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canada tipping and tips

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This topic contains 33 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by avatar Ms.Vader 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #850956 Reply
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    Tui
    Member

    I’m heading to Vancouver and the Alberta Rockies on holiday soon. Coming from Australia/New Zealand we just don’t have a tipping culture for anywhere except the fanciest restaurants, or there might be a jar for spare change on the counter. Is it much the same as the USA? I had an unpleasant experience in San Francisco with a waiter basically lecturing us on how much was expected after asking where we were from – we were actually going to tip generously, but all the notes looked the same so we were taking our time to work it out!

    Any tips for Vancouver/Calgary for any must see sights/eats?

    #850963 Reply
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    cdobbs

    Hi,
    I’m a Canadian so hopefully I can help you out….it is customary to tip waiters/waitresses as they actually make less than the minimum wage here….it is just expected that the tips they would earn will make up for that….standard tip is 15% on total bill….an easy way to figure out the tip is to tip the same amount as the HST on the bill (which is around 13%)….higher tips for good service of course….so in the range of 15-20% is a good rule of thumb

    #850964 Reply
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    MissD
    Participant

    Also Canadian. Tipping culture in Canada isn’t as crazy as it is in the US.

    The polite thing to do is tip 15% for table service. That’s pretty much the standard but nobody is going to rip your head off and think you’re a horrible person if you round down.

    Yes, the minimum wage for liquor servers is lower than the standard but only by $1.

    Just be nice and tip 15%. If you’re paying by card there’s almost always an option to add the tip to your total and it will be calculated for you.

    #850965 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    I visited Canada a lot when i was seeing a Canadian guy, and my impression was it’s the same as the US. I never tip less than 20%, and no one who’s been a server would either. Even for bad service, I wouldn’t. It’s the hardest most grueling job I’ve ever had, mentally and physically. I’d work doubles, from 10am to midnight, and make no money at lunch. Tables of women with little kids didn’t tip after their kids made a mess. Tables of military people tipped too little because they thought everyone else got it. It sucks.

    But if these Canadians think 15% is fine then you should be safe with that, definitely no lower.

    #850966 Reply
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    ktfran
    Participant

    Also to note with tipping: If you’re receiving a happy hour special or using some sort of coupon, tip on what the full amount would have been. If you don’t want to do the math, add a few dollars or whatever.

    I’ve never been in the service industry, but the husband and I always tip at least 20%, more if it’s happy hour and more if we’re going to our local places where we’re regulars.

    #850967 Reply
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    MissD
    Participant

    Well, I spent 32 years of my life in Canada. And tipping culture is absolutely NOT the same as the US. When I see you and Wendy and other Americans talking about expectations when it comes to tipping, I am always baffled by how seriously you take it.

    I honestly don’t know a single person who would routinely tip more than 15% (unless they experience service that was absolutely beyond exceptional).

    So, just do the polite thing and tip 15%.

    P.S. I worked in service all through college.

    #850968 Reply
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    MissD
    Participant

    When I say the culture is not the same, I mean that people don’t get all bent out of shape about it.

    Tipping is still the norm.

    #850970 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Yeah, I get absolutely livid about the idea of trying to save a couple bucks on a tip for someone who’s busting their ass to serve you, sorry. I always will. Americans are assholes.

    #850971 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Another topic, if you visit the US from Canada or Australia or similar, please do not talk about politics in public. We don’t do that here, and we’re having a very hard time with it. My husband’s boss is a lovely man, but he comes down from Ontario and tries to engage people in discussions about Trump, or talks loudly at dinner. I’ve seen Canadians do this at resorts too, say in Mexico where we’re just trying to get away from it all. Sensitivity and tempers are at an all time high, and we just don’t want to talk about it.

    #850972 Reply
    Roxy_84
    Roxy84

    Another Canadian, I live in Calgary and frequently travel to Vancouver. I tip 20% on all meals, as do most people I know.

    #850973 Reply
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    Lurker101

    Another Canadian here. I agree with MissD. We generally tip 15% in Toronto so I’m not sure about Vancouver/Calgary. If you’re going to Chinatown/Chinese restaurants, the expected tip is actually 10% and buffets (10% tips usually added to the bill already so no need for extra unless you want to).

    #850975 Reply
    courtney89
    courtney89
    Participant

    Sorry you had a bad experience in San Francisco. One of the worst dining services i’ve ever had was at the Wharf there.

    Glad we have some Canadian input here for you! 🙂

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