A: A Canoe will TIP!
Tipping is not a custom that comes naturally to most Australians but is a must do in North America as it is expected in restaurants, pubs, taxis and hairdressers to mention a few.
The reason tipping is so important is because the workers in these places get minimum wages and rely on the tips they receive to survive. The minimum wage in British Columbia is just $11.35 per hour which is pretty hard to live on in such an expensive province.
What gets on my goat is why should the customer have to subsidise the wages of the hospitality workers whilst the owners get away with paying peanuts to their staff. My wife was getting on average $25.00 per hour for plonking pizzas on people’s tables in a wood fired pizza restaurant in Vancouver. It’s a big discrepancy between minimum wage and minimum wage plus tips. The kicker is that this benefit is pretty much reserved for hospitality workers. If you work in a factory worker, cleaner or shop assistant you get minimum wage and that’s it.
There are a couple of restaurants now in Vancouver who have outlawed tipping and you just pay the bill, but they are in the minority. I hope one day the trend spreads and tipping can be abolished.
So climbing down from my high horse and getting back to reality, tipping is a custom in Canada and the US and is expected. The going rate in Canada is 15% and can easily be added when paying the bill by credit or debit card as the efpos machines allow for tipping and do the calculations for you. The other option is to whip out your trusty smartphone and use the calculator to work out the tip if you are paying cash. You only tip on the total of the bill BEFORE tax. You don’t have to tip on the governments bit.
Using the excuse “I’m an Aussie and we don’t tip” won’t win you any friends and will earn you a poor service and serious stink eye from all the staff. If you are asked for a tip and you say “I’ll give you a tip, be nice to your mother” you will probably suffer the same fate.