Adding Tip for large parties and Canadians
From ABCNews... "Burlington, Vt. Restaurants Add Gratuity To Foreigners' Bills"
Apparently, the owners let the servers add an 18% as the server sees fit.
Do French-Canadians and Europeans expect the tip to be included on the bill?
The article states that many of the Canadian and European tourist assume the tip is included. Hence the reason they usually don't tip.
To me it seems the owners are washing their hands of the tip issue, but the bad press is something they'll have to deal with.
Also, what's to stop a server from adding a tip to other people he think may tip poorly - Seniors, Asians, Teens... etc.
Europeans would not necessarily expect a tip to be included in the bill. We come from a continent of many countries, each with our own separate and distinct traditions. It is sloppy research and sloppy journalism to try and lump us all into one group.
Those of us who come from countries where service is included might expect it to be the same, if they hadnt bothered to research the customs of the country to which they were travelling.
Others of us, where tipping is expected in one form or another might similarly expect it to be the same as they are used to, if they hadnt researched the customs of the country to which they were travelling.
Of course, Europeans are well used to travelling to other countries where customs might be different so I rather suspect that, if we tip less than the local norm, it is not about thinking that things are the same as in our own countries but a simple matter of resenting the amount of the tip (and not understanding why the tip rate in America is so high). I visit America every few years and always find eating out to be quite expensive - but then I'm comparing it against eating out in the UK where the menu price already includes tax at 20% and where tipping is always discretionary and, if a tip is given, it is at around 10%.
I have no problem with a restaurant adding a service charge to my bill - it is very common in the UK - so long as they are advertising on their menu that they are going to do that. Otherwise, it looks like an attempt to con foreigners into double tipping. Had that happen to us on three occasions in New York City a year or so back. Of course, it's usual for us to check our bills so we spotted it and just paid the added tip. But I suspect it will catch out many visitors to America who know they have to tip and will leave cash, not realising that the tip has already been added. Sharp practice which leaves a rather nasty taste in the mouth - I now warn folk visitng the States about this rip-off.
i cannot tell you if it is still true....but years ago it was common to believe that Canadian tourists did not tip on restaurant meals....this was in the NY/NJ area. I have Canadian relatives and have known many other Canadians through my walks in life....and they have all confirmed that in general, they do not tip when traveling....but expect you to tip if traveling in Canada.