Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada Day in the US of A

Hubby and me are somewhere in the Finger Lakes, upstate New York.
We're having a great time, except we're doing a bit too much driving to my liking. Hubby doesn't feel like he's on a real holiday unless we drive some 200km a day.

Anyway, today there were amazing fireworks here (early 4th of July fireworks I guess), but it made us feel very welcome - fireworks in the US for Canada Day - just for us!

[[Side-note - I'm always amazed when I'm in the US how much more friendly and outgoing people are, and how service is not a chore to them, especially that.]]

So I have a question regarding tipping.
In Canada (as far as I know) we usually tip 15%. 20% or more if the service is exceptional, and 10% if the service sucks. I never tip less than 10%. Yet I always get the impression that Americans tip more. Is that true? Any American tipping rules I should be aware of?

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15 comments:

Mike said...

Anywhere from 10-20% is good. Unless the service sucks and then I either leave nothing...or if it's really bad, 1 penny. I only get service that bad about once every two years though. I worked as a waiter for a while and learned what caused one cent tips and how to avoid them really quickly.

Jaye Wells said...

I usually tip 20%, but that's just because the math is easier.

I think it depends on the area too. Most of my friends in NYC tip at least 20%. Down here in Texas I think 15% is more standard.

rdl said...

It would have to really suck for 10%. 20% is usually standard.
Have fun!!

Jean said...

Your formula is fine. I lean toward 20% if they aren't in my face all the time yet everything in there when I want it. (I detest the "Is everything ok?" every three minutes approach)

Jennifer said...

I waitressed (for more years than I want to remember).

You're rules are pretty good. 15% is standard.

I always tip more (unless the service was bad), but that's the years of waitressing I did. I know that there are those people who don't tip or leave like a dollar for a $30 bill and such. So I figure it all evens out.

Depends on the person. Some people tip more, some tip the recommend and others think that being waited on is there right and they don't have to leave a tip.

Trée said...

Melly, my daughter has waitressed the last couple of years. She works hard to earn a 20% tip and feels if she gets any less she has not done her job but 20% is her expectation for a good tip. I used to leave 15% until she educated me otherwise. :-D

Deborah said...

My tipping standard falls under the same criteria of the other commenters.

Regarding your comment about friendliness: My husband and I were very pleased with the friendly service we received in Arizona and Las Vegas. We received a sharp contrast when we stopped off at a popular restaurant in our home state. The servers there could have cared less and it showed.

I'm glad you're seeing the better side of America. :)

Shesawriter said...

I usually tip 20%. If the service is horrible, I tip 10%. If the service is abysmal, I drop a penny in a glass of water. I've only had to do the latter once.

Anthony J. Rapino said...

I guess we all agree. You got it right, 15-20% works. Sometimes if my bill is really low (2-5 bucks), I end up leaving a couple bucks tip anyway, which I guess is like 50%

whiskeypail said...

if the bartender is pretty, tip her twice as much.

Pat Kirby said...

Dealing with the public is a dreadful job. We always go for 20% unless the service was absolutely horrible.

Melly said...

Thanks everybody.

We adjusted our tipping policy to US standards.

As for the lower range - I never tip less than 10%. I don't think I have the right to tip less than 10%. People are allowed to have bad days.

If the service/place is so bad that I can't handle it, I simply leave before my order arrives, paying only for any drinks I may have had.

I can usually gauge it before I even sit down or before we order, so mostly it's no harm done for either one. I can still salvage my evening and they can still work their demented ways on others (for probably a penny tip).

It's funny how in some countries it's not even customary to tip at all, while in others it's part of the service industry.

briliantdonkey said...

I have worked as a server/bartender for years as well. I have for the most part avoided this topic on my blog but may have to post something on it now that you got me thinking about it....I agree with the general consensus 15-20% is fine. I generally tip more but that is mostly a biased or a karma thing i guess. Generally people who work for tips tend to tip more than those who dont. I dont feel like anybody "OWES" me anything no matter how good the service i provide is but i am very much in the minority there. Re: very baddddd service,,,,,the penny idea sends a much clearer message than just leaving 10% as far as i am concerned. When i get 10% i can consider several possibilities...A)maybe they are cheap. B)Maybe they just dont know C)maybe 10% to them is like 20% to some people. D)maybe i sucked today and wasnt on my game E)maybe it is close to payday and they are broke....

A penny or a dime or a quarter,if i ever got one,,,sends a very clear message which is even clearer than NOTHING at all....it screams loud and clear "I understand tips are expected, but dude you really REALLY REALLY sucked!"

just my two cents

INKcogKNEEdough

Melly said...

INKcogKNEEdough, now I'm wondering if your two cents are a comment on this blog...
Just kidding of course :)

briliantdonkey said...

lol touche'

INKcogkneedough