the Government, or they are well-p[aid executives to start with.

A 10% tip is fine if you received “good” (i.e. normal) service, or 15% for exceptional service. However this comes on top of HST in BC & Ontario which was another 13-15%, so your 60$ meal ends up 18$ higher than planned. That’s a lot of money simply going down the drain (or getting SHARED, as in may restaurants).

Tips aren’t AUTOMATIC. They are a reward for someone going above-&-beyond for you.

Lauren Vandorpe (@MissLaurenVxo) on

‘A monkey could do your job”….some people clearly have no life experience in working in hospitality, or with the public. In serving 5 tables, the server has to have organizational skills, be able to handle difficult situations and people *ahem*, be able to explain a menu and do a lot of multi-taskiing on their feet for 6-10 hours. Sue, you are generalizing an entire industry. The majority of the hospitality industry are students, who need to work evenings to pay their tuitions. Maybe the reason people are rude to you, is because you haven’t tipped in years for anything, and therefore are not following our cultural norms. Get real.

    Bonnie on

    Lauren. I was waitressing in a large restaurant when I was 14. That included hostessing and cashier work. Each waitress had a section to take care of. When taking the order we wrote down the table number (yes that had to be memorised) so we didn’t mix up orders. Politeness, a smile and efficiency does not take an education. I’ve also read a comment from Juliette Deschamps complaining that waitresses do not make the same minimum wage as everyone else. She’s in Ontario where minimum wage is $10.50 an hour. It is time that those in the service industry quit considering a tip as a right and instead be grateful when they earn that tip! Instead, total concentration seems to be to rush the patron in and get them out as quick as possible. Asking for a cup of coffee after a meal seems to bring startled looks from most waiters/waitresses. The patron has crossed the line between eating quickly and taking up space where other clients could be sitting. My favorite restaurant is one that when you reserve a table, it is your table for the evening or until you chose to leave. It is family operated, the food is exceptional, the ambiance is relaxing and cheerful, the service is impeccable, the prices are reasonable and there is nothing on the bill to even suggest a tip. And that is why they always get really good tips. I have never seen anything less than a ten dollar tip left on the table and some clients after having thoroughly enjoyed their evening have left as much as $50-$100 tip for a $35 meal for two. It’s called service people! As for cafeterias, no I do not tip. You are rushed in, serve yourself, sometimes even the cutlery has to be picked up along the way, and rushed out after eating what is usually pretty mediocre food. In fast food places you are expected to clear your table and dump it into the garbage. It is up to the owner to pay his staff for clearing tables and quickly wiping them off before herding in the next bunch of cattle (clients) for a quick meal in what is usually a very quick and unrelaxing atmosphere. To expect a tip for that is laughable. As I said before, go to school. And if you did and still can’t get a decent job, do not blame the public and expect them to compensate your wage.

      Sue on

      Lauren, obviously your another one that expects everything for nothing. I used to be one of those students. The difference is that I didn’t expect anything from anyone without working hard for it. I worked three jobs to pay for my university studies, my own car, rent, food, and eventually buy a house etc. If there’s an issue with how much people are getting paid and then maybe they should have the initiative to go looking for another job, or work more than one job. Or complain to the multi-million dollar companies that are making record profits about not getting paid enough. Regardless, nothing comes free…and certainly not from my wallet. More and more people are starting to realize what a rip off most of the service industry is coming. And so they should. It’s plain and simple…if a restaurant wants me to come and eat at their establishment, then I will come and gladly pay for my meal, but I will not be paying extra for their employees. The cost of that is already accounted for in to the cost of the food and 800% markup on alcohol. At least the kids these days have an endless amount of job opportunities…why don’t you try telling your story to someone that grew up in the 80’s or parents that were trying to feed their families during that time….there wasn’t any choices. So suck it up and work for your money like all the generations before you did.

Sue on

The service industry has gotten stupid. People are rude and helpless, and they expect a tip regardless of service. I’m not here to pay the wages of big businesses. And to contribute to tax free money for anyone. (Majority of tips are not claimed as wages). I havent tipped in years for anything, and plan on continuing that way.

    beckstar78 (@beckstar78) on

    You may already have done this but, if your server is rude, helpless and exhibits signs of expecting a tip, perhaps you should talk to their manager or leave a written comment noting your displeasure. This might not be the case, but maybe you are a crappy customer with no manners, with above average demands, who never tips and the server has served you multiple times. No excuse, but there are often two sides and I rarely see any co-workers give grief to a customer for no reason.
    In my experience, I always give the same friendly, prompt, attention to detail service to everyone, as return customers, regardless of tipping, are helping the business succeed, who in turn provides you a paycheque.

Bonnie on

My daughter got sick and tired of waiting on other people and cleaning up after them in hopes of getting a decent tip. So, she applied for student grants and went on to become an RN. Now she’s in a job she loves. She still does some of the same type work, cleaning up after patients, waiting on them, and a whole lot more but she is also saving lives, so, her work has meaning. So for any of you out there complaining that you’re not tipped enough, get off your backsides and get an education! My daughter did it and she’s a single mom with 2 kids, so don’t tell me it’s too hard.

Julie on

Interesting debate. There appear to be 3 opinions on the subject:

1) People who don’t like feeling obligated to tip, as it is their money, and theirs to do with as they please (It is).
2) People who work in the service industry, who rely on tips as part of their living wages. (They do).
3) People who feel “guilty” but tip anyway (But resent it).

In each case, the person seems to be calculating their version of what the amount of the tip should be from their own reasoning – and not from the situation that just occurred, or the position or expectation of the other party.

Whether we agree with it or not, tipping has been built into the fabric and functioning of the North American service industry. While I agree wholeheartedly that this is an unfair and absurd way to compensate people – the fact remains that this is the current system. If you want to change the system – be my guest…but refusing the tip will have zero impact on the system as a whole. So, I agree that those who tip “to fight the system,” are really just being cheap. If they wanted to really fight the system, they would take it up with management, the government, or quite simply, stay home and stop putting money into a broken system altogether.

As for “automatic gratuity,” any restaurant that uses this system will indicate so on the menu. If you don’t like the auto grat, I believe that you should leave before ordering anything. The restaurant did you the courtesy of informing you of their standard up front, and any manager will back up a server that adds it to the bill…unless, of course there was a problem with the service.

On the other hand, servers in particular seem to have developed a sense of entitlement around tipping that is neither attractive, nor appropriate. Tipping is a reflection of a job well done, and is best treated as such. When servers forget that they are not “owed” tips, then service naturally declines to the level of service in Europe, Australia, and NZ, where tipping is not the custom.

However – in the North American restaurant system, illegal practices are the norm. A tip out (which can be as high as 8-9% of the bill) is in place at nearly every restaurant, and generally at least 1-2% of that money goes to the “house” (the owner) meaning that not only is the owner profiting from the cost of the meal, but also from the service. As well, the debate over whether servers pay tax on their tips is really irrelevant…legally they are required to do so. If they choose not to, that illegality is between them and the government; this is akin to refusing to pay for an item at a store where the business owner refuses to pay business taxes. A person can refuse to frequent the store, but trying to negotiate a lower price on an item (“because I think you don’t pay taxes!!) makes no sense either.

Unmentioned above is also the “unseen” work that a good server will do. In the high-paced, stressful atmosphere of any restaurant (and if you disagree that restaurant work is stressful, please turn on the food channel for 5 minutes) the server is your advocate. It’s their job to ensure that the food you ordered is served as you ordered it, in a timely manner. If you have allergies, special requests, or children – it’s their job to go to bat for you. Think about it: The kitchen staff is measured on the metrics of speed – not accuracy. Without a diligent server, requests often DO go unattended to.

Servers are cleaning up your dirty dishes, table, and (sometimes) after your child that threw mashed cherrios on the floor. And if they are doing their jobs well, these things go completely unnoticed.

The server, particularly in a high-end restaurant, is responsible for providing the ambiance and measuring the mood of the table. Fast or slow? Romantic or business? A good server needs to balance the tasks (drinks, food, cutlery) with the personal (how to treat the customers, making conversation, etc.) The server also generally has training in food and wine, and the suggestion that a “monkey” can select the right $200 bottle of Cabernet to accompany your steak is just silly.

That being said, servers often fail to take into account the fact that the people at a table may simply be looking for “pizza, beer, and a good time,” in which case, expecting to give 20% service is also silly.

I think a lot of the contention in this debate could be resolved if patrons were to take a step back and think about where their tips actually go, and if servers could think about where the tips actually come from.

My two cents.

    Monica on

    great points all around, Julie. As a server myself I agree 100% with what you have said here.:)

Ronald on

I have worked for the past 30+ years in the hospitality industry in bars, pubs and up-scale restaurants
(Canada and the U.S.) as a waiter and a bartender.

The tipping rates that this article recommends, are not the true industry standards.

0%-5% for poor service.
6%-10% for reasonable service
11%-15% for good to very good service.
16%-20% for outstanding service.
More than 20% is never expected, but greatly appreciated.

You are only supposed to be tipping on the bill before taxes are included.
A customer is not expected to tip on taxes added to a meal or bar-tab.

In reality, tipping is not required within the service industry.

Some words of sound advice.
Any hospitality establishment which charges an automatic tip gratuity is robbing you.
Especially because that forced method of garnering tips, Often those businesses attempt to apply the gratuity on top of the bill with taxes included.

If you are unlucky enough to encounter a forced gratuity, especially when you receive substandard service, Inform the business manager that you will only be paying for your meal with the taxes and nothing more. Tell them that you will call the police to sort out the situation, if they attempt to force the issue.

If you receive really poor service, you should leave a note with the server explaining the reasons for your small or absent tip.

Neil McCubbin on

I have aways worked in jobs that gave no opportunity for tips, so had no idea what modern waiters made till my (then) 17 year old got a part time job in a mid-level restaurant in our small town. He frequently came home with more from a 6 hour evening shift than his mother, an RN with a degree in nursing also, was paid for a12 hour shift nursing in a top-level city Surgical Intensive Care unit.
My wife knew several girls who completed their RN training with her, then quit nursing to work as bar maids to earn more money (in those far-off days barmaids had no salary, just tips, and they received more than fresh-out-of-nusing-college trained nurses.
I still tip for good service, but less than the famous 15%. Nothing for poor service.
I see a string of complaints above from waiters etc. If they do not like their jobs, they can change. It is a h!@# of a lot easier for a waiter to change jobs than a guy in a low paid, tipless, factory job to become a nurse, teacher or engineer.

Bonnie on

BTW, there are no tips for the people that owe astronomical amounts of money so they could have jobs that help us. Nurses in B.C. pay $500 every year just so they can keep working. They pay the same rates we do for parking at the hospital so they can work. They also pay huge for insurance. What about the paramedics, firefighters, Search and Rescue personel? None of these people expect tips or are even allowed to take any. Most times, they don’t even get a thank you. Who tips the folks that work hours giving to the poor in foodbanks and soup kitchens? Who tips the housekeepers in extended care homes? I get a little tired of restaurant personel whining when you can’t get a glass of water unless you ask for it, Ketchup and sugar comes in packages even in supposedly good restaurants and attitude when you mention your steak is well done instead of the medium rare that you ordered. If you want a tip, smile, be observant, make your customers feel as though you really care even if you don’t. Don’t expect it.

    Gail on

    Well said, Bonnie – couldn’t say it any better than you just did.

    Bonnie on

    Thanks Gail. I watch my daughter struggle every month to pay off the sixty thousand in student loans along with rent and amenities, clothes and other necessities for her children just so she could have the privilege of saving lives. Along with that, she also cleans up vomit, feces scattered across floors and walls, changes adult diapers, cleans infectious pus, phlegm and all kinds of nasties from tubings and bandaged areas. She cleans up after drunks, addicts and fends off attacks with psychotic patients. She has been punched, slapped and sworn at by patients and or their families. She handles all this with kindness, understanding and sometimes with the help of security. She advocates for her patients and many times has to step in when a doctor prescribes wrong medication or treatment. That has to be done delicately and respectfully so that the doctor listens. There is nothing abnormal about any of this. These are the challenges that every nurse faces. Sometimes a grateful patient or family will send a thank you card, flowers or even a box of chocolates for the staff to share. None of which is expected and even if a nurse misses out on a chance to have a chocolate or see the flowers, these tributes to their professionalism and care are greatly appreciated. They do not get money (tips) nor would they accept them. For every patient that walks out of the hospital well, that is their reward and their honor to have *served*.

