Posts Tagged ‘tipping’


The classic issue of tipping

March 31, 2008

Photo by: Aubreyarenas

In Denmark I would only tip if I had eaten in a restaurant more fancy than a café and if the service was worth paying for. Perhaps that makes me cheap, but it also makes me pretty typical Danish. I read an article about an investigation of how tourists from different countries were looked upon – the Danes were, sadly enough, some of the tourists that behaved worstly.

Thanks to my travel guide – Lonely Planet Montreal I knew before coming that tipping is custom here in Montreal. So in every restaurant I go to people might wonder why I’m sitting with a strange look on my face, when I get the bill; I’m just trying to figure out how much 15 percent of the amount is. I will be embarrassed, if I do not to give enough and I’m living on a student’s “salary” so I can’t afford to give too much.

The tipping can still sometimes make me feel uncomfortable, because, as I wrote earlier, I’m from a country, where tipping is given only for the good service and there are no rules about the amount. Here I find it difficult to tell by the expression of the waiter’s face when he or she takes the money, if I tipped ok. An example could be if I should pay 21 dollars including the 15 percent tip, but I just round the bill up to 20 dollars because it’s easy, should I then really break a 10-dollar note to get the last dollar for the tip?

I heard somewhere that the reason why tipping is customary here is because the salaries for waiters, bartenders etc. are very low and the tip is a big part of their earnings. I tried to find out what the average salary of waiter in Montreal is, but I had no luck. The average monthly salary for a waiter in Denmark is 4,529 dollars (remember we pay around 50 percent in taxes of the amount) I wonder how big a difference that is to the salary of a waiter in Montreal?