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Tipping Guidelines in Canada

Aside from situations wherein a gratuity is automatically charged by an establishment, tipping is your choice. Sometimes the service is worth a tip, but other times it is not. Below, we’ve listed what is considered normal for tipping procedures in Canada:


Hotels

Bellhops: $5.00 for luggage handling
Housekeeping: $3.00 – $5.00 per night (leave in your room with a note)
Concierge: $5.00 - $10.00 for exceptional, or extra, service


Aboard Rocky Mountaineer

Service staff: $30.00 - $50.00 per guest for both days, as you will receive the ultimate in service for two full days aboard the Rocky Mountaineer


Aboard VIA Rail

Room Attendants: $5.00 per day per passenger, directly to attendant or in your cabin with a note
Dining Car: $3.00 - $5.00 per meal per passenger, upon completion of your meal


Other services you may encounter

Tour Guides: $10.00 - $20.00 per couple (motorcoach), $50.00 private tour
Taxi Drivers: 10% of your service cost
Hairdressers, Spa services: 10% of your service cost


Counter Service

Coffee shops, ice cream shops, cafeterias, and more: when a “tip jar” is present at the counter, it is customary to leave a small tip but this is not expected, and not considered rude if you do not Retail stores: it is not customary to tip for retail services


Restaurants

15% on the total bill, 15- 20% for exceptional service
Some restaurants may charge an automatic 15% gratuity for foreign guests or for small groups

If you have a bad restaurant experience, many people — especially those in the food service industry — feel quite strongly that refusing to tip is not the best way to respond. If there are issues with your food or service in a restaurant, tell your server right away so they can remedy the situation. In many restaurants, servers are required to "tip out" - that is, to give a percentage of their total sales to cover tips for hostesses and similar service staff. Since their “tip out” is based on total sales, not on what you leave them, if you do not tip a server they could lose money on the time they spent serving you.

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