Bonnie on

I tip for good service only. I don’t care what it is or who I’m with. Good service with a smile and humour gets an even better tip. Cab tips? I’m old enough to remember when cab drivers not only helped you with your luggage or groceries but they also stepped out of the car and opened the door for you. Now they just sit in the cab with the meter ticking while you try to load your stuff yourself. But, in a good restaurant if I enjoy the food, then the cook or chef also deserves a tip. I only tip hairdressers for a job well done. Some are pretty shoddy. I stay in hotels or motels fairly often. For an average 3 day stay, what housekeeping? They do nothing until you check out. And if you do tip for a clean room when you checked in, that housekeeper may never see that money. If on the otherhand, I return to my room after a long day and the housekeeper has made my bed, tidied up and exchanged any wet towels, I will enquire as to who my housekeeper was for that day and leave a tip specifically for that person. As for fixed gratuities, I don’t pay them. I just tell the restaurant to take them off the bill and I will pay what the service was worth. Some will raise a stink but they can’t enforce it.

Donard on

There is an important point missing in the comparison with Australia and other non-tipping countries. Ina tipping place, the management can bring in too many servers, just in case the place gets busy. Even though tables may be assigned they are competing for tips. If there are few customers, the staff will not earn much.

If there are no tips, the management has to decide how many staff to bring in. They will all need to be paid. Management mistakes – like bringing in too many staff on a slow day – will be paid by management, not downloaded on staff.

In Australia, restaurant prices can be higher on public holidays – this is because the ataff have to be paid extra on those days.

I agree about the comments on wine – it is easier in most places to bring one bottle of wine, than several pops. Anyway, if I decide to pay more for an expensive wine, because I prefer it, why should I pay more to the server?

C on

What I take issue with are restaurants charging a fixed gratuity for groups of 6 or more (in some cases, this may be 8 or more). I’m not saying all servers do this, but many (and I do mean many) seem to take the fixed gratuity to heart and all forms of customer service seem to fly out the door. I have dined as part of a group in restaurants where the servers will not refill drinks, mix up orders (WHY some servers that don’t have great short-term memory insist on not writing anything down is a little beyond comprehension), show attitude when we make a request for something that’s hardly out of the ordinary (refill of water, maybe UTENSILS to eat with).

Does anyone know if restaurants can actually legally impose this gratuity? What would be the consequences of not paying the full amount if we get crappy service?

D on

humm the tip conundrum. A gratuity is intended to reward service above and beyond. It is not a god given right. That does not mean they brought your meal promptly with utensils and a smile on their face. That’s not good enough.That is what they get paid to do. Rather it means that they catered to your unusual request ( no onion in the sauce , you were in a hurry or what ever). It means the staff anticipated your need for extra napkins or more coffee or what ever they did you make you feel special.

MD on

Maybe eventually we wil get to the same situation as Egypt. People who interact with tourists get tips in hard currency. A bellboy or housekeeper can make several times the wage of a school teacher or policeman. As a result, these also demand tips; a teacher will do a poor job in class in hope of getting personal tuition fees later. I leave it to the imagination how police could supplement their income. At 15 rooms times $2 a hotel maid can make $180 a week, twice what some factory workers make in a month. It’s not a long stretch until the hotels charge a percentage rather than pay wages…

As a visitor in their country, I had no problem paying people tips when they desperately need money to survive. I don’t want to see North America go this direction, where the lower class either gets largesse or starves, where the middle class is squeezed to the max. I have heard of servers in New Zealand tossing tips back at Americans, saying “we don’t want that filthy habit in this country'”

I pay tips for personal service. Sorry, I had never ever ever heard of tips for maids until some site like this mentioned it about 10 years ago. Nobody I asked, in an office that travelled a lot, had heard of it either. Who dreamed this up? I pay almost $200 for a hotel room think hotel management can afford an extra dollar to go to the cleaner.

Howard Freeland on

Tipping is a bad habit that does not extend to all countries. In France “service est compris” or service is included. The habit is to round up, so for a meal bill of 19 euros one would leave a 20 euro bill. I remember having my suitcase carried to my room in a hotel in China, the bell boy gave me a tour of the room, how to work the TV etc. I reached for some money and he bowed gracefully and said beautifully “no thank you sir, I am paid to do my job”. I thought, “I like this country”.

I find tipping to be an embarrassing anachronism.

j-beda on

Why are wait staff and most of this discussion tipped on a percentage basis? Do they work harder when I order the expensive wine compared to a glass of water? Is the service at the 5-star restaurant proportionally better than at the diner?

In terms of tax collection – I’ve always thought that it was more likely that tips paid via plastic were more likely to be properly accounted than tips in cash, and since I want all of that money to be properly taxed I tend to pay by plastic.

    MD on

    I think the opposite – if I pay cash, less likely to be properly reported, maybe the employer and government will decide tipping is a bad idea, and not something to encourage, not something that permits lower minimum wage.

    tbone on

    j-beda – actually yes the service at a 5 star restaurant is usually WAY better than a diner and you don’t tip for pouring the wine, you tip for the server that makes suggestions, brings you a small taste before pouring, suggests a food pairing that best suits the wine. I agree with you that if I got the same service ordering a glass of water versus a $100 bottle of wine, I would reconsider my tip %. The service standard generally goes up the classier the restaurant (including the setting of the table, refills, overall service and recommendations, etc). A server at a diner may be nice to you, but the time and effort that goes into setting a proper table at a fancy restaurant, plating a meal, helping you choose a wine, ensuring everything is excellent is way more than most places.

beckstar78 (@beckstar78) on

The consensus here seems to be people don’t want to tip period, regardless of service.

I am a server for a local family diner where we get paid $8.90/hr (Ontario, Canada), which is less than minimum wage. I completely understand that poor service may and possibly should result in zero tip, depending on personal beliefs, circumstance etc. I do not understand those who regularly do not tip a thing, regardless if the server does everything to please and the customer wants for nothing. I also understand I still have to provide a good service to those who do not tip as they are paying customers and bring business to my employers who pay me.

I am always friendly, courteous and prompt, even when the 90 year old man leaves me 50 cents. I say sincerely, “Thank you so much.” I do not expect a tip from take-out, however it is appreciated, as where I work I am taking time away from my dining customers to answer your phone call, get your order ready, which includes getting soup, condiments, cutlery, milkshakes, desserts, checking the contents against the order and ringing you in at the cash register. Not all restaurants work the same way though, but I’m sure you can tell those that have a separate person for take-out.

I will leave you with some tipping advice from my experience for those who are still reading my post😛

If you are in a big group of people, say 8 or more and 1 person is paying the bill, it is a good idea for each person to leave a little something, or offer to take care of the tip. More often that not I have seen the payee leave (for example) 6 or 7 dollars for a bill that is over $100 when service is complimented on by all. Servers usually lose out on other tables to cater better to the bigger groups, and it feels pretty crummy that you went above and beyond for customers, who show little respect. Again some restaurants include a gratuity for bigger groups and I believe they would post it somewhere or tell you,, but where I work they don’t include it.

Sorry for the long post.

Future customers, please don’t be rude or roll your eyes when I tell you we don’t have coke products. I was nice enough to let you know, instead of just bringing you a pepsi. Thanks in advance!

    Monica on

    thank you so much for stating this better than I ever could. I am a server too and agree 100% with what you said. I genuinely say “thank you” even on “bad” tips and do treat all my customers well. I try my best every day and if someone is rude or doesn’t tip I would NEVER EVER do anything to retaliate. (I get so angry hearing a few “servers” here saying they may in future do something to the food and/or give bad service to poor tippers. That gives a bad name to te majority of us who work hard and try to always be nice)

    I hope everyone who has been following this thread (as I have) will read this.

    Again, thank you for giving a voice to us honest and hard working individuals.

    MD on

    But, this is the dilemma. People tip not because they want to, but because they don’t want to “look cheap”. A tip should be a gift. From the viewpoint of the payee – he is in a group of 8 and the bill is $100. That’s $12.50 a person. The sort of person who eats at a place where meals are only $12 (about half what I typically pay) probably math-challenged does not see that they should leave a tip exceeding the value of their typical meal.

    While I don’t have a problem tipping at restaurants, I think tips in general are a step backward and a distortion of the economy. The kitchen staff, the greeter – they don’t share in the largesse unless the servers are forced to share… Same minimum wage, but the cook has a better opportunity to make or break a restaurant experience.

cornelius bergen on

I would like to see a restourant pay decent wage and put up a sign” We pay going wage and don’t allow employees to accept tips ” This could beat the competition .US People are stupid about tipping sometimes. In New Zealand (where they don’t tip) I saw a factory worker who had saved for years for a trip there tip a 2 dollar bus ride operater $5.00 .

    tbone on

    In many places people don’t pay taxes on their tips, it usually works out better for them to be tipped versus paid and taxed. If they pay the wage instead, you just end up paying the $ to the restaurant instead of the server. I’d rather pay the server/staff to be honest (if they deserve it)…you pay the same for your meal good or bad, a tip you can control.

Celtica on

A tip should be a way to show appreciation for a job well done; going above and beyond what is required. I have no issue tipping someone if they have made my meal, spa experience etc a pleasure. I refuse to tip a server, for example, that does the bare minimum (takes my order and brings me my food) to me that is why they are paid a wage. However if they are checking up on me, making sure my glass is full, being pleasant and helpful, going above and beyond what is required then without reservation I will leave them a nice tip. That being said I will admit there are some industries I typically don’t tip, such as taxi drivers since most often I am responsible for dragging my bag to them while they sit in the car and wait, jumping out at the last moment to open a trunk. Why am I tipping you for that? That is your job. If you had of gotten out of the car as I was leaving my house and assisted me as I was coming down the walk way, then yes I would tip as that is going above and beyond. A tip is my way of saying thank you and should never be expected.

To the folks that say they are paid a wage so why should they get a tip on top of that I point out one thing, how many of us get bonuses at work? I know I do. I will be given a half day off with day, a gift certificate to the spa or dinner out. This is my companies’ way of saying well done and thank you for working so hard. How is that any different than a server getting a tip? No I don’t get it daily but I am reasonably sure that the dollar amount is fairly equal if you average it out.

tbone on

Server – it actually makes perfect sense if it is deserved as the serve and staff have the ability to greatly increase your experience. I suggest 20% for great service, 15% for good service and 10% or less for poor or average service.

Cab – makes sense if they get you to your destination fast, safe and are pleasant. I think 10% is reasonable, but more is warranted if the service is great.

Hairdresser – in my opinion is something people should do a better job of. A good quality haircut from someone who usually gets paid partly via volume of cuts and is responsible for how you look should generally get a good tip. I tip 50% for a great hair cut.

Delivery service – if the food arrives warm, in a reasonable time and is delivered politely by a clean individual you should tip about 10%, minimum $5.

Hotel staff – I have to admit I am not a good hotel staff tipper, in all inclusive resorts / cruises I always tip and generally get better service because of it, for general hotels I have not ever noticed a difference if I tip or not. Leaving a $5 bill behind I guess makes sense…but I think while I am on vacation I feel like I already spend so much on tips it seems to be the breaking point for me.

What I hate – all those coffee shops, food pick up places that have tip jars and tip options on the credit card payments. I have worked in these myself and expecting a tip just seems silly. Instead of tipping, I try to simply be a pleasant, uncomplicated and understanding customer.

sickofit on

Maybe we should start tipping our cashiers at the grocery store, bank tellers, pharmacy staff, window washers, property maintenance guy, girl who plants flowers in my building, my kids for picking up their dirty clothes. Where and when does it end????? I clearly will expect to be tipped from now on for making supper, paying bills, cleaning the house going to work….. enough is enough

Alexander on

Why should I have to tip at all?

    sickofit on


Joe Ronson on

I just avoid places that expect tips ,which is resorting to Slave /Master practices of past years.

bimjim on

Here’s my personal piolicy, always has been, will never change… give me GOOD service, with a smile and unusual attention to detail, keep me happy and be available, however busy you are, and I will tip between 10 and 15% – or whatever the whole number is for a cash bill I can put in your hand. You can tell your employer anyhing you like, that was not for the house but for you and your hard work.

