The Guide To Tipping in Toronto 2017

Tipping is one of those things that seems to be never 100% fully understood and always changing

Tipping is one of those things that seems to be never 100% fully understood and always changing. Is it 15%? Is it 18%? DId you hear some people are tipping 20%??? .Depending on where you are in the world and exactly which service you’re using, tipping etiquette can vary drastically. We’ve all been in a new situation at least once in our lives where we’ve had to google ‘how much to tip’ just to make sure our tips are on point so we came up with a handy guide to take some of the guesswork out of it for you! Additionally, we’ve started getting into arguments at the office on whether you are supposed to tip on taking out. Some say yes, some say no. What are your thoughts?

Bars and Restaurants

how much you're really suppose to tip

Servers

In the past, the rule has generally been 15 percent for good and 20 percent for great service, with 10 percent indicating you were unhappy. However, and this may come as a shocker, the rule has moved up. In recent years, 18 percent has become the new minimum for indicating your happiness with the service.

Bartenders

The standard is $1 a drink or 15 percent of the total bill should you pay at the end of the evening.

Coat Check

A dollar per coat will, hopefully, ensure you receive prompt and friendly service at the end of the night.

Food Delivery

While the minimum is at least $2 per order, that number should always increase for larger orders and if the weather during the service (especially if your deliverer is on bike) is particularly bad.

Beauty

how much you're really suppose to tip

Hairdressers

While most say 15 to 20 percent is the standard, if you’re a regular customer that really loves your hairdresser, 25 percent is the best way to show your appreciation and ensure you always score that last minute appointment.

Beauticians

The nail technicians and makeup artists you spend time with expect to see 15 percent at the end of your time together.

Aestheticians

The person waxing, lasering or massaging your private and most sensitive parts should receive a minimum of 10 percent. If you’re regularly happy with the service you receive, give them 15 percent.

Travelhow much you're really suppose to tip

Taxi Drivers

The golden rule is 10 percent, though it can go up or down depending on how happy you were with the service. Things to take into consideration include how fast (or slowly) they brought you to your destination, how safe you felt while they were driving… or how much change you have left over from the bill you pay with.

Coach Bus Drivers

If they’re handling your luggage, it’s always good etiquette to give them $1 or $2.

Movers

Depending on the size of the move and how many people involved, $10 to $20 per mover is a good rule to follow. If they’ve worked a long day or the move involved lots of stairs, a $20 is appropriate. Life pro tip: It’s also a good idea to have bottles of cold water on hand to offer them.

Hotel Services

how much you're really suppose to tip

Bellman

While on vacation or staying at a hotel, a bellman will always offer to take your bags. If you decide to use this service, a $5 minimum or $1-2 per bag is the golden rule.

Concierge

Depending on the service provided, $5 to $20. If they’re just providing directions or keys to your room, you’re not required to tip.

Housekeeper

It’s best practice to tip between $2 to $5 per night – definitely $5 if you left the place quite messy. Don’t forget to pay daily rather than at checkout to ensure the correct person receives the tip. A different person could be cleaning your room each day.

Valet

The standard is to tip between $2 to $5 once your car is retrieved and of course, only if your car arrives in the same condition as you left it.

Room Service

Unless gratuity is already included in the bill, $5 is expected.

How To Tip In Toronto

To tip or not to tip? That is the question.

Actually, the real question Torontonians have been asking themselves is, is 18 per cent the new 15 per cent tip? While those with fat expense accounts are tipping 20 per cent and those tight in the wallet are paying gratuity closer to 10 per cent, what are those on the fence to do?

I decided to dig into the subject and asked Michelle Chieng, a Top 20 Partner-level server at Joey’s Eaton Centre, what the tipping expectation from a server’s point of view was. She agreed that yes, 18 per cent should be the new 15 per cent thanks to how ‘tip out,’ the profit servers give back to their restaurant to disperse between front and back-of-house, has risen over the years. “We tip out 6 per cent of our total sales, not out of the actual tips we make,” said Chieng. “If people don’t leave a tip, you are essentially paying to serve them.” This means that your 15 per cent tip is actually closer to 9 per cent for your favourite server.

“We tip out 6 per cent of our total sales, not out of the actual tips we make. If people don’t leave a tip, you are essentially paying to serve them.”

To skirt this issue, the Canadian government recently passed the Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, making it illegal for employers to withhold tips and in some cases, putting an end to managers pocketing the tips for themselves. Local restaurants like Indian Street Food Co., Sidecar and the Toronto Temperance Society have already or plan to forego the entire tipping process. In all cases, the restaurants are upping prices on the menu or the final bill to ensure all of their employees – from hostesses and bussers to servers and kitchen staff – are fairly and equally compensated for their hard work.

Striking out tips is completely valid as long as the restaurants and servers provide “some fucking good service [with] no attitude, no bullsh*t and [are] f**king happy doing it.”

To get a restaurateur’s perspective, we spoke to chef Andres Marquez, former co-owner of Fonda Lola. His belief is that “the patron ultimately benefits from the sense of family that an equal, collective system of gratuity creates,” and that striking out tips is completely valid as long as the restaurants and servers provide “some fucking good service [with] no attitude, no bullshit and [are] fucking happy doing it.”

At a roundtable discussion with the Vv Magazine team, there was no unanimous answer on what the heck regular joes with no experience in the industry are to tip. Some answered 18 per cent, while others were flabbergasted at the suggestion, so I dug a little deeper. Frequent restaurant-goer and marketing professional, Stephen Gasparek said that, “I would agree that 18 per cent is the new 15 per cent. If it’s a bit of a wank (sic) with the service, you’d give 15 per cent and you shouldn’t feel bad about that.” Another industry member and patron said that, “as a server, for bad service I’ll leave 15 per cent. I’m usually leaving 20 per cent across the board.”

People have pointed out that nowadays 15 per cent is a starting point, but not necessarily the golden standard.

But what about the other pockets of the service industry with entirely different parameters, like take-out and coffee spots? Sarah Brown, an employee at Tokyo Smoke said, “I will get tipped, but it’s a coffee. Tipping a quarter to a dollar per drink is pretty great.” In this particular court of public opinion, people have pointed out that nowadays 15 per cent is a starting point, but not necessarily the golden standard.

If you’re reading this, it’s too late to pretend prices on everything, in every industry aren’t rising, but have no fear. Tipping doesn’t have to push you over the edge financially – there are plenty of ways to show appreciation. For starters, just be nice! “Call in to let the restaurant know that someone is doing a good job. That does end up benefitting us, and it’s nice to be recognized,” said Chieng. If you can’t pay up, try paying it forward.