PICK A SIDE: What’s the minimum amount to tip at a restaurant?


Published January 16, 2020 at 10:30 pm


Picture this, you’re sitting in a nice restaurant with some friends after you’ve finished your meal and you see the server coming with the bill.

She hands you the machine, and, when you see the tip option pop up, you start to panic because you don’t know how much you should give.

Is 15 per cent appropriate?

What about 18 per cent?

Should you give 20?

Or… are you one of those people who doesn’t tip?

When it comes to tipping at a restaurant, what amount is appropriate?

Many friends of mine who either currently are or used to work as servers always tip at least 20 per cent because they know how stressful the service industry can be.

I also know people who refuse to tip ‘I’m already paying for my meal; why should I pay more on top of that?’ they say.
However, what many people don’t know is servers have to pay part of their tip—called a tip out—to the chefs, bussers, bartenders and hostesses. When people don’t tip, it means the server has to pay this percentage out of pocket.

With that being said, tipping, while customary, isn’t mandatory; and, many people often question why, if the restaurant is making so much per bill, they don’t pay their staff more, rather than force them to subsist on tips—which can be extremely unpredictable.

Others believe those who can’t afford to tip can’t afford to eat out, as the servers who do their best to make sure the customer’s meal is enjoyable often need tips to be able to pay their rent.

So, Mississauga, what do you think is the minimum you should tip?

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