04/12/2012 12:22 EDT | Updated 04/12/2012 12:54 EDT

How Much To Tip: Survey Finds One-Third Left Nothing


Tipping for service is almost a reflex in North America -- people add 15 per cent to the bill automatically, for anything from restaurant tabs to hairstylists. Or do they?

A recent study by in the United States found one-third of customers had not left a tip when they received what they perceived to be poor service, while 20 per cent said they tipped less when the economy wasn't doing as well.

But when it gets down to numbers, trends seem to be moving toward the opposite end of the spectrum. In the survey, 51 per cent of respondents said they tip 16 per cent or higher, while seven per cent go all the way up to a 21 per cent. That practice could soon even be the norm, as restaurants' handheld terminals have started offering up "20%" as the default option when paying by credit or debit card.

In Zagat's 2012 summary of Toronto restaurants, the restaurant review publisher found Vancouverites tipped 16.5%, Montrealers left 16.7%, and Torontonians handed over 17.1% for their bill. Those numbers were all lower than any of the U.S. cities surveyed, including San Francisco (18.6%), Chicago (19.2%), Boston (19.4%) and New Orleans (19.7%).

SEE: The tipping practices from countries around the world:

Restaurant Tips Around The World