But give me the standard service, including slopping the plates and glasses onto the table, casual and minimal service – and my inability to find you when I need something or want the bill – and that’s what your employer pays you for, you won’t get diddly from me.

Everything else is what I feel like giving. Damn it, it’s MY money, I was the one who worked for it, I paid taxes on it, and only I will decide how I spend it.

You can poopoo, roll your eyes, shudder and shimmy all you want, but YOU spend YOUR money the way YOU feel obliged to… NOBODY – not even my wife – is going to dictate how MY money flows out of MY wallet.

    Monica on

    You sound like a real delight to be around. Your wife sure is a lucky gal.

Brendan on

I’m laughing at those saying to tip housekeeping $5 a day.

Have you ever seen the Seinfeld episode where they are in California looking for Kramer and they’re thrown ino a cop car with a convict who suggests to them to tip housekeepers $5 per day? At the end, the fugitive escapes and a special news bulletin comes up describing the fugitive as “5’7″ tall, and a VERY generous tipper”.

The point: $5 a day for housekeeping is too generous. Tip that much if you want, but with each housekeeper cleaning 20-30 rooms a day, that’s an extra $500 – $750 per 5 day work week if all those rooms tipped $5. That’s more than some people make in an entire week.

$1 per day for housekeeping is a nice tip, not too cheap, not too generous.

    Joe on

    My wife is a housekeeper in a smaller Alberta community. In the last year she has received one tip. So that $5 goes a long way. It wasn’t $5 by the way.

G. Gillette on

A tip is not a part of the wages of a restaurant employee or any other establishment until it is earned by superior performance. Anyone who would take a job and base their wage on a tip is not taking in to accont reality. The same is true for those who would base a tip on the gross charge on a bill and split it with support staff. Why would you subsidize another employee if the support staff wants a tip they can earn it by becomming a waiter/waitress. A tip is for service above and beyond not for just completeing the task at hand.

Captain Hospitality on

Tipping is a generous part of the dining scene and, unfortunately the paying client does not see the house cut ( average 2.5% of pre tax sales and as high as 100% of all tips) or hidden cost of doing business associated for the wait staff. That being said the dollars always add up at the end of the year and most servers never report all of the income, as well as, the house that takes a cut from the total sales to distribute among the support staff (if it actually reaches the destined pockets). Yet, there are many shady characters operating restaurants (some being very popular and trendy) that live under a very dark code of ethics and know that once the cash is in the hand the staff seems to have amnesia and tend to forget the negative experiences that occured during the shift (sexual inuendos, racism, favoritism of better tipping clients versus the not so popular race(s) that tip below norms). Shocking???Not really, when was the last time you had a wealthy person serve you in a restaurant that could afford legal representaion against the owner or group of owners that use the restaurant as private playgrounds for personal satisfaction turning a blind eye on immoral or illigal behavior?

So tipping is the actual measure of how much crap a person is willing to take from the establishment and clients.

By the way, the most demanding patrons are usually the rudest, as well as being the worst tippers and always seem to be the biggest complainers. “That is why I do not eat out with my father”.

annoyed server on

I just wanted to put into perspective a couple of the most common arguements I read on here:

1. Servers should just get other jobs: but think about who usually works as servers. Servers are generally post-secondary students trying to make enough money to pay for rent and tuition, who because of their schedule cannot commit to working more than 10-15 hours a week. Most part-time job other than serving, ask that their employees commit to atleast 16 hrs/week. Also, not many part-time jobs have start times after 5pm and it’s not uncommon for labs and classes to go pretty late.

2. You refuse to tip because you don’t want to support the system: Since the serving industry is already set up for servers to count on tips, if you don’t tip a server because you’re against tipping, then you’re not sticking it to the man and trying to cause a change. Instead you’re taking money away from someone else, and this isn’t going to make the their employers see how unfair tipout can be, rather the server could get in trouble or dismissed if they complain about not recieving a tip or refusing to tip out a bill that someone didn’t tip them on. So, if you actually don’t want to tip because you want to bring to unfair tipout practices, then doing some research on why tips are such a big part of the serving industry and talking to employers or lobbying for changes in the legal system concerning tipouts would be the useful way to do it. If you live in Canada, maybe paying attention to the proceedings in Toronto would be a good way to start. But, if you’re not willing to actually help make a change and don’t want to tip, then go eat at places where you don’t have to, this might put pressure on the industry. But if you’re not willing to do that either, then realize that you’re actually just cheap and again taking money away from other people.

So now imagine that tipping wasn’t a custom and you just had to pay whatever your food bill was and the servers made a decent amount.But then don’t expect servers to give great service, instead imagine a scenerio similair to when you’re shopping and the young customer rep isn’t going to help you until you ask. Although, people generally want to take pride in their work, if my pay isn’t going to change depending on how well I serve you I’m not going to be too concerned if your waters aren’t topped off or if I forget you wanted dressing on the side. You might now argue that the restaurant owners would just fire bad servers to keep their customers. But that arguement doesn’t take into account that all the times when a server advocates for the customer because either they like the customer or the more realistic explaination they know they’re pay depends on it. So instead of bringing you a new meal because you didn’t like the one you ordered, I’ll say too bad because the restaurant won’t want to pay for you to have another meal. Also, don’t expect free birthday cakes, champaign, complementary starters or even someone holding the door open for you and greeting you when you’re walking in.

I think most servers are in agreement that if they give terrible service or even sub-par service, they don’t expect even a 15% tip. So please stop thinking that servers are all after your money or that you’re taking up some moral cause.

    confidential99 on

    to annoyed server, you seem to think that students in school should be subsidized by consumers frequenting restaurants. I’m not moved by this argument. Let’s say your school proposed to increase your tuition by 15% and the reason given was so that the hospitality workers at the university, as well as the lower wage blue collar workers can get a living wage.

George Bertalan on

Why don’t you examine your history, and see how tipping ever begun. The hospitality industry has been around for ages and there’s a reason how society has moved through the times and has become what we know today.

Just a quick comment to the person that said that housekeeping isn’t a stressful job. You’re so ignorant.

Bill on

The comments are interesting. Too bad we don’t have a lot of people see how it is in the UK, for example, where you don’t have to tip.
First of all, the employers should be paying a fair and reasonable wage to each and every employee. I have seen how it is where they do that, and quite honestly, the prices do not seem any different. That makes me wonder how much money is going into restauranteur’s pockets.

In most middle or high end establishments it would be very difficult for the employers to match the tipping income, because most servers that give half decent service make a load of money. 10, 15 or 20% off the top of all the gross sales is far more than a wage would amount to. Furthermore, many pretend not to make so much money and declare less to the government, making it a significant amount of tax free income.

Some places in the US take advantage of the situation by paying their servers $2.50 an hour and letting them live off tips, This is absurd.

For those of you who ‘put your life in the hands of a taxi driver” or feel that it is an obligation to tip for food…how many of you have tipped a pilot on the plane, or the check in staff at the airline? I”m betting none. Do you tip a nurse at the emergency room?

This whole tipping business is a scam that has gotten out of hand and it is at the expense of the consumer.

I do tip because it is how things are set up, but this forum in particular has done a lot to show how outrageous and unreasonable it all is.

That taxi driver who “has your life in his hands” also has his own life in his hands and that of a great many more people to deal with. And he has a lot less to worry about than a city bus driver or an airline pilot.

Keltica on

Why am I tipping a taxi driver? I can understand tipping them if they get out of the car to help load and unload your bags but typically that doesn’t happen for me. Typically the driver honks his horn outside my house to let me know he is there, if I am not fast enough he honks again regardless of the hour. Drops me off at the airport where I grab my own bag and drives off. I am not tipping for that. That is why they get a wage, if I was helped out then I would tip. But I am also not going to tip for a casual drop off at a pub. I don’t see why you should. Again I get picked up via the driver honking at the house and dropped off, isn’t that their basic job description? The reason they get a salary? Tipping to me is to show apperication for service that is above and beyond the bare minimum required to ge the job done. It is my way to say thank you for excellent service. I

Joe Ronson on

it is fdr snobs to feel superior to service people.

Chewy on

Tipping ins a gratuity and is not required by any means. I do tip but only ten percent. that is plenty and for some it is way too much!

Joe Ronson on

Tipping is a return tthe master/slaver days. . If your pay is to low form a union.
Tipping is a disgrace in a society that believes in democracy. I avoid using services where tips are expected .I do my own hair and cook my meals.

Heather on

I honestly feel tipping should be earned with great service provided. It should not be expected ever.I have been a waitress as well as many other jobs in the retail area. And really why should servers expect tips.There are so many jobs that make the same low wages and they are not tipped. If you dont like the job you have move on………..

emily on

I work retail. I make the same or even less than servers – they get tips. Customer service/sales is more difficult than serving food. I still eel as if I have to tip, yet no one tips me.

Leroy on

I HATE tipping. I almost always do it out of guilt, not gratitute. You tip them 15% and they act like you’re only doing the least you could do. And from now on I’ll tip on the amount BEFORE tax, and maybe drop it down to 12%. And another thing, tipping 15% on a $12 lunch is a lot easier that tipping 15% on a $50 lunch. I don’t care if they think I’m cheap, I have to earn a living too.

star on

holy ….im disgusted. if you cant afford to tip.stay home. servers make minimum wage. they have to tip out bartender 2% and kitchen 4%, so if you dont tip. they are actually paying to serve and feed you. Get it? Servers work very hard with no benefits of any sort. If you like to go out then understand that unless we up servers wage to $15 hr like in aus. Tipping is not optional. And if you dont’ tip i would be careful about what the staff is doing to you food. just saying

    Zoey on

    If customers stay home, servers will be let go. Patronizing restaurants IS optional and if my food is at risk then I’m no longer a customer.

    Get it?

Humble Canadian on

HST has been distructive. Between taxes, cost of food, real estate and energy (cooking), labour, there is no reason to eat out. Everything is hot spice, but not garlic, or spices because it is too expensive. Pizzas are just a cracker crust, no yeast, a little melted cheese and tomato sauce with scant toppings. The coolist thing is to meet at a food areas and bring real food from home. If you don’t eat fruit and green vegetables, you get cancer. Show me any breakfast, lunch or dinner from any restaurant that serves any traces of green vegtables or fruit. Effectively eating out is effectively eating cancer causing meals that you tip for providing them! It is not bad; it is a reality. Last night I had a ham and pinapple pizza with each piece of pizza containing 3 pieces of pinapple the size of a little finger nail tip of a finger. See what I mean! Eating it will kill you slowly!

Nan on

We always tip at restaurants, but I agree with those who think it is absurd in many ways. What I would like to see is the servers get a reasonable wage to begin with, but not extravagant. Then suggest a 5% tip for reasonable service. The rest of their earnings should come from the employer. The smaller tip still sets up an incentive to do a good job and helps train them to please customers. And the entire 5% should go to the server. Others down the line should get wages commensurate with the job they do, but no tips. I’d like to see restaurants have a separate box for tips to the cook. Sometimes they really do an excellent job on the food. Others should get a standard wage for their job level and the incentive for them if they are in a low bracket is to do well at their job, learn skills for another level and request a promotion when deserved. When the servers to an especially great job, let the customer reward them according to their pocketbook.

Note: wages for servers should depend on their job description: Level 1 (entry level) servers; Level 2 (full-time, career servers); Level 3, etc. up to a high level for Head Waiters at high-end places. I’m sure that is the practice anyway, but my point is, not all servers are “low wager earners.”

