How to tip in Vancouver (VIDEO)

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It’s the age-old question – how much do I tip? – and there never seems to be a right answer. Without a standard rule of thumb, patrons are left feeling guilty that they cheaped out or frustrated that their bill seemed too high. Servers, on the other hand, never know what to expect from a customer and can feel their hard work was wasted on a skimpy tip. To say the least, it is a dividing issue.

Vancouver’s Pink Buffalo Films wanted to put the topic to rest once and for all, so they spoke with several service industry professionals, an etiquette expert and customers to find out what Vancouver’s tipping culture is all about.

“It seems like everyone and their dog is asking for a tip these days. Takeout, your morning coffee, your taxi ride and your late night drinks,” said Sarah Chapman of Pink Buffalo Films.

The obvious question, ‘how much do you tip?’ was answered almost unanimously at 20 per cent, with some respondents lowering down to 15 and others reaching as high as 25 per cent.

But one etiquette expert says “tipping is never required whether you’re in a restaurant or any other service, it’s just considered a nice gesture.”

The nice gesture, however can be interpreted in many different ways. Many of those interviewed said tipping determines the quality of your service, and others referenced other cultures and nations where tipping is not required.

“I know in Australia, they also don’t tip, and I have to say the service there was terrible,” said one of the respondents.

“But if they don’t talk to me and make no effort, I still tip them. I hate that I’m doing it but I do it,” said another.

Whether it is social pressure or simple kindness, tipping is definitely the norm in Vancouver, but how much and when to tip is very subjective.

To help answer the question of tipping, tell us your strategy.


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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
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