Tipping, Quebec

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    Was everything OK with your meal Sir?

    by tiabunna Updated Apr 30, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I found the North American fixation on ‘near-mandatory’ tipping curious at best. Where I live staff are paid legislated minimum wages and tipping is not expected, though ‘rounding up’ is reasonably common practice. Nonetheless, we thought we had more or less come to terms with the tipping system by the time we visited Québec: though I was under the impression it remained at the discretion of the customer. Maybe it’s because Québec is “tourist central”, but it seems the tipping protocols are not necessarily the same there.

    When we finished our meal at the “Café de Paris”, the waiter brought me the bill, I passed him some $20 notes totalling about ten percent more than the cost of the meal and he asked me "Was everything OK with your meal, Sir?". I replied that it was indeed – and never saw him again! It rather seems his question was code for "Can I call the change the tip”?

    The following day began with a similar experience at “Mike’s Café” where we had a light breakfast costing $12.50. I paid with a $20 note and again had my tipping decision made for me: the waitress simply handed me a $5 note as change!

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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Comments (1)

  • Jul 7, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    I live in Quebec City and I find the NA fixation with tipping annoying. I don't know where you come from, I would guess Europe? I've had some bad experience in Vienna, at a restaurant where we were a group and we kept getting our glasses refilled with some expensive mineral water (didn't know we were getting charged for it a hefty price every small bottle). We didn't complain too much, probably because we were tired and we got a good deal of our expenses paid back.

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