Jess on

In my opinion, servers represent the whole restaurant staff, because you mostly have to deal with them. They are the ones which give you the whole dining experience. I do understand that servers can get really busy as they wait on more than one table at a time. It is also a stressful job and sometimes servers have to deal with difficult customers. However, when I get attitude from a server, or terrible service, I do not tip, even though they have to share their tips with other staff members. The food could be horrible and the server could still get a tip, if they made an effort to make it right. On the other hand, I will give 15%-20% for good to excellent service, maybe even more. Like mentionned before, a tip should be earned, not expected.

caveman72 on

Most taxi companies charge a flat rate to the driver for the use of the car. In my case (Yes I’m a cab driver), a Saturday night consists of $150 car rental, $40-$60 in fuel, $4-$8 for a car wash & vacuum. Your know you have +$200 in expenses at the end of the night before you even start your engine. Last Saturday night, on my meter I did $295.10. Meter take home was $95.10 before tips or $7.93 an hour. When tips were added in my hourly wage was $12.35. I do not expect tips, but am very happy to receive them. For all you people that say cabbies don’t deserve tips, think again. It is a mentally demanding, dangerous job (No shields here) that requires attentiveness and reflexes of a cat when Joe Blow cuts you off. Your life is in my hands while I drive you to dinner, the airport, the nightclub, the pub, your friends house. You’re telling me that throwing a couple of bucks at me for a safe ride to where ever you go is wrong? I do not get an hourly wage. 100% commission. Meter – expenses + tips= income

    Bill on

    I think what people are saying is that a decent wage should be built into the meter so that you earn a good living without depending upon tips.
    No one here is saying to not pay people. The problem is, you deal with one fare at a time generally. Waitstaff in a restaurant can deal with a half dozen tables at a time. No one has a good tally on how much is made from tips. Most people won’t mind giving a taxi driver some money so he i smaking $12 an hour instead of $8. However, why should a waitress take in an extra $600 to $1000 per shift?
    I didn’t tip the cashier at the supermarket, I’m sure she would like to make some extra money. I also didn’t tip the person working at the gas station, nor anyone at Best Buy. I didn’t include a tip on my recent purchase, nor when I paid my cable bill online.

    Having every business pay their workers a decent wage would do away with that and bring some equality. Why should certain people be tipped and certain people not? Why should the tips for certain people just bring them up to a little better wage, whereas others reap a big tax-free windfall (I know they are supposed to report it).

    I don’t know who started tipping, but it has gotten to the point where it is an expectation rather than an option. Furthermore, as I mentioned before, when I was younger, 10% was considered a good tip, now it seems that 20% is expected, and even more if you read some boards. When something is a percentage, it should automatically go up with the cost of living. There was no need for the “norm” to change from 10% to 15% and then 20%. What will it be a generation from now? 50%? After reading the comments on this threat, I really think that tipping should be done away with and that business owners build their proper labour costs into their prices.

    confidential99 on

    In reply to caveman72 and cab drivers: In my opinion, I think that a decent wage should be built into cab driver’s fares. The taxi company gets paid, the driver doesn’t. I’m not a big union person, but if there was an industry where a union is justified this is it. Same thing for waiters and waitresses. The customer is already paying at the cash register, and there is no logical reason why a cab driver or waiter deserves a tip but the gas attendant or retail store clerk does not. And I would bet in most cases the waiter makes more money and never thinks twice about not tipping the cashier at Walmart.

Top Dog on

I tip, but mostly because it’s expected. 15% is quite high in my opinion. I feel it’s a scam. I go out and pay for a meal, not to support someone.I feel the practices of eatery owners are where the servers should look to improve their lot.Bringing a beer from the fridge at a watering hole is 20 steps there and back plus you must open the bottle. So if I am thirsty that night and am not driving and I ring up $40.00 , i think $6 is an excellent tip, actually as I’ve stated previously, it’s more than I think I should fork over. You multiply that by 20 patrons and that’s a $120.00 for minimal effort in the time frame of probably 3 hours. Then I must pay taxes ,so out the door for 3 hrs of socializing it costs me $51.20 with a beer @ $5.00 ea. Do you want me to come back or not?

    Steve on

    As has previously mentioned there are many jobs paying minimum wage and they are not tipped there is no moral or legal obligationto tip. My daughter worked as a waitress in a reatauraunt that was not doing well the owner required all the tips be given to them. I also have a couple of friends who worked a s waiters and with their tips made far more than me working at a skilled trade “Machinist” If people EXPECT a good wage let them get a a trade or find a better job I do tip but it’s my choice whether I tip or not.

    thatladyisold on

    You are quite correct. Servers in the right restaurants earn about 40.00 per hour, most of it not taxed. Personally I don’t care if the odd person doesn’t tip, we know they don’t get out that often so aren’t expecting them back anytime soon and the next table always makes up the difference. Dealing with people and they’re absurd food issues isn’t easy but we are compensated well.

      thatladyisold on

      Sorry I meant ‘their’ absurd food issues

lee on

when a mandatory tip is added, it is no longer a tip, it simply raises the price of the service, i do not believe in tipping if i know a restaurant is adding a tip i will not eat there tipping has gotten way out of hand if the stdoes not like not getting tip, they should find another job

Ash on

Standard service deserves a standard tip, just as excellent service deserves an excellent tip. I have no problem with tipping but when the employees start expecting tips, they focus less on the quality of service.

David on

What a pointless article, which essentially said I should tip people 15-20% on average based on level of service. I thought I might learn something new here.. guess not.

    Daniel on

    Tips are a reward to the server for their excellent attention to detail. Most people are cheap, and therefore don’t want to part with their money and threfore don’t want to tip. I agree that servers should not expect a tip, and should earn it. I do think that all restaurants should have a comment card, for the server to be informed on their level of performance, and of the quality of the customers experience, food and sevice. Altough tips should only be given for exceptional service, bad service zero to a low tip. I strongly think tips should allways be given out. On the flip side if a customer can’t afford a tip, then that should be ok.

      Ed on

      Most people engage in the activity of eating at a very young age. They become aware that when eating, one requires a beverage, utensils, condiments, etc. They also generally learn that food gets cold when condiments and utensils are not brought in a timely manner. There is also the acute awareness of having liquid pretty much always in the beverage container.

      Although I realize there are a lot of great servers out there (who have received significant tips), there are a huge number of them that fail to deliver upon the aforementioned basics and yet expect 10%, 15% or even 20% gratuities.

      This whole tipping thing has gotten out of hand. I wish there was a way for us to get rid of it and have the servers paid the way most others are, which is by their employers.

      Please note that the food prices are not outrageous in places that do not tip. Furthermore, the cafeteria style Vietnamese restaurant in a fairly low rent district that I frequent charges $2 for a can of soda – and the amount of time the wait staff spends at my table including everything is only a very few minutes. Someone is pocketing a lot of money between the $2 sodas, the tips, etc.

Denny on

It is interesting reading the comments above… the two camps fighting it out. I have battled, internally, with this question for years. My ex has always been a waitress and seeing her in action and hearing, first-hand, about the shady practices in the industry has always given me reason to pause and think hard about tipping in a given situation.

It is true that many restaurants require a pay-out to cover tipping for services which don’t ever see the tip money (Bus Boy, dish washer, Chef etc) which is ridiculous given much of your experience would be ruined if any of those people weren’t doing their jobs well. It is also a little known fact that many restaurants force waiters/waitresses to pay out of their pocket for other items such as clients walking out which is completely out of their control.

With that said, I know that my ex was making far too much money off of tips (And that was only the amount she owned up to… I believe she likely made quite a bit more than she told me) even though she was one of the best waitresses I have ever seen in action. Given the standard practice of only claiming a small portion of her tips, as wage, on her taxes (I spoke to many of her friends and they all stated that this was common practice amongst the staff in the industry), she was often making more after-tax money than I am with my post secondary degree and 15 years of industry experience.

I, personally, generally start my tipping % at 15 though that generally depends on the service type, the experience and the bill amount (I’m not paying a Waitress an extra $5 in tip just because she dropped of a premium cut of beef vs a burger) and move down quickly from there. It had better be a heck of a great experience (Not including items the staff can’t control..poorly cooked food… poor traffic etc) for me to tip 15% which it rarely is these days. Think about this… the waitress gets you a drink (Her job), takes your order (Her job), brings you your meal (Her Job). Everything in between and after (Him/her going the extra mile) is where he/she earns her tip. Also think about this; even if that person did an exception job and made your experience a wonderful one, are you really tipping for that persons time or the experience? I would venture to guess you are tipping for the great experience because that person really only spent what, perhaps 5 minutes making you feel special. If you tip $15 on a $100 meal for 5 minutes of extra effort they are making $180 an hour if all of their tables (You are far from the only one they are serving) receipts are $100. Think about that for a second. That is simply ridiculous! I wish there was some magic solution that would ensure that people in all industries get paid well enough to live and ensure that extra effort was awarded (Most yearly paid jobs offer bonuses for extra effort…going the extra mile…) without pressuring the consumer to pay to line the pocket of business owners.

    Jon on

    I generally tip 15% for average service and more or less if the service deserves it. That said, what makes a waiter’s job deserving of a tip? The most oft used reason is they are low paid and depend on the tips. With this logic why aren’t McDonald’s or Walmart employees or any low paid worker in another industry deserving of a tip? If a waiter goes to Walmart, does he feel an obligation to tip the cashier, or does the obligation only work one way.? We know the answer, the waiter does not tip other low wage workers. He only wants others to tip him. Everybody has a job, everybody gets paid to do the job. If the worker wants a higher wage this should be negotiated with the employer, not the customer.

My two cents.. on

I have quit eating out! I am done with tipping for crappy service.If servers want a tip they need to know what TIPS stands for, which most don’t. I agree that there should be ‘no tipping’ for any service!! They get their wage and if they are not happy with it get a different job.PERIOD! Make the price the price and let us decide if we want to eat/purchase there.I do not tip my hairdresser as I already pay $50+ and have to pay GST on top of that so I am paying for their service.Sorry if I sound cheap to some of you but I work hard for my $ and nobody tips me to do my job..Plus the fact that the person I tip is not even getting the $ irks me when they have to share with other lazy co-workers.I will never go to a place twice that automatically adds the tip to the bill and will ask them to remove the amount and I will decide how much if anything I will tip.When this started happening is when the servers quit doing a good job knowing they were getting a tip anyways..Just my opinion and I am entitled to it.Have a nice day..

Who me on

Tipping should never be a requirement. You should NEVER feel obligated to tip. It’s supposed to be a reward for good service. So the service staff make minimum wage…so what…lots of other people do and they don’t get tips! Tipping is not an ENTITLEMENT. It’s a REWARD for GOOD SERVICE.

If service sucks…0 tip! Take out – 0 tip!

There should be no minimum percentage.

That’s why I like eating out in Asia. There, the price on the menu is what you pay. People don’t expect tips. It is not customary. If the service was good and you liked it, then up to you to tip. No need to worry about calculating percentage…it’s up to you to decide proper amount. After all IT’S YOUR MONEY.

But here in North America…service staff think they are ENTITLED to a tip no matter how crappy their service was. They don’t expect to EARN it. They just think they DESERVE it no matter what. Which is why I mostly do take-out. And only eat-in very rarely.

    Aqui on

    Very true , I moved to Canada from England .
    In England I have give tip just 2-3 time in a year ,
    Once when I forget my iPhone in taxi and taxi guy bring it back, all I paid his 2 way return fare to my house as tip , as that’s his duty to return phone else he considered as thieve .
    On other occasion I have tipped in restaurant when my son has accidentally broken ice cream boul and waiter come quickley to clean it and moved our table , we paid £5 to him (our total eating bill was £ 60) and waiter was happy .

    There in England if you are legal then you will get minimum wages and you can live , you don’t need to rely on tip.

    Tip is a reward for going extra mile not a hidden % on menu prices.

    I donate over £ 1500 a year from my wages of £ 38,000. But I never tip, I donate exclusive to people who really need this , approx 50-60 £ each to 2 poor family in India every month and for them this money counts lot.

    £ 50 = Indian rupee 4000 every month is fees/expenses of higher study of there daughter , other family who get £60 = Rs 4800 has got elderly 78 year old person who need this money for his medicine and food .

    I moved to Canada last month and feel shame by reading all this about tip.

    I would not consider to go and eat in place where service is defined by amount of tip.

    It’s there (employee) fault that why you doing underpaid job, can simply go and do Cleaning or lots of other job where you can get at least minimum wages .

    Megg on

    I ALWAYS TIP, BUT NOT BECAUSE i WANT TO, BUT BECAUSE i FEEL OBLIGATED! That;s not as it should be, but I feel that’s the case for the greatest number of customers! When a young man/woman accepts a position in the food service industry- that person KNOWS how little the pay is.
    Solution- 1- accept the lower pay without counting in the tip…
    2- Do not accept the job without letting the manger of the restaurant know how you feel about the workers who feel they have to BEG (smile, put on false friendly airs & service) to be accepted for the job.

