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Aug 1, 2011 04:43 PM

Tips in Toronto restaurants: 15% before tax? 10% after tax? or, 15% after tax? (moved from Ontario)

When a couple of my friends met this weekend, we found that we each tip differently at the restaurant. Would you know which number is the universal rule in Toronto restaurants? Many thanks!

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  1. There is no universal rule, but I think the old standard is 15% before tax. My personal rule is 20% after tax.

      1. I tip minimum 15% after tax, 20% if the service was memorable or if the bill is approx $40 or under...

        1. The general rule is 15% before tax but I usually do 15% after tax which comes up to about 18%...unless the service was exceptional or I'm a regular, then it's 20-25% post tax.

          8 Replies
          1. re: ctl98

            Sorry but I find most people in Toronto way over tip, thereby subsidizing the owners for an essential part of their operation. Wait staff, bus boys and others who share in the tip pool are no different to me than other basic expenses of operating an eatery: rent, decor, cost of food and so forth. I do not pay a rent charge, a flower supplement, a glassware fee or otherwise subsidize its essentials. I expect the food and my evening overall will cost more at the
            Fifth Grill or in a spot designed by some trendy decorator, staffed by professionals and offering starched linens than it will at Dangerous Dan's. I am resigned to paying a 15% pre-tax and pre-wine tip (unless the waiter decants it and brings out the best crystal as at Le Select when I am happy to add another $5-10 - it takes no more time or energy to serve my amarone than it does my usual chateau plonk 2011.) For outstanding service I will up this. Sorry folks, the waiter and similar staff constitute part of the package; if they need to make more, then owners should pay them better and adjust meal charges accordingly. A lot of those who tip routinely above my level are imho doing so out of well-intended but unnecessary guilt.

            Dangerous Dan's
            714 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1H2, CA

            Le Select
            432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

            1. re: Bigtigger

              So if you don't tip more for expensive wine why would you tip more for a fancy meal then you would a burger at Dangerous Dans? as it does not take any more time or energy to deliver a burger and fries to your table then it does to deliver caviar and toast?

              I tip 20% after tax because I know how hard these people work and that is the way of the industry... if you want all restaurants to raise their prices 20% and offer no tipping all the power to you but for me I would rather have that power in my hand and give the wait staff incentive to do their best for me.

              1. re: Bigtigger

                I'm with you Bigtigger regarding tips subsidizing the owners.As an aside, I am not a fan of tipping on tax. Why should I tip on the amount the government is extracting from me? Generally if the service is good to very good I will leave anywhere between 15% to 20% pre-taxes.

                1. re: Bigtigger

                  i tip 20% post tax. This ensures that I get the best and preferred service the NEXT time and the time after that and after that. payment brings priveleges.....

                  1. re: ingloriouseater

                    Infglorious, unless you are a major corporate diner or eat out at the same places several times a month or more, I think you feeling you get "best and preferred" treatment and "privileges" is a fantasy. What do you mean by these terms? I eat out once or twice a month and get pretty good service (at good restaurants) and the occasional freebie (glass of limoncello, bottle of wine) despite my tipping 15% pre-tax, as like Juno and Toboggan, the government's extortionate tax rates have no bearing on food or service.

                    1. re: Bigtigger

                      I dine out at least 5 nights per week, lunch everyday. I do have regular haunts and as a result, I do get preferred service. My name is known, my likes and dislikes are known and I can often see that my orders become priority over others. I can get a table when others don't or can't, I regularly get sneak previews of items not on the menu yet, free wine or drinks. I get invited to new restaurant and bar openings, sporting events, wine shows at no cost to me. I will continue to enjoy my fantasy.

                      1. re: ingloriouseater

                        I date a fine dining chef and I cringe when these thing happen to us. I hate being known. I would really like to go to a local resto and not have it be a production.

                        I know, I know a million tiny violins are playing just for me but truly it makes me UNCOMFORTABLE!!! ;-)

                        1. re: JennaBean

                          trust me that there is no production to speak of, i am treated well and in turn i treat the restaurant staff well, i respect what they do and feel they should be rewarded and i reward them financially and with a thank you and good manners. i am not the boisterous type who demands a table when clearly one isn't available. when i make a reservation (which i always do unless there is a no reservation policy) and i manage to get 'squeezed in'. If no table is available, no problem, i'll find another place....i am fairly easy going-really

                          i can relate to jennabeans concern....there is funny video on youtube that kind of relates to the boorish person with a sense of entitlement


              2. 15% after tax and generously round up or down depending on service.

                Does anybody know how the pay terminals work? If you choose to tip a % of say 15, does it calcualte it pre or post tax?

                1 Reply