Tipping Suggestions…From the Restaurant Itself!

Most of my friends know that I am a decent tipper. It comes from my experience working as a busboy and a general appreciation for the majority of people who work in the service industry. You may recall me writing about it in my blog “Tip or No Tip” just under a year ago.

General consensus now is that 15% is about average…the range being as low as 10% in certain types of restaurants to 18% – 20% is on the higher side. Now, one could argue that there is no obligation to leave any type of tip, but that’s not the point of this blog.

Many restaurants automatically the gratuity for groups of 8 people or more. Again, I’ve seen a range from 15% to 20% for this practice. One might reason that a restaurant shouldn’t dictate the tip, but I can also certainly see why they do it. Group bills are a wonderful way for lesser tippers to employ their strategy of “maybe if I just sit here and pay the minimum, someone else will cover my portion too!” Then, some poor soul is always left to cover the short-fall.

One of the worst examples of automatic tipping was during a family vacation in Whistler. After a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant for about 20 of us, the bill came with a 15% tip added (no biggie) and a card reading: “In Canada, it is customary to leave a tip of 15% blah blah blah.” Now, this was indeed a biggie. Granted, we were a table of Asians, but we were speaking English the entire time (not that I can speak another language…haha) and needless to say, were quite offended that they presumed we were from another country and that we had no notion of the concept of tipping.

And just yesterday, after enjoying a decent fish and chips (it’s a Friday in Lent) lunch at a restaurant near my office, the bill came with 3 suggestions for tips at the bottom. Usually I just triple the GST of 5% to make 15%, round up to nearest dollar, and I’m done. But just in case I wanted to be more generous, the bill actually listed both the tip amount and resulting totals for 15%, 18% and 20%.

At first, I was taken aback given my prior experiences with tipping suggestions. But upon reflecting on it further, it is actually a brilliant idea, as it certainly helps those that aren’t great with math.

However, you’ll still have to guess-timate or pull out a calculator if you wanted to leave a tip of 16%, 17&, or 19% or anything less than !5% or above 21%. There simply isn’t room to list all options. Otherwise, the bill would be longer than your arm!


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