Canadians from coast to coast love making summer memories, and it is oh so easy.
Just like Justin Timberlake we have that "sunshine in our pocket" and like to enjoy some of "that good soul in our feet:" long lattés, drinks with friends, playing outdoors until dark, road trips and last-minute getaways -- some of which we have to pay for and tip.
Aside from modern wedding etiquette, tipping questions are some of the most popular questions that I receive.
Tipping practices are cultural. They vary in different sectors of the economy and from one country to another. In tune with society, etiquette guidelines evolve. These days, we increasingly tap the app or card to pay in lieu of taking out bills or coins to tip. If you are going abroad, as my maternal grandmother Florina used to say: "When in doubt, find out."
In answer to your questions, here is your modern-day summer fun tipping guide:
Coffee at the counter:
Although there may be a pretty urn with the acronym T.I.P.S. (To Insure Prompt Service, according to English folklore), a tip is not required. Coffee shop staffs receive the minimum wage. But if the barista recognizes you, serves you your coffee the way you like it and adds a smiley face on your latte, it's totally up to you. Giving a tip is not a faux-pas.
Coffee at the table:
If you occupied a table at a busy café for hours and your cup got refiiled a couple of times, the minimum is a $1 per cup. Be generous, especially if you want to be welcomed back warmly the next time you want to have your coffee and daydream while catching some rays.
Happy hour on the patio:
According to provincial legislation, the liquor server's hourly rate is less than the minimum wage. Tipping is therefore a necessary complement. Tipping is usually 15 per cent of the bill before taxes and is on the rise in Canada. Memorable service is now recognized with an additional 18 per cent to 20 per cent of the bill. Note that more and more businesses offer tipping options on the payment terminal. They are often calculated after taxes. Before choosing, ask. It's worth it!
"I hear you, Julie, but what if the service was so so and slow? Do I still have to tip?"
Foremost, you don't know the factors that are affecting the service, so take the time to find out. Ask your server and let him know how you feel.
You don't have to be rude, just state the facts and inquire. If you are not comfortable talking to your server, you can discreetly speak to management. They will surely take care of you and your situation. Since the employee relies on tips, it is better to give him the benefit of the doubt, without being too generous.
For a home delivery:
By law, in some provinces, the driver may also receive a lesser hourly rate than the minimum wage. Offer $2 to $5 for the traditional pizza, or 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the total. Carefully think about what you give, especially if you regularly order from the same place.
At the gas station:
When the service is available, be aware that you pay a surcharge on the price of the gas for the attendant to fill up your tank while you stay cool inside your car. Therefore, there is no obligation to tip. But, if your windshield was full of bugs and sea salt from your trip to the ocean (lucky you!) and they are now squeaky clean, why not give him a loonie or two to show your gratitude?
For a taxi ride:
Round it up to 10 per cent of the price, especially when he opens the door for you, plus inquires about your radio and temperature preferences. For picking up luggage, don't be surprised by the additional per suitcase fee. This chart is usually displayed inside the car, or in the window.
For an Uber ride:
In this period of transportation legislation adaptations in various provinces and elsewhere around the world, more and more of you are experiencing an on demand ride by taping the Uber button on your phone. In the majority of Uber services, payment is automated, so a tip may not be added. The exception is for UberTAXI where tipping is at your discretion. Knowing that your driver can also give you a rating, my recommendation is to get out your wallet and tip, especially if he allowed you to play your tunes and he sang along with you to "Girls hit your hallelujah (whoo!)."
If you pay for the cleaning, there is no tip to leave. If the cleaning staff did extras like iron your shirts, run some errands or if there was a big mess that was cleaned up quickly, do leave a tip. If you cannot do it in person, place it somewhere that only she will find, like under a pillow or in the vacuum closet, with a note. Most importantly leave no trace of your stay. You don't have to turn into Mr. Clean on your last day, but a minimal cleaning is required.
You have a sticky situation? This is your forum. Write to Julie and she will reply promptly. Want more solutions? Go to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Need a speaker or workshop leader? Julie travels. No time for training? Order autographed copies of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Hiring Julie is the best Return On Investment that you will ever make for your reputation.
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Our recently released America's Top Restaurants guide found that the national tipping average is 19.7%, but how do diners arrive at that number? A full 62% of diners who took our tipping survey report that they calculate the gratuity based on the post-tax total, and 38% say they calculate the amount on the pre-tax amount. Our survey found that the calculation is uniform despite the type of restaurant - 85% of respondents said they tip the same percentage regardless of place, while only 10% say they give more at a fancy establishment.