    So- costs of eating out will become too expensive? SO BE IT- I can go for FASt FOOD where tipping isn’t the practice. I can live without $ 25.00 fancy, schmancy dinners served with arrogant airs!

    Can someone please tell me, “What is GOOD service in a restaurant”? and I would probably add- that’s a GIVEN…I EXPECT THAT…..Respond only if you disagree with me..and tell me why I’m off on the wrong tract!

    I dare you,

Susan on

The poor and the lower middle class workers deserve to eat out once in awhile, get take out, get hair cut..etc… So don’t dare say ” if you can’t tip enough, don’t go out”… how dare you! Do you tip these workers? (the mechanic, the bank teller, the drycleaner, laundramat staff, the lady who sold you underwear, the ….. oh this is JUST ridiculous. I would LOVE to see menus include the prices with tips added, then I would simply choose according to my means and get just a soup and bun with tea… it’s the social experience often as not for many of us.

    Joe on

    Tipping has gone out of control.

SBean on

More often than not our servers are inattentive, rude and honestly have no idea what they’re doing.

How do I justify leaving a tip (which implies a job well done) for someone who would rather flirt with the bar tender or play with their hair and text their friends? How about when the server completely ignores our table when clearly they have no other customers around? Should I feel bad when I pay the bill that they may or may not have to tip out to the rest of the house? If they want their tip shouldn’t they earn it? I mean how would your boss (or you, if you are a boss) feel if someone expected to be paid just because they bothered to show up?

I have had appalling service in establishments before and have been chased after asking why there was no tip. It is not part of the law that I tip people in the service industry (at least not that I know of) especially if they have been rude and neglectful.

Space on

this whole business about tipping really makes no sense. Why should the purchase of services be tipped, while the purchase of goods is not tipped. All goods were made by people’s service’s at some point along the production line….just like how a cook cooks your meal along some point of the restaurant food production line.

This custom of tipping should really doesn’t make much sense. These people area all paid to do their jobs. They should be paid fairly by their employer and that should be it. …no tipping.

Mike on

The tipping debate. You generally get 2 crowds in this debate, those who believe that if you don’t tip you are cheap and those who think tips should be earned not expected. If you are waiting my table, then you will need to earn your tip. The tip starts at 0% and goes up or doesn’t. I rarely leave no tip, because generally service is decent enough to earn something. I have tipped up to 25% for excellent service. What really bothers me is when people suggest you shouldn’t eat out or you are cheap for not tipping.

Bill on

Interesting note on tipping on pre-tax. I’ve always taken that route…. but I notice that the pin credit cards that offer you tipping as a percentage – are programmed to tip on the post-tax amount.

    John on

    who cares what the credit card company says, its your decision not theirs

Mike on

Tip what you are comfortable with. If you want to tip a waiter 20% then do it, if you want to tip them 10% do that too and don’t feel bad. If they (service industry) don’t want to wait tables then get a job that supports your lifestyle. They are all expecting a tip, but it has come time that the public fights back and make them work hard for it! There are lots of jobs that people don’t get tipped for and they spend more time servicing you…..
There is no reason the poor and middle class can’t enjoy a meal out without tipping.

Jayne on

I always tip 15% at least. That’s pretty standard here in Canada. I tip taxi drivers too, although work normally pays my tip when I expense it back, so I won’t credit that towards any generosity act on my part. I understand the argument for not tipping when you look at the fact that your money could have gone to a charity with a lot more need than one individual has. But with it being so hard to fire people these days, I think we still need a tipping system that encourages civil behaviour for people in the service industry; they do have to deal with a lot of twits, can’t totally blame them for not being all smiles. By all means, don’t tip if it’s bad service.

What gets me sometimes is when I see people who work much harder than taxi drivers and certain servers and they don’t get tipped, simply because they’re not in an industry where it’s common. I worked as a banquet server for a summer and was run off my feet (I literally ran when I was behind the kitchen doors) and I think once I got a ten dollar tip from the bride when it was all over.

emmasgrandma1 on

I work damn hard at my job. I resent having to tip. I don’t get tipped on mine, why should I have to tip someone on theirs? I picked up some take out the other week, and the girl at the till gave me a snotty look when she looked at my cash and saw no tip. My gawd! The height of it!

    Joe on

    You did the right thing. Tip is a reward for good service. No service No tips for takeouts.

Dave on

Not only are tips becoming overly expected, a recent study estimates that servers declare an average of only 10% of their earnings for income tax purposes. So effectively someone making around $20k per year could be making anywhere from $50k-80k with tips, yet are paying a fraction of what they should. I feel absolutely no obligation to tip large amounts anymore when I know that my server is likely making more than I do at my professional job, solely due to the fact that he/she is not paying their fair share in taxes.

    Aqui on

    I agree,
    I never pay tip, if service is not good then I won’t go to that restaurant again.
    I prefer giving money as a donation for some good cause instead of throwing it free for service which we already paid and server too getting his wages for job he doing.

      SB on

      if you get good service and don’t leave a tip, you can bet that server will recognize you when you come back and warn their colleagues about it… and you will end up with very poor service. Eventually you’re gonna run out of restaurants.

Bill on

This is always a heated topic. I have been to industry “boards” before and the attitude of many on there is absurd. They talk of 25% or 50% tips if the service is “good”.

There was one guy who delivers pizza and he says he shakes the soda bottle..and tells the person to wait awhile to open it, IF he gets a tip.

As to those people who think that prices would “skyrocket” if tipping were discontinued, why do you think it would have to go up more than 15%? In fact, in the places I’ve been where the tipping is not done, the prices are quite reasonable.
Given the choice, I would prefer to be in an environment were people didn’t need tips. I generally do tip 15% (used to be 20).

However, the last two times I’ve gone out, the waitstaff failed to provide eating utensils in a timely manner. The food got cold while there was nothing to eat it with. In the second restaurant, this subsequently happened to the table beside me as well.

Explain to me why someone, who is acutely aware of the need for utensils probably since the age of 2 or 3, should get a tip when they are so out of tune with reality? The ability to bring cutlery should be a basic requirement for waitstaff, and yet it is so often forgotten.

steve on

Tipping is a custom started long ago and was once paid upfront ” To Insure Proper Service ” . Some where down the line it was changed as a means of rewarding decent service. As a professional waiter in a decent restaurant I rely on tips to supplement minimum wage. I do have to tip out the hostess and kitchen a percentage of my ring out whether or not I made good or bad tips that night the percentage to the house remains the same.

15% tip is the standard amount and should go up from there if warranted. If you are ordering take out from a sit down restaurant the amount of time it takes to prepare your order to go is taking time away from seated patrons and thus should be tipped at minimum 10%.

Whether or not you personally endorse the tipping system in restaurants is not really relevant. Disagree with it if you like but people depend on it for a living and so if you choose to dine in a decent place with decent service and food then do the decent thing and tip accordingly.

    Joe on

    I will never order takeout at sit in fine restaurant. You want to enjoy. In case, I take out. No tips. Unless, he makes you sit, bring at least water, and let you use washroom. Without service, no tips. They do not bring water or tea, give a place to sit, wash the dishes, clean up the table, and set up the table. You are in and go.

mike on

those who think tippings wrong are not looking at it the right way. as a few others have stated if you don’t tip and the servers get paid more by the restaurant your food would just go up. so tip. also it’s a great way to encouirage better service. as a reward for good service you get a good tip. bad service less or no tip. simple. as to other industries not getting tips, not sure what you all mean. i’ve been a construction worker, a cable installer, and other jobs dealing with the public directly. in all cases i’ve been tipped. weather it was a an extra 100 for a well made sidewalk i poured or a bottle of wine or some cash for a good cable install. these are jobs that are well paying but people still like to directly show their appreciation for a job well done. i myself have bought a case of beer for the guys who installed my furnace, good job guys:) i always tip at the restaurant if my service is good. the only thing i won’t do is tip for bad service. for those who say don’t tip i say tip away, it’s the best way to encourage good service and to punish bad service.

    Heavyall on

    mike said: (July 10, 2012 at 9:56 am)
    “those who think tippings wrong are not looking at it the right way. as a few others have stated if you don’t tip and the servers get paid more by the restaurant your food would just go up.”

    No. Servers around here get $10/hr, and food prices are pretty much the same as places where they do have lower server wages. Besides that, sit down “tippable” restaurants already charge a lot more than ones where the staff don’t get tips but do get paid more.

Wes on

I was working part-time at a smoothie shop where the debit terminal that we were using used to be used in a restaurant the owner used to run. The tip function was still on there. The owner would then just give out the tips monthly as a bonus based on the hours worked. I was surprised by the amount of tips I got in a month’s time just because the function was there. And all I did was scoop fruit, press buttons and pour into cups. Tipping is getting ridiculous in Canada. Tipping should encourage better service as an incentive, but all I’ve noticed is that many waiter/waitresses expect a certain amount. Even if I leave 15% for ok service, I’ve seen rather disgusted face from a waitress which then makes me wonder why we bother anymore.

Brent A. on

I just returned to Vancouver after living in California for a few years, and I can’t tell you how many times I heard friends in the service industry there say how cheap Canadians tip. It is different there, for sure, but tipping 10% is just embarrassing, and this is apparently what many Canadian’s do.

    star on

    i so agree. Canadian’s are cheap. It’s embarassing. I will often over tip to compensate when eating out with friends.

    Lyn on

    there’s a long standing joke about Canadians and tipping… “What’s the difference between a canoe and a Canadian? A canoe tips”. It’s so true!

      jim morrical on

      That’s funny! However, I’m Canadian, I’m 50, I make around 70 grand a year and I work hard for every dime. Here’s how I tip: Restaurants – Good service: 20%, mediocre: 10%, crappy: nothing.
      Cabs – 10%, Valets, bellhops – 5-10 bucks, Housekeeping – $5/day, Hairdresser – haircut costs $22, I give her $40 (she’s awesome, and I’m handsome and debonair largely due to her skills)
      I also donate conservatively to charities that help children and the homeless,both people and animals.
      I’m not rich, but I manage my money well enough. If I end up not having quite enough when I’m old, I’ll still be satisfied knowing that I helped lots of other people have just a little more. My wife and I
      share similar views about money and how we choose to use it, so we rarely have arguments about money. It’s a pretty good life all in all.
      In closing, a special Thank You to anyone who has ever brought me food and drink, carried my bags, cleaned up after me, driven me places, cut my hair, and laundered my clothing: I have appreciated your efforts and I
      trust I have shown my appreciation sufficiently through my voluntary gratuities, genuine smile, or firm handshake. Thank you all and I wish you all happy, prosperous lives.

      Bonnie on

      I’m glad if that works for you Jim Morical but I on the otherhand do not make seventy thousand a year. I’m a 66 yr. old disabled widow raising a 15 yr old boy. He plays hockey so that’s a huge bite out of my eighteen thousand a year. When we do dine out, we save so that we can go to a restaurant known for it’s good food and service. For that, I do tip generously, but if the service is poor and the food unsatisfactory, I don’t tip at all. We don’t take taxis or stay in hotels with valets. Yes we tip the hairdresser. Our hair is usually a sight to be seen before we can go to a hairdresser. I scrimp and save so that I can give my son a decent life with decent clothes, buy him the books he loves to read, and take him to hockey games and tournaments. I do not tip just because it’s expected. If I am treated with the same courtesy of one who is obviously wealthier and the food is decent, then at least a tip has been earned. Now that it is the Christmas season, we celebrate the birth of Jesus and there will no tips for anyone. I will not spend money on someone else when I only have about $50 to spend on my son. (That includes Christmas dinner.) I am glad for you and your wife that your circumstances allow you to be generous, but those in the service industry should not expect tips but be thankful for the ones they get. Not everyone has money to spare. And yes, I do donate to charities, money as well as time and hard work. May God bless everyone this holiday season. And remember to pay it forward folks. That homeless fellow on the corner is somebody’s child. Maybe a little less tip and a hot cup of coffee for that man in the cold, or just kindly listen to someone sitting alone who needs a friend.

