HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


Fair amount of tip at a restaurant

I went yesterday at Vino restaurant in NDG. Excellent Italian food. But when I paid my bill, I was surprise that the preselected amount of tip on the credit card machine was 17% (after taxes)! So, I choose to put tip in dollar instead of percentage.

For me, 15% before taxes is a fair amount of tip. And when the amount exceeds 200$, I think 10% is fair. Am I wrong?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. yes, that is very unfair.
    if the bill exceeds 200 dollars you should still tip what you normally would. waiters should not be punished because you choose to eat somewhere expensive. an expensive restaurant probably makes waiters serve fewer tables so you get more attention, and they have more experience.
    i always tip 15 percent after tax if service is good.

    edit: the only exception would be if you buy a 500 dollar plus bottle of wine, then I think you might tip differently....

    1. people have been tipping 15% since at least i was a child (40+ years ago) and i think that's low. i'm always a 20% tipper, unless the service is really bad. Little mom & pop places i'll even tip more. a few dollars extra when i eat out may make more of a difference to them than it does to me. and i'm not rich (actually, currently very underemployed). but i used to be a server.

      and i agree with Kpaxonite - why would a higher bill mean a smaller tip?

      1. Folks, before y'all pile on (as tipping threads tend to do, and the question the OP asks is ripe bait for such a fest), be aware that (1) the OP is talking Quebec, not Manhattan, and (2) he's posted twice at Chowhound.

        I will now hold my fire accordingly.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Karl S

          Here in montreal the average tip is still 15 percent, 18 at some high end business style places. And there is definitely no custom of decreasing tip percentage as the cost increases.

          1. re: kpaxonite

            good to know. and thanks Karl S., it is true - living in L.A./S.F. all my life means I'll have a different perspective.

          2. re: Karl S

            Yes, Canadians (including Quebecians) should be held to the same standard. I have worked in the industry for years (in Canada) and 10% is considered low.

            Remember this: MANY establishments are now taking advantage of their staffs tip earnings, requiring them to pay a house charge. The house charge ranges from 2%-5%, from what I've witnessed. I think it's wrong, but even when a server is not paying out to the house, 10% amounts to very little when the night is through. The "preselected" gratuity amount posted on the machine serves to subtley educate the patron about what is typically expected for satisfactory service. In Canada, the preselected amounts are generally between 15% and 20%. I'm not sure where people get the lower numbers from. We have very similar standards as in the U.S. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g15...

            I'm with kpaxonite on this one: If you are at an expensive restaurant, you should expect to tip more, just as you expect to pay more for your meal.

            When I decide to go out, I look at what I am able to afford - tip included. If you want to save money, there's always MacDonald's, right? :


            Cheers! Hope this helps.

          3. You are wrong.

            If everything is fine you tip 17% MINIMUM.

            If the service is good you tip 20% or more.

            If you are not particularly happy you leave just 15% and make a point of speaking to the manager to try to resolve your problem.

            The tip percentage never decreases based on the cost of the meal. However it is thoughtful to increase the tip percentage when you're in an inexpensive spot like a coffee shop.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Kater

              If you did not read up, the commenter is from Quebec and talking about dining in Quebec; tipping percentages in Canada have not been inflated as in dining meccas in the US (and US tipping customs are not instantly applicable outside our borders), and there's a different issue in terms of working terms between the nations, et cet.

              1. re: Karl S

                That would have no impact on the notion of tipping less in an expensive restaurant even if it were true.

                1. re: Kater

                  I was referring to your 17% standard that you shouted in all caps.

                2. re: Karl S

                  They have been inflated - I promise.

              2. If you think 15% is fair (and I'm in agreement with that) then tip 15% and screw everyone that says it should be more.