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Jun 12, 2015
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Ontario

Tipping % vs Fixed $

People usually tip by %s for example 10-20% on after-tax or pre-tax.

I was thinking though, is it appropriate or fair for the customer to pay a % and not a fixed amount?

Say two people order a dish each, one is $20 and the other is $40. Price is higher because of ingredients ect. Each pays 10% pretax for simplicity. That means one person would pay $2 and another pays $4.

At the end of the day, the service they got was the same (meal was delivered to table), yet one paid more in tip simply because the price was higher on their meal.

Shouldn't tipping be based on the level of service and forget about the actual %s or meal price.

I for one disagree with tipping in general for restaurants/haircuts. That in my opinion is already reflected in the price like other services.
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Dec 14, 2007
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In before thread gets combative.

In short... tipping is NOT based on service. It's a service charge and a direct wage subsidy from customer to server. In places like the US, where there is a low minimum wage ( or no minimum wage ) it makes up a part of the server's wages. Ideally, it would be included in the prices. In most places in Canada, tipping is usually lower, because the base salary is higher. But in the end, it has little to do with service. It does help ensure you won't get poor service, though... so I guess i does some good.

Think of it like a tax, then you won't worry that it's tied to the price of goods. If you want to split the tip with your buddy 50/50, it's something you talk to them about, not RFD.
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Dec 15, 2004
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MoneyHypeMike wrote: Tips shouldn't exist, those people should just get paid more.
not if they provide poor service I don't think so,
getting pay less does not mean not to do a good job and take it out on the customers.
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Dec 26, 2009
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Dynasty12345 wrote: People usually tip by %s for example 10-20% on after-tax or pre-tax.

I was thinking though, is it appropriate or fair for the customer to pay a % and not a fixed amount?

Say two people order a dish each, one is $20 and the other is $40. Price is higher because of ingredients ect. Each pays 10% pretax for simplicity. That means one person would pay $2 and another pays $4.

At the end of the day, the service they got was the same (meal was delivered to table), yet one paid more in tip simply because the price was higher on their meal.

Shouldn't tipping be based on the level of service and forget about the actual %s or meal price.

I for one disagree with tipping in general for restaurants/haircuts. That in my opinion is already reflected in the price like other services.
I generally tip as a % but agree with what you're saying.

I've thought about going to a casual diner (i.e. Swiss Chalet) and getting one of two things:
- chicken dinner with water (~$12 + tax)
- chicken and ribs dinner with beer (~$24 + tax)

The more expensive meal may actually be less work for the server since there is no refills on beer. Based on that, why should the tip be twice as much? Interesting debate...
Newbie
Aug 22, 2016
14 posts
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Could not agree more Atomiton, it is a wage subsidy and nothing more. I consider it a tax free gift of my wealth to the server because I know that they will not claim it as income and that right there is my issue with it. If you look at the difference between the wage a server is paid and minimum wage less than $3 a hour in tips will bridge that gap and they can make far more than that an hour making it a lucrative tax free deal for them while the rest of us have to pay taxes on our incomes.

I was surprised at how expensive eating out here in Canada is with this tipping going on.
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Aug 2, 2001
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Dynasty12345 wrote: Shouldn't tipping be based on the level of service and forget about the actual %s or meal price.
Tipping is a societal norm, and that norm is to tip a percentage of the final bill in a restaurant.

Whether you agree with tipping or not, tipping as a percentage is the expected behaviour. One actual reason why this works is because if the restaurant forces the server to tip out to the staff, that tip out is done as a percentage and not an effort-based fixed amount.
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May 15, 2013
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Montreal
If you go alone and spend $40 you'll leave a higher tip than if you just spent $15 and the service would have been the same ....
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Dec 12, 2009
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Toronto
RubberCheese wrote: The more expensive meal may actually be less work for the server since there is no refills on beer. Based on that, why should the tip be twice as much? Interesting debate...
Yeah, but you probably automatically got the free water before the paid for beer.
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Sr. Member
May 29, 2006
622 posts
128 upvotes
Im not sure what the answer is to this question maybe a server can answer.....If I leave a $10 tip on my credit card do you get your portion in cash that is not traceable at the end of the night? Or is it added to your pay in a way the government can track? Always been curious?

Thanks
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Dec 14, 2007
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There is a minimum that servers claim as tips. I think I once heard that you're expected to earn at LEAST 7% as income... if you claim lower than that you can expect an audit from the CRA. The CRA also knows the average percentage of tips from other people who work in the place, so if your tips are out of line with that, you can bet you'll be caught by their algorithms.

In the end, however, remember that tipping is part of the cost of the meal. It's a tax that you pay for the privilege of eating out and having your meal served to you. If you don't like tipping, I recommend moving to Japan. (Usually) great service, no tips.

I actually think Canada's in a weird place with tipping but it seems to work. Also remember that in the US, for most US states, it's a completely different beast. For an interesting perspective, take a listen to this episode of freakonomics.
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Aug 2, 2010
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I tip 15% on pretax rounded up to the nearest 5c. I tip nothing if the service is bad as it makes zero sense to encourage bad service by tipping for it.
Newbie
Aug 23, 2016
9 posts
You are right about the percentage. But one should always tip based on service. A good server always up sell to have a bigger check therefore get a bigger tip. That's why some servers don't like repeating cheap customers or small checks.
Tipping is messed up in our society. I was a manager in a small mid tier restaurant. Servers tip out 20% to the kitchen staff. Generally servers make $10 to $20 tips per hour plus wage. And kitchen staff don't even get $3 tip on top of their wages. The labour is about 30% server 70% kitchen. Any restaurant is not busy enough for servers to make at least $10 tips per house will have trouble keeping staff. That's why they always have cheap meal days to bring in customer even the restaurant don't make much profit. Some restaurants (only large franchise) have a tip out like 4 to 6% of the sales. You will hear stories about a table spends $200 and didn't tip so the server have to cough out $10 to kitchen staff. But in any given shift they should average out to never lose money.
Imo the tipping system is broken and there is no way to fix it.
Newbie
Aug 23, 2016
9 posts
Big franchise the manager pooled tips together and write cheques to server. They take a cut that no one knows. That's why managers position is very lucrative.
Small owner operation give out the cash at the end of shift to server and looses out on the credit card fee.
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Mar 9, 2012
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sf1 wrote:
MoneyHypeMike wrote: Tips shouldn't exist, those people should just get paid more.
not if they provide poor service I don't think so,
getting pay less does not mean not to do a good job and take it out on the customers.
In every sector you have good and bad service. You have good and horrible workers. Most sectors don't have tips though. Hopefully a business with crappy employees will either train them or let them go. If a restaurant decides to pay good wages and discourage tips, that's forward thinking. They'll let go of any employees that can't do their job properly.
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