      Karen on

      Really? Canadians are crappy tippers? Maybe we get/give better service while in Canada as a general rule than when we are in the US. Regardless, I was a server, I have 2 children who are servers in the hospitality industry. My husband and I tip 15% standard before GST and PST – regardless of service. I don’t have to shop, cook, do dishes or pack away the leftovers. In Alberta, minimum wage is set for servers by the industry that you work in – fast food workers make more as a minimum wage than persons who work in a establishment that sells booze. Either way, it is not enough to live on without tips. Get an education, you say? That is what they are doing while they are serving you. Paying for the $100.00 textbook, gas to get to school, let alone their tuition. These jobs typically work around their school hours. And yes, they do have to pay out to other people regardless of if you tip or not. Think about that the next time my daughter comes up to you and asks you how you are enjoying that meal or next when she meets you in a courtroom as a lawyer.

      Zoe on

      No one is saying that tips shouldn’t be given. Tips are given for good service. I tip 20%. If the service is terrible the person either gets nothing or 10% and below. If the service is fantastic, the person gets above 20%. If the service is not better than average, then they get 15%. But there is no obligation to provide a tip. I too worked in the hospitality industry and I always knew that tips were not guaranteed and that I had to work hard at creating a good experience for the person I was serving. That’s what they are paying for. They aren’t paying for me and my needs. They are paying for the experience they just received that I provided to them.

      Bonnie on

      You have the right attitude Zoe. For those that think we have to tip regardless of service, guess again. I tip when the service is good to exceptional and my tip will reflect that. Bad service, no tip. There have been many on here that think we owe it to them to tip. Not so. We work as hard for our money and many jobs are much more demanding and we are neither offered a tip nor would we except one and yet we must perform at the highest level. There have been even those that have suggested we may not get service or we better watch our food if it becomes known that we aare not generous tippers. Those are the people that should never be tipped and lose their job.

      Bonnie on

      Cry me a river Karen. No one owes you or your kids anything. If the service is good, fine, then a tip is deserved. Poor service, no tip. I’ve been in many a restaurant where I’ve had to flag down a server just to get a menu after sitting for 15 minutes. A few days ago, I was at a restaurant where she brought me the wrong order and by the time mine came, my guest had finished their meal. Then, she forgot to give me cutlery and after attempting to flag her down ( she was busy chatting with another server), I finally got up, found where they kept their cutlery and was gathering up my own when she finally spotted me. I had to ask for water and when the final bill came, she tried to charge me for the order that was not mine. When I pointed it out to her, she said, oh, THEY were not supposed to charge you for that. What they? She makes up the bill. I walked over by the kitchen and asked another server to pass a tip over to the cook who was within my sight. Guess whether i tipped my server………….NOT
      BTW, this was during off hours and there were only about 10 people in the restaurant and 3 servers.

    Gail on

    We are not cheap. Just do not believe that tipping should be a fact of life. Everywhere you go you see tip jars: today we saw one on the cashier’s counter when we left the car wash. I have seen them on the counter at liquor store checkouts, and at dollar stores! Enough already! My husband and I are on fixed incomes and, as such, are never able to go out to dinner now due to 12% HST (sometimes higher due to the alcohol tax), and then we are expected to tip over and above that. We went for a fish dinner not long ago, not at a fancy restaurant, had a couple of glasses of wine and the bill, including the tip (see, we did tip!) was over $150.00. Fixed incomes just do not allow for those prices. We had the special which, after all, was not so special – neither the taste nor the price.

John Goddard on

Tip the sweet not the sour

My restaurant tips are proportional to the level of service – if my experience is made above average, by the servers I will gladly tip them well for the care and attention they took. If the experience is neutral – a small tip. Negative experience due to the server – no all,.and possibly a word with the manager or owner.

Have you every had a haircut from someone who either does not care, or does not appear to like, or respect you – no tip for them. I am happy to tip my hairdresser, She washes my dirty hair, and spends about 10 minutes massaging my scalp, before cutting my hair. She is gentle, friendly, and treats me with respect. She takes special care of me – that’s worth the $3 tip and the $5 at Christmas –

    steve on

    10-15% for good service. When service is poor I leave $0. When service is exceptional I leave 30%, and personally thank the server. When service is VERY poor, I leave $0 and explain to the server (or better the manager) that “their” tip is being saved for the next server who makes an effort to do it better.

joemanhas on

Tip a little more than one would expect.. it puts a smile on their face.

Shaun Nickerson on

The idea that if restaurants and the like paid their servers a decent wage that it would somehow save the consumer money is simply WRONG. They would pass that cost onto you VIA higher prices. Simple as that. Tipping gives you the option of showing how you feel about the service you received. It’s much better than fixed price increases. Also, you want to tip hair dressers well. Especially if you use the same place on a regular basis. I don’t know about you, but I want to make sure the person cutting my hair knows I think they are doing a good job.

    armsbill on

    There are many places in the world that have no tipping and their food prices in restaurants are not exorbitant, so the assertion of food prices going too high is wrong. Furthermore, although some servers do not make all that much, a lot of them take home a ton of money from tips. This means the overall economic cost is far higher with tipping than not.

    This article, which has been going on for something like a year, has made me realize how absurd this practice is. I do tip, but I really don’t like the practice at all. Furthermore, in countries where they don’t tip, I see them trying to start the practice. This is because they can make far more where there is tipping, which only costs the consumer in the end.

Rudy Haugeneder on

Tipping is horrible. The service and retail industries should pay their staff decently and then we, the public, would only have to pay the price asked for the product and service we expect. Nothing more. Period. Then more people would go out to eat. Incidentally, until that happens, I think tipping retail clerks should be expected, but most people don’t. Again, the answer is decent wages.

annelevyward on

While I agree that employers should pay decent wages so servers wouldn’t have to rely on tips, the fact is they don’t. I tip a standard 15% for standard service, 20% for outstanding and 10% for so-so. I visit North Carolina frequently, and this is what the state government says about paying “tipped” employees (like servers):

Thus, effective July 24, 2008, when the minimum wage increased to $6.55 per hour, an employer may pay as little as $2.13 an hour to tipped employees, which remained the same when the minimum wage increased to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009, as long as each employee receives enough in tips to make up the difference between the wages paid and the minimum wage.

So servers in NC are supposed to declare their tips and their employees only have to pay them minimum wage if their tips don’t measure up — I love the place, but I’d never want to work there. (And by the way, the cost of groceries there isn’t any less than here, even if wages are lower.)

Keith Jones on

I am Canadian returning here after living in New Zealand where there is no tipping ..none for anything. I find tippinmg obscene are hairdressers paid minimum wage ..I dont think so, a waitress using a hairdresser earning a minimum wage tips a person earning much more than they get. Like I said obscene.

    Aj on

    I was a professional server and bartender for many years in more than a few fine dining establishments and a couple pubs. I also went to school for hotel management, and worked on a departmental level at several hotels, so my 2 cents is well qualified.

    Tipping is customary in the service industry Canada, and has been for many years. It is absolutely not a right, but neither is good service. When you go to a restaurant, you are paying for your meal to be prepared, and brought to you, and the place to eat it. Period. You are not paying for a welcoming smile, promptness, or attention beyond delivery of goods. The rest of the experience is courtesy of the server, and is distributed at their discretion and ability. Receiving what many here perceive to be good service- prompt delivery, friendly banter, free items (such as water), assistance with choices and menu exterpertise, etc- is *customarily* provided by servers. It is not be a customers right, and it should not be expected anymore than a server should expect a tip. (Some of you may have to think about that one for a minute). So, if you appreciate a servers efforts to make your visit an enjoyable one, tip them, if you feel they went above and beyond, make it a generous one. Not tipping when the server has done everything possible to make your visit enjoyable is an insult to the server, it is simply someone taking advantage of good will, and is rest assuredly the mark of someone who is stunted in social graces.

    Serving and Bartending are professions, as is Hairdressing, Concierge and a few other things listed in the article. The bulk of servers are well educated, and particularly those employed outside of the “box restaurants” pursue continuing education pertaining to their chosen profession inlcuding sommelier courses, second/third/fourth languages and business/marketing diplomas. In better restaurants, the job qualifications and required skills are higher than most other customer service postions such as bank tellers, receptionists, salespeople, etc- and postions are very competitive and out of reach of the uneducated person who does not take the profession seriously.

    “Tipping out” the support staff as a server is comonplace, and in Alberta, is typically between 4-8% of a servers sales. It is most common in box and chain restaurants, these places will actually deduct it from your pay if you don’t volunteer it. Technically this is illegal, but that doesn’t stop it from happening. A server who expects tips from the guests doesn’t balk at tippng out though, because they appreciate the effort of their co-workers to make their job easier.( I will note that I myself quit a high profile steakhouse in Calgary as I didn’t agree with the managers and restaurant owners requiring to be tipped out, that in my opinion is just a kickback).

    If wages of servers were included in the price of restaurant meals, the price of the dining out would be higher. So, chances are, if you are paying more for your meal at one restaurant than another, that means the restaurant may actually be paying a living wage vs minimum wage. I worked in New Zealand and Australia for years where servers get paid a living wage, and when you go out for dinner, your bill is higher because of that. And only 10-20% of people tipped (it is not customary there except in more upscale restaurants) and becasue of this, the service is absolutely minimal because there is no incentive to give anything more than the job requires! On a side note, because I was used to working so much harder for my guests so I could earn a bigger tip, I actually got more frequent, and larger, tips in these countries than other co-workers!

    Housekeepers typically only clean 7- 13 rooms a day, depending on the room and quotas. If you are expecting them to do more than refresh you towels and make your bed, give them a tip. If you leave the room a pigsty and expect them to clean up your slobbishness- clothes on the floor, dishware everywhere, spills on the furniture and garbage not in the bin- give them a generous tip.

    Personally,only taxi drivers who do more than just go form A to B get a tip of more than a token $1 from me. If they tallk on their phone, try to rip me off, have a poor knowledge of the city and how to get places, or try to get me to not pay by debit (because in Calgary they will often refuse you to pay by debit because it attracts a surcharge) they get nothing from me. If they help me out with my bags, open my door or close it, offer to turn/up down radio/heat, etc or go above and beyond to make my trip enjoyable, they get at least 10%.

      darby on

      Pardon me? I cannot expect common courtesy from restaurant staff?

      ladarzak on

      Wow, this bizarre complexity of analysis and expectation is part of why I cut my own hair and make my own food unless forced into a restaurant situation. You can’t expect the average user to think through all that.

      Chr on

      So, does that mean that in any industry, we are obligated to deliver a product or service at just the bare minimum to get the job done and nothing more? I wonder how that theory would wash with most consumers…the cashier doesn’t have to say hi, just ring you through…the furniture delivery company doesn’t have to say anything or be polite about taking off their shoes and not marking up your walls, they just need to get the furniture in the door in new condition…when people call us, we just have to be to the point and accurate with their inquiries, politeness not required…that just seems ridiculous…

      Kay on

      So in summary…
      Some businesses illegally pull a percentage of the customer’s bill from the employee’s paycheque if no tip is received. Forgive me for not thorough researching the business practices of every establishment I frequent, but your employer’s illegal actions are not my battle.

      Waitresses/Bartenders/Etc are the only possible industry where I should be tipping for a smile? Competence? No no dear. Just about ever other customer service related profession mandates this out of their employees for not extra benefit to them. It is just proper customer service.

Victor on

almost all restaurants have a required “tip out” where each server is giving somewhere from 2-5% of their sales amount back to “the house” at the end of the night. if your bill is $200, and you tip NOTHING, then your server will still owe “the house” $2-$5 at the end of the night from your bill alone. If the quality of service is horrible, then dont leave a tip, but if it’s decent then you have to leave something or that service is loosing money for having served you. people who always tip nothing are greedy and ignorant. if your a frugal tipper, thats fine, it’s your choice. but if you always tip nothing, stop eating in restaurants and stay home so you can count your pennies again.

    Brrr on

    None of that is the customers’ fault or problem.

    The advice to stay home makes even less sense. If the businesses see less customers, the servers will probably lose their jobs. They should never count on a tip, ever. Their reward for a job well done is that those customers might come back, and they get to keep their jobs.

    Until restaurant servers start walking into my work and dropping tips on my desk, I won’t be tipping them for just doing their jobs.

      ken on

      my son is a professional waiter….in the high end establishments that he works in the tip back to the house is 7% on the entire bill including liquor…the not tip folks are idiots….if your want to change the custom about tipping eat at take outs and march with a placard!

      Brrr on

      Ken, I think your vitriol is misplaced. Instead of being angry at the customers, you (and your son) should be looking squarely at the employer.

      Chr on

      Come on Ken, isn’t that a problem with the owner/manager/industry and not the consumer?

A.G. Smith on

I do not tip. It is a foul custom akin to paying a panhandler and simply should not happen. Employers should be responsible for fair compensation, not the customer.

    monica on

    That’s fine… and I would agree with you: The employer SHOULD pay the workers better so we could eliminate tips. However, if this were to happen, the prices on the menus would RISE DRAMATICALLY to offset this cost. So either way, you will pay roughly the same amount whether directly via set menu prices, or with tips.

      Bonnie on

      If there were less restaurants in Canada they would have to boost their quality in order to compete. Even in so called high end restaurants the food can be lousy. People end up paying for the decor (ambiance) or location only to find out that the food they serve at home is way better than what they are getting in a restaurant. Where it once used to be that even a hamburger joint had to serve the very best in order to stay open and competitive, now anyone can throw on an apron, take a food safe course designed for simpletons and call themselves a cook. If the food is outstanding, there is usually a chef with staff. They are already getting a good wage and are being paid for their chosen career. The serving staff will also be making decent wages because the owner of the restaurant does not want to loose them. If not, they are working in the wrong place or their work skills are not up to par. Low quality and less service should mean less customers but in this fast paced world, it’s a grab and run society when it comes to eating. Therefore, we don’t often get what we pay for but what is convenient. But, even in some small mom and pop operations, you can find excellent food and service. You have to keep your ears and eyes open and then frequent those places instead of the 90% of restaurants that shouldn’t be opened in the first place. Any place with good to excellent food is going to be busy and therefore paid well. Tipping is an option and should never be an expectation. I have heard people complain that they only made $10 a day in tips. Well, if they work 5 days a week, that’s $50, which many well educated people would be glad to have over and above their pay. Where this stupid idea came from to call waitress/waiter, taxi driver, housekeeping, etc, the service industry I’ll never know. Every job is a service job. Those in the lumber industry, engineers, road maintenance are all doing us a service. People need to quit their complaining, do their job to the best of their ability and if they do get a tip, be grateful. If they don’t, be satisfied that they have a job that they chose and will get paid for.

    Tereza Martins on

    It’s great that you don’t tip, but you are costing your server 4 to 5 % of the bill for the pleasure of serving you and with customers like you she or he will be making a very poor income for sure, in other words you are stealing from them , what you are is cheap!

      Sharpy on

      No the tax man is stealing from the server sadly not I !

      Jilly on

      tereza, why is the non tipping customer costing the server 4-5% of the bill?????

      star on

      because the server has to tip out the kitchen bartender buss boy dishwasher on every bill. even if someone is too cheap to tip

      Stephanie on


      Servers usually have to tip out their support staff ( bartenders, hostess, kitchen) it’s usually between 3 and 5% of their total sales. If you were to not tip your waiter or waitress s/he would still have to tip out on that sale essentailly pay to serve you! We didn’t make the rules we just follow them. Sure if the service is bad you didn’t get what you ordered, the waiter forgot about you or didn’t ring in your order, the food was terrible then tip less but don’t make some poor server pay to serve you because in the end we are doing a service for you! And you know what? I’d tip a plumber if he came to fix a leaky faucet or plunge my toilet because it’s a Service.

      objection on

      You can convince me to tip a server for their service since we pay for the food and the tip is for the service, but for a plumber that charges over $100, I won’t tip them because what they are charging me already is for their service. Same goes for furniture delivery. We pay additional $ to get it delivered to our house, why pay the extra tip? if we tip because they are providing us a service, then what are we paying them in the first place? If we tip every time someone provides us a service, are we going to start tipping bus driver as well?
      The thing that gets me the most is when you are expected to tip everyone if you are a tourist, especially one on a cruise ship. You tip the server, the head server, the guide, the greeter, the friend of the greeter, or anyone who generally says hello to you that works on the ship. I think that is when tipping has gone too far.

      Joe Ronson on

      if you tip to feel good you should take your buisness where the servers are unionized

      Solitaire Sally (@SolitaireSally) on

      We are not stealing from anyone by not tipping – our money is our money. If we wish to hang on to it, that is our right. Tipping is something one can choose to do, not feel obligated to do.

      Bonnie on

      You’re absolutely right Solitaire Sally. Tips are not an entitlement. I have read different blogs where servers have said things like we wouldn’t be welcome in their restaurants if we become known as non tippers or that we would not get decent service and even one commented that you never know what could happen to our food before it reaches the table. That to me is a not very well veiled threat that the food could be spit on or picked off the floor or some other disgusting thing done to it. These are the type of servers that don’t deserve a job at all. If they don’t like their minimum wage, try no wage. If the server is working in a low income restaurant, it is because they haven’t enough experience or the right attitude to work in a high end better paying restaurant. No mater what the job, there is always room for improvement and promotion. Sorry but I have no sympathy. I held two jobs when I was young working in a restaurant and a cafeteria. I decided I wanted more respect and better pay, so I did something about it. Education, education, education! No one owes anybody else anything in this life. There are no free rides once you leave mommy and daddy’s, nest which they worked damn hard for.

      Neil McCubbin on

      Very well said
      I work for ALL of my money, and do not get tips
      My wife was a nurse for over 40 years, and was offerred about 3 tips, all refused.
      Nurses make less tham most barmaids, which is a poor coment on the values of our society (as is the perpetual whining by waiters and waitresses who do NOT have an unusually hard job)
      If anyone gives service, it it the front line medical professionals, and they do not get tips.

      Melissa on

      I tip between 10-15% for standard service, but I will tip more if the server or hairdresser goes above and beyond. I made the mistake of tipping my hairdresser about 33% the last time I got my hair done; mainly because something had gotten the message mixed that I didn’t want shampoo and cut and also because I had extra stuff done while in the chair. Also remember anybody who receives tips has to report them to Revenue Canada.

      Grumpy Traveller on

      After reading the comments on here and some other “hospitality” boards, the practice should surely be stopped and the employers, particularly in the United States, should be forced to pay a decent wage. A lot of people who get tipped well end up earning far in excess of what they should be making, and customer can’t always tell if the person is raking it in or needs the tip to survive.

      I always thought it was intended to be an optional thing. Instead, it seems to be a situation where people might seriously screw up your food if they think you aren’t going to tip them well.

      I notice a lot of restaurants tacking on service charges, anywhere from 12% to 20%.. If I feel like tipping someone, I should have the option to do it, and if I don’t feel like it, I should have that option also. I don’t need places telling me how much the “tip” should be.

Mike Mugridge on

I agree with the naysayers. Tipping is a weird custom that has grown and taken on a life of its own. It is, in my opinion, mostly social pressure not to appear cheap. As the article above says even if we get poor service, we are STILL expected to tip? WTF?!?!?

And please don’t give me the “Hey, tips form a large part of these peoples’ income” argument. It is only BECAUSE tipping is “expected” that certain business owners can underpay and then slickly download the cost and responsibility of paying their employees directly to the customers. What a great racket!

Imagine if a renovation contractor just finished a job, handed you the bill and then said, “You know my people make less than minimum wage. I expect you to kick in an extra 15% so they can make a decent living.” You would toss him out on his ear. But yet it is acceptable in *certain* industries. Why? Because of social convention and people being afraid to look cheap, that’s why.

By the way, yes I do tip – roughly according to the guidelines above. But if you take a step back and really examine the practice, it makes no sense. It’s just a hidden cost.

bob on

You should never tip. If the person is getting paid to do their job, why should you have to tip them?
If they want to be paid more, get a better job. Tipping is stupid and out of control. Think how many people do not get tipped that deserve it more than a waiter/waitress. If you make 15 bucks an hour and your “busy” waiter at Boston pizza makes 10 bucks an hour,, and we all tip 15%…at the end of a 5 hour shift the waiter makes 50 bucks in pay and 150 bucks in tips? That is just ridiculous that a waiter made 40 bucks an hour because society says we should tip them,,,just plain stupidity.

    Ryan on

    Jeez, some really cheap people commenting here.

    If a few dollars for a tip is going to bankrupt you, you didn’t have enough money to be dining out anyway.

      bob on

      …it has nothing to do with being cheap…it has to with stupidity and tipping at a given percent is stupid…tip who ya want when ya want but dont follow societies rules that ya have to tip…because you do not.

      Common man on

      I second Bob. By setting tipping as an expectation we are just reinforcing the behavior. As Bob said, if someone wants money let them go get a better job. People working in the service industry should have a service mind, otherwise it will result in double standards! Please don’t corrupt the society just because you have a few extra dollars to spare. Put it to genuinely good use than show off. There are lots of real needy people in this world than a bunch of servers.

    leightonstl on

    It is easy to be ignorant when it comes to the service industry. It is standard that Servers make the Service Standard Minimum Wage ( $9.05 an hour in Alberta) which is less than regular minimim wage. If you think servers are walking around, making $20 an hour and still walking away with tips and laughing you are terribly mistaken. Not to mention how most servers pay to serve. As in, they pay between 3 to 8 percent of their sales out to the restaurant. So just to make that clear,servers pay to serve you. So when your bill is $100.00 and you leave nothing, we tip out to the restaurant, bussers, hostesses, managers regardless. In other countries like Austrailia, where tipping is not custom, servers ARE making 20 to 30 dollars an hour. They don’t need tips. They are incorporated. Companies pay their staff to keep them. That’s the standard for them. In Canada and the U.S. service staff is disposable and easy to take advantage of. Servers are not there simply to rip people off. They are there to make money to pay their bills. And yes, they do pay taxes on Gratuity. It is required by the Government of Canada. Or they face the risk of being heavily auditted and oweing a substandtial amount of money. Punishment and Blame need not apply to the people that are taking care of you and your endless demands and rude behavior. Look at your industry standards and the allowances they take from their highly disposable staff.

      opineall on

      These are the employment problems of servers in this industry, they are not my problems as a patron. It is absolutely ludicrous to have a business that says “here are the prices for the food, and also the staff EXPECTS you to give them an extra 15% for bringing it to your table because we don’t pay them enough.”
      I will tip 10% for pleasant, quick service. If the server is overworked, not my problem. They are getting tips from more tables then, and I’ll tip less if that slows them down. It takes a great server to get 15% from me, usually at high-end places where each server has maybe 3 or 4 tables.
      The entitlement attitude of servers who (for the most part, I know there are exceptions) got a high school diploma (or less), or took a fun degree/diploma program and now realize it’s useless, is really absurd. If you are a great server, you can probably work at a fancy joint and make good coin there. But you’re not. Your job consists of making some friendly banter, remembering what people want, and then bringing it to them. I respect you but don’t think you’re saving the world. You’re not a hero.

Brrr on

Tipping is a bad custom. Most people do not get tipped at their jobs, but they are expected to tip other people out of that set wage. It’s ridiculous. When I do a good job for my clients, my “tip” is that I get more work from them.

    confidential99 on

    I completely agree. Tipping makes no sense. Companies should charge a fee and pay their staff. If the staff are underpaid, companies should adjust their price and/or pay their staff more.

    marilyn on

    I have been a waitress and a housekeeper , and I have never expected any extra money from customers for work that I was already being paid to do. If they left me a tip, then I felt that my service was appreciated. However when I did housekeeping, myself and others found that the head housekeeper was stealing all the tips at checkout times. If I felt I was’nt being paid enough then I moved on. Can you imagine a family of 2 or more kids that save enough all month to go to dinner to have to worry about adding a tip to their bill ?

      John on

      Right on! Amen. About time this boogy man was dismantled.

    Joe Ronson on

    I agree tipping is an evil throwback to slavery. People tipping like to feel they are great giving the servers a little extra which the employer likes so he does not have to pay as much,tipping helps the employer mostly.stay away from places where tipping is expected

    mpalneta on

    Fully agree

    Chr on

    Agreed! I thought tipping was about recognizing the level of service you have received, not an obligation. If I get great service, for sure I’ll tip. If I receive poor service, forget it. I don’t get a tip for doing my job poorly…

Maurice on

$1 for your maid is insulting. Tipping cabbies? I don’t think so. Not tipping the owner of a salon if she cuts your hair? Silly!! No tip for takeout? You are cheap!

“Consider tipping housekeeping”?? Ok – the maid should get $3 a day minimum, more if you’re in a 5 star. Her labor is very low paid, and deserves to be rewarded for cleaning up after you.

Never tip a cabbie unless he’s pointed out things of interest, shopping deals or some value added service. Their rates provide very good compensation for the level of skill required.

Not tipping an owner of a salon is ridiculous. She has all the stress of all the expenses, while paying her staff, all the risk of advertising, product purchasing, etc – and somehow she doesn’t deserve a tip? Ridiculous – and cheap!

Takeout foods still need to be cooked, packaged, brought to you, and money collected. It’s nearly as much work as bringing it to a table – and deserves a tip. I always tip at least 5% – more if I am going to a regular place where I always eat in. Since a lot of restaurants give 10% off for pickup, I often tip the 10% reduction.

NEVER tip on the TOTAL amount – tip only on the amount BEFORE taxes.

    yerallnuts on

    Fixed rate tipping makes no sense whatsoever. It would be nice if service industries and restaurants simply paid their staffs a living wage and didn’t try to download their cheapskate salary shortfalls onto the consumer’s backs.

    I was once at a restaurant in Lake George, NY where the server messed things up badly – We were seriously overcharged for a meal, well beyond the menu price. After 3 attempts to get the bill fixed (the last involving the manager) I gave up. I left a ‘negative tip’ where I simply deducted the overage from the billed total and paid the net amount that should have been charged – no tip. Service was slow, full of errors and the staff incompetent. The server followed us to our car and said that ‘there must have been a mistake’. I explained that the onlyh mistake was going to their restaurant and then the rationale behind the negative tip, she got huffy and said they’d add the amount of the ‘tip’ rather than subtracting it and I said I’d report it as fraud if they tried – they didn’t.

    No tip on take out – there is no server. There is no table to wait. There are no dishes to carry, clear or wash. You don’t tip the cashier.

    For a Buffet, where you get your own food it is 10%.

    There is ZERO justification for 20% unless the server does something extra-special for you. The concept that ‘20% is the new 15%’ would be appropriate if the cost of the meal was the same as it was years ago – however since the price of the meal reflects the increased cost of living, 15 points for good service is it.

    Taxi drivers? If they open a door, carry a bag or do anything beyond simply driving me to my destination I’ll consider it. If all they do is sit on their butts . . . . . nothing.

    Maids? Bellhops? I carry my own bags. I don’t want anyone walking e to my room. I do not tip maids for doing their jobs.

    My barber gets $2 extra on his $16 charge.

      Seth on

      I’m a waiter. I have to give out 4% of my total sale for the night to others in the restaurant. So if you tip me 15% of the sales for your food, just know that I’m only getting an 11% tip really and the rest I don’t see. Even if I get stiffed by the guest for some reason, I still have to tip out 4% of their sales to the house. This is in Canada – ridiculous. In America – its by each state’s laws. I’ve served in three states – Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky. In each state the server made 2.13/ hour as their wage and we had to (unwritten law code) tip out bartenders, bus boys, food runners, or even management. No server ever gets the whole tip. In th U.S. they get anywhere from 70-80% of the tip really. Why can’t people just be generous. Don’t go out to eat if you’re not prepared to leave a nice tip. Don’t order extra food, etc. and then see how high the bill is and take it out of the servers tip. Be prepared to leave 20% and work your way down if there are problems.

      Heavyall on


      Required tip outs are illegal. You can have them as an agreed upon practice in a given establishment, but they must be voluntary. Minimum wage is also mandatory by federal law. If your tips + server wage do not add up to the state/provincial minimum, your employer must pay you the difference. In most provinces in Canada there is no server wage either. My servers where I live are making $10/hr PLUS tips.

      I also don’t see what “being generous” has to do with it. I donate to the United way, I give generously to missions at my church, I pony up extra whenever there a disaster relief campaign, etc. What I DON’T do is go out to dinner for charity. Things are expensive enough as it is, there’s nothing that you do as a server that makes you entitled to an additional 20% of MY money.

      You say “Don’t go out to eat if you’re not prepared to leave a nice tip”. I say, find a different job if you expect me to pay you extra out of pocket for doing the job you are already getting paid for.

      Andrew Hill on

      Seth, if you can’t live on what your employer pays you, you should get another job. A tip is a reward for great service, sadly it has come to be expected by those in the restaurant industry. When I was growing up 10% was the tipping standard, today it has jumped to 15% and people like Seth would have us see it jump to 20%. You are a waiter a monkey could do you job. I know I waited throughout my undergrad for four years. It requires to special skills, talents, or education. Perhaps you should have gone to school Seth and you would have a better job.

      Yak on

      if you get to keep 11% of the 15, that is 73% of the total tip… well within your 70-80% in the US. Sharing tips with other team members of the restaurant appear fair. My issue is with those who feel entitled to their tip.

      Tip only to pre-tax total. Adding a tip on the tax is ridiculous. The automatic calculated tip option on the credit card machines almost always calculate tip on the after tax total!

      Alexander on

      One should not expect tips. It’s begging, after being paid a wage.

      Aqui on

      And I feel we should not tip unless some one gone extra mile , as waiter, hair dresser, driver and maid getting there wages for work they doing .
      It’s there duty to do there work and they get wages from money we pay for there goods and services.
      If they feel there pay rate is not enough then they should consider doing some other job.

      I feel tipping same as bribing to get service which we should receive on first place .

      A Smith on

      Delivery drivers deserve tips too, especially if you are having them drive to you in unfavourable road conditions such as rain, snow, darkness etc. They are usually using their own vehicle, their pay is really really low, certainly not enough to cover vehicle maintenance costs and they have just risked their life on the road to bring you your dinner! Absolutely tip the delivery drivers, to not do so is totally rude.

    Joe on

    Nah. No tips for takeout. No service No tips. They do not bring water or tea, give a place to sit, wash the dishes, clean up the table, and set up the table. You are in and go.

      A Smith on

      Everywhere I get take out always offers a beverage while waiting and a table to sit at. So yeah, I always tip on take out! Not as much as I would if I stayed to eat but certainly enough to acknowledge the kind service I received while I was there plus for the delicious food I get to take home and not have to prepare. I know the food will be good because I never take out from places I don’t already know.

Maria Baldini on

it seems rather inequitable to tip $1 for maids for doing up the whole room/suite and $1 for bellmen/taxi drivers for a second of lifting your bag.

    M. Finkelstein on

    I agree that $1.00 per day is ridiculously low. Multiply that by at least 5X.

      Joe Ronson on

      if people driving taxi or housekeepers clean hotel rooms need mote than they now receive they should get togather and join a union. If they are to lazy to do that, then quit begging for customers to top up the pay you get. I try to stay away fom places where tips are expected.

      Sandra on

      Having worked in a management role at a Hotel, I can assure you that housekeeping staff and bellmen are unionized. Bellmen are not paid all that well, but housekeeping staff are. They made more money than I did in a management role. Banquet servers are also unionized and some of the senior servers were at the time making well over 6 figure salaries due to union rules. So moral of the story – tip based on service, not based on pity.

      Bonnie on

      Well Sandra you have solved my dilemma for me. If the housekeeping staff, banquet staff and the bellman are all unionized, I no longer have to feel guilty if I do not tip. In fact, I won’t tip. If some of the banquet staff are pulling in a 6 figure salary, that’s 5 times more than I make. I don’t know how many times I’ve tipped because I’ve felt shamed if I don’t. Well, no more! If they don’t feel they are making enough money they can go complain to their shop steward and take it up with their union. My conscience is clear! And for all others working in non union restaurants, maybe if you improve your skills you can get into one of the more lucrative jobs, union and all. If you can’t you are either ( 1) not good enough (2) too lazy to put together the work effort, (3) your people skills are lacking or (4) it’s just a summer job that you don’t intend to stay in anyway. If none of this satisfies you and you have a sob story to tell, I don’t want to hear it. I have my own and I don’t rely on others to pay my way because of it. Woohooo no more tipping for me, period!

      Brie on

      I just wanted to put in here that not ALL house keepers etc are unionized. yes some are but not all and that is not really a fair assumption to make. Also the rooms that usually require the most work are the rooms that never leave a tip. I have family members who have been housekeepers for many years at different hotels (some union and some not). I tip $1-$2 for every day that I stay then the day I leave i will leave $5-$10 depending on the service i get from them during the week i am there. by leaving a small tip everyday you ensure that the person who does the work gets the tip. you don’t want to leave the tip just on the last day b/c the person doing the room that day may just be covering someone else’s day off.

    Deborah Purdy on

    How many rooms is housekeeping expected to clean in one day? If they clean 50 rooms, that’s $50 above their regular pay. Isn’t that enough? I wish someone would pay me an extra $250 a week for doing my job. Now, if I multiply that by 5 X, then the maid would make $1250 a week over and above what her employer pays her. That is outrageous and if that’s the norm, then I’ll chuck my teaching job and head to housekeeping. The hours are better and the pay is awesome considering the stress is nil. They even get to wear uniforms–bonus savings on professional attire.

      Juan Carlos on

      50 rooms? In an 8 hour shift? Even without breaks, that’s a room every 6 minutes. I don’t think so, and any hotel that can clean a room in 6 minutes is not one I want to visit. Try a more reasonable number in there, like maybe 30 minutes per room, which is 15 or so rooms a day… $15 on top of minimum wage. Suddenly doesn’t seem like such a great gig, does it?

      Danny on

      Clean 50 rooms/day. Not realistic so it must have been posted by a school teacher.

      Sara Bayliss on

      On average, housekeepers clean 16 rooms a day. Check outs take longer than stayovers and Sunday is the busiest day for check outs. As a former housekeeper myself, any tip is appreciated, it shows us you recognize that we serviced your room, it wasn’t a cleaning fairy:) A $2-$5 tip is most appreciated. I travel a lot and tip my ladies everyday, I notice the extra touch.

      kathie on

      dear deborah.

      i hope you are never teaching my kids.

      xuan on

      perhaps for the good of all, you should reconsider your current career as an “educator”

      Megg on

      I really agree with you. It’s time this TIPPING THING was re-evaluated- and restaurant workers, house-cleaners, cab-drivers and ALL jobs that expect a tip be paid the going rate.

      So be it if there will be less restaurants to dine in- I know I can manage- how about the rest of you? You want to be ‘sucked-in’ forever??

    Vancouver John on

    I remember hearing somewhere that you should tip maids $2 per pillow (head) per night. With a family that gets a little expensive but I usually use that guideline assuming two adults instead of the whole family.

    Juliette Deschamps on

    What I am concerned about is the amount to tip at a buffet-meal….we serve ourselves, and the waiter/tress serves us coffee and water and removes our plates… is it still 15%?… I usually leave $2.50 on a $17.00 buffet (price before taxes)..My daughter is a waitress, I would never like to be stingy… restaurant personnel do not make the same minimum salary as other people, we all know that!… Good day from Ormstown Québec

    Tired of paying fair wages by tipping on

    I know that I usually tip but did you ever wonder why we tip? Whatever happened to paying a fair wage? Why are we even tipping? Why are we assuming the owners’ responibility to increase wages in the service industry to a fair level? Other than the underpaid service industry, does anyone else out there get a tip? Maybe it’s time service sector employers got real and paid fair wages.

      Maria on

      Truth of the matter is that someone has to work in the service industry and Minimum wages do not pay the rent or accommodations. Those who work there are obviously not union workers or have their own business. It is simply a courtesy for the waters, waitresses who do their best to make the customer welcome and look after their ,in your case every whim. Don’t like to pay tips? Stay at home and make your own meals and clean up after yourself. There! That’s easy isn’t it?

      Gail on

      Well, that was rude and if you are one of the waiters/waitresses that we must contend with and who consider that a tip is mandatory, good luck with that., You need an attitude adjustment! Shame on you and if I do not want to tip, I will not tip, It is my money.

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