Restaurant-goers are a surprisingly generous bunch, with 61% saying that they've never withheld a tip when dining out. Service staff shouldn't take that payout for granted though, as the stats find that being personable is super-important to diners, with 26% of respondents saying that they would withhold gratuity if their waiter isn't friendly enough. Having a fly in that soup is an equally bad problem, with 25% of folks reporting that a bug (or hair) is another tipping deal breaker. Here are the main reasons why people withhold (voters could choose more than one):Waiter is not friendly enough - 26% There's a hair, bug or other foreign object in your food - 25% You get the wrong order - 17% The server spills something on you - 16% The food takes too long - 16% You don't like the food - 4%[Also see: Server Confidential: 8 Things You Don't Know About Restaurants]
When something does go wrong, how much should you dock from the tip line on that check? The survey found that diners aren't too harsh after receiving bad service, with 41% saying they leave only 5% less and 32% saying they leave 10% less than usual. A small percentage of diners says they're willing to escalate the issue to management. Here's the breakdown:How Do You Change Your Tip After Bad Service? Leave 5% less - 41% Leave 10% less - 32% No change in tip, but complain to manager - 7% Leave no tip - 5%[Also see: Where Are They Now: Tracking 9 Chefs Who Disappeared from NYC]
It's common for restaurants to automatically include the gratuity on the bill when they're serving a large group, and that's fine with the majority of diners, as 59% say they prefer to have it already included in the check. As for tipping etiquette when ordering expensive wine, respondents were more divided. One thing seems clear, however: the sommelier has to be involved to justify the extra dough - 43% of people report that they feel comfortable tipping on the full value of expensive wine if the wine expert assists. The rules about coat check are more cut and dry, with 41% saying they tip a standard $1 per coat while 22% say they are more generous and tip $2. This question doesn't even apply to the 29% of diners who say they don't check their coats at all.[Also see: Tipping Survey Results: How Much Do You Give, Who Makes the Most?]
When Ordering Expensive Wine, How Do You Feel About Tipping on the Full Value? Appropriate: 29% Inappropriate: 28% Depends if a sommelier assists: 43%[Also see: 20 Awesome Winter Foodie Destinations]
In some ways, the delivery guy has to do more than your average restaurant server. He has to brave the elements to get your order to you, and if you live on a fifth-floor walk-up, he's the one lugging your grub up those stairs. Even so, people tip less for delivery than they do at a restaurant, with the range of percentages all over the place:How Much Do You Tip a Delivery Person? 10% of the bill - 19% Between $1-$4 - 17% 15% of the bill - 16% 20% of the bill - 15% Depends on the order - 15% $5 every time - 8% Another amount - 5% 5% of the bill - 2% No tip - 2%[Also see: Holiday Gift Guide: 20 Awesome Finds for Food Lovers]
Cash is the best gift of the season for the other professionals in your life, but gift cards, booze and baked goods are also popular thank-yous (note: we bet those cookies would taste better with some cash!). If you are a service professional, your suspicions about re-gifting might not be paranoia. A near-majority 49% of survey takers admit that they have repurposed a gift they've received as a holiday season tip. If the thought doesn't count as much in those cases, at least the sentiment does - 46% say they tip service professionals out of genuine gratitude, as opposed to 10% who do it out of sheer obligation. Check it out:Why Do You Tip Your Service Professionals? Because I want to express my gratitude - 46% To reward them for their work and assistance - 40% Obligation, since many service providers expect tips - 10% Fear of negative consequences - 1%[Also see: Service Week Debate: Are Tableside Presentations Totally Antiquated?]
Nannies get the highest tips of any service professional, earning an average tip of $363, which is more than double the next highest, $122, which is given to a housekeeper or maid. The other two service jobs that crack the $100 mark are child day care providers (average tip $119) and superintendents (average of $116). The lowest seasonal tips go to the newspaper delivery guy ($22) and the barber ($20). Check out how service professions stack up:Average Holiday Season Tip, by Profession Nanny: $363 Housekeeper: $122 Day Care Provider: $119 Superintendent: $116 Handyman: $74 Gardener/Lawn care: $72 Doorman: $68 Pet Care/Dog Walker: $57 Babysitter: $56 Hairdresser: $41 Schoolteacher: $28 Garbage Collector: $25 Mailman: $23 Newspaper Delivery Person: $22 Barber: $20[Also see: 10 Gifts Not to Get a Foodie]
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