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August 30, 2021

Are Quebecers poor tippers, really?

In terms of international conflicts, a story that appeared in the Star  this week wasn’t quite Iran-Contra, nor was it the Cold War.

But after this article surfaced, detailing how American restaurants in the country’s east were handling visiting Canadian diners, it became shots fired, no less.

According to the report, Vermont restaurateurs were being forced to add mandatory tips on meals served to Quebec diners, who were alleged to be awful tippers.

But are Quebecers really that bad in the gratuity department?

As it would appear by the Star  story, the quarrel between Vermont diners and Quebec tippers has legs, stretching back years in the North American east.

*Bing: Countries were it’s not customary to tip

“Just last evening, I had a group of eight walk out and not leave enough for the bill,” one restaurant owner told the Star  about a group visiting from Quebec. “The best thing people can do when they cross the border is read the rule book.”

That rule book – how much to tip and where to do it – of course, changes from place to place, from culture to culture.

In fact, even according to Quebec’s official tourist site, tipping in Quebec should start as low as 10 per cent, and on the max end would be 15 per cent of a restaurant or bar bill.

But what Quebecers are allegedly tipping abroad, or not tipping abroad, that is, is what’s got Americans upset.

Calling them, in no precise words, cheapskates, some Vermont restaurants admitted to adding a mandatory 18 per cent tip to the bills of “foreigners” who weren’t expected to leave a gratuity.

One pizza joint menu in Vermont even prods visiting Canadian diners, noting that “tipping is not just something you do in a canoe.”

In your experience, are Quebecers really bad tippers? And any Quebecers out there: what do